Investors in Nigeria have been urged to explore the various opportunities available in the capital market in a bid to grow their businesses, create wealth and improve their standards of living.
Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Lamido Yuguda stated this at the Maiden Gombe State Investment Summit with the theme “Industrialisation: The Pathway to Innovation, Transformation, and Development of Gombe held in the state capital, Wednesday.
The SEC DG disclosed that the capital market can play an enormous role in the growth of businesses as they could approach the market for primary offers as well as the secondary market which smaller companies can also access due to the less stringent disclosure requirements.
“The capital market is available to provide funding to businesses. With crowdfunding, a small business can raise money based on certain principles as the SEC has approved this to happen for a certain number of investors and a certain amount at a time.
“There are also huge opportunities available for businesses, especially agro-allied businesses. They can use the commodities market to access high-calibre customers that require Agric produce in large quantities. We have licensed six commodities exchanges in Nigeria and they are very active”
Yuguda expressed delight that the private sector has ventured into areas like railways, power, and communication among others that were hitherto dominated by the government.
“Before now, the government mainly provided a lot of these infrastructures and services, but today we can see the private sector taking over while the government provides the necessary regulatory oversight,” he stated.
Yuguda commended the state government on the resuscitation of the state-owned Gombe State Investment and Property Development Company Limited to serve as a one-stop shop for all investment-related issues in order to facilitate ease of doing business, adding that small firms can be prepared to access the capital market by such outfits.
He, therefore, expressed the commitment of the Commission to working with the state government and other stakeholders to create the necessary awareness.
In his opening remarks, the Governor of Gombe state, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya said that the state has been committed to human capital development and is working to leverage digital skills to develop Gombe.
Yahaya disclosed that his administration is also working to provide a solid infrastructure to serve as a catalyst for industrialization and growth.
According to him, ” We realized that in order to put our state on the path of sustainable progress and long-term prosperity, we must strategically invest in both human capital and infrastructural development. On one hand, human capital development will enable us to equip our teeming youth with the requisite skills, knowledge and expertise to succeed in our rapidly changing digital world.
“To this end, we are working to leverage digital skills and opportunities to develop Gombe into a regional ICT hub in order to harness the creative energies of our youth. On the other hand, solid and resilient infrastructure is being put in place to serve as catalysts for industrialisation and growth, unlock opportunities and deliver sustainable prosperity to the people.
“For businesses to thrive, we need collaboration with relevant stakeholders, innovation, risk reduction, as well as sound regulatory framework and sustainable wealth creation. We are harmonising taxation, improving efficiency, stamping out corruption, ensuring the security of lives and property, and empowering the judiciary to work better
Yahaya expressed satisfaction with the responses from investors and the business community as Hundreds of investors have expressed interest to operate from the Muhammadu Buhari industrial park, and many more are willing.
“In the course of this summit, we will sign memoranda of understanding with some leading local and international brands to further demonstrate the success of our efforts. I want to thank all investors and partners for your trust and confidence in us, and for taking the bold steps to tap into the amazing potential that abounds in our state.
“Investments are guaranteed in Gombe and we hope to serve as a model to the rest of the country and a source of pride to the nation. We are committed to delivering on our promises” he stated.