Providing an enabling environment for businesses and their associated activities to thrive remains a key goal of governments and indeed, a main driver of economic growth. It is for this reason and more that the Ease of Doing Business Reform lends itself a barometer to measure reforms, including but not limited to regulatory framework, government policies, security etc., that seek to make the business climate more conducive for business. It is in this vein that FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange (“FMDQ” or the “OTC Exchange”) having taken on the role of an advocate, providing relevant advice to government and regulators, as well as a catalyst for infrastructure capital through the Nigerian debt capital markets (“DCM”), hosted the maiden DCM Ease of Doing Business Sensitisation Session, facilitated by the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (“EBES”) of the Office of the Vice President of Nigeria.
The FMDQ DCM Sensitisation Session, which was attended by key representatives from the government agencies/institutions, including but not limited to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”), Nigerian Ports Authority (“NPA”), Nigerian Customs Service (“NCS”), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (“NIMASA”), Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (“NIPC”); members of the FMDQ Debt Capital Markets Development (“DCMD”) Project Implementation Committees; and other capital market stakeholders from the Financial Markets Dealers Association (“FMDA”), Association of Corporate Treasurers of Nigeria (“ACTN”), Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria (“AIHN”), Capital Market Solicitors Association (“CMSA”), , Fund Managers Association of Nigeria (“FMAN”), Nigerian Insurers Association (“NIA”), Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria (“PenOp”), etc.; aimed to provide an avenue for key officials of the EBES to update and educate stakeholders in the Nigerian DCM on specific initiatives emanating from the implementation of the recent National Action Plans (“NAP”) and the impact on their businesses.
The well-attended session afforded DCM stakeholders an opportunity to provide feedback to the EBES on the challenges currently being experienced on the back of the reforms, as well as to proffer suggestions/key modalities for ensuring that the implementation of the NAP precipitates the optimal enabling environment for conducting business in Nigeria.
Welcoming guests to the Session, Tumi Sekoni, Associate Executive Director, Capital Markets, FMDQ, highlighted that as an OTC Exchange with the aspirations of becoming fully integrated and diversified, the emergence of government policies/reforms and how these affect our varied stakeholder categories is of crucial importance for the acceleration of market deepening activities, as well as national economic growth and development. It is in this belief of shared prosperity, therefore, that FMDQ is delighted to partner the EBES in support of the OTC Exchange’s strategic mission to empower the financial markets to be innovative and credible, in support of the Nigerian economy.
Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, during her presentation at the Session stated that the “FMDQ DCM Ease of Doing Business Sensitisation Session
is a laudable initiative from the private sector that provides the opportunity for the Government to share with the DCM community all completed and on-going business environment reforms that have been achieved so far. Since July 2016, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (“PEBEC”) of the EBES, has continued to closely collaborate with ministries, departments and agencies of government; the legislature and judiciary, as well as state governments, the organised private sector and civil society. These reforms have enhanced transparency and reduced the time, cost and number of procedures in interacting with government agencies by streamlining and automating previously manual processes in public service delivery. The efforts of EBES have been empirically validated by external indices such as the World Bank Doing Business report, where Nigeria moved up an unprecedented 24 points over a three (3) year period. Today, we are pleased to receive feedback from our DCM stakeholders on challenges as well as improvements in the Nigerian business environment as we jointly strive to make Nigeria a progressively easier place in which to do business.”
As part of its mandate to make the Nigerian financial markets “GOLD” – Globally Competitive, Operationally Excellent, Liquid and Diverse, FMDQ, through the Regulation Consolidation Sub-Committee of its DCMD Project, continues to champion initiatives aimed at making it easier for DCM stakeholders to access and raise capital even as this continues to positively impact the broader economy.