Efforts to integrate the West Africa capital markets received a boost last Friday when National Assembly threw its weight behind the process being driven by the West African Capital Markets Integration Council (WACMIC).
The first phase of integration programme will begin April this year, while 2015 is being targeted for the final phase.
Speaking at the second sensitisation workshop organised by WACMIC in Abuja, Chairman, Senate Committee Capital Markets, Ayoade Adeseun, said the Nigerian parliament in particular and ECOWAS parliament in general are fully in support of the integration process.
Speaking through Mrs. Halima Mohammed, Adeseun said the integration of the capital markets would lead to the economic growth of the region with many benefits.
“I will use this singular opportunity and privilege to challenge the council to fast-track the integration process to enable the capital market contribute to the growth of the regional economy and Nigeria in particular.
â€œI wish to assure the Council of the support of Committee of the capital market in the Nigerian Senate as well as ECOWAS parliament that the creation of the necessary and enabling framework,(that will engender economic growth), whether legal or otherwise, will be vigorously supported,â€ he said.
Speaking in the same vein, the Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission, Suleyman Ndanusa, pledged the support of the all regulators in the sub-region towards the success of the integration programme.
According to him, the sub-region would better optimise their potential and competitiveness by coming together.
â€œThe initiative will clearly broaden the capital raising space for listed companies with positive impact on industrial development. I believe that access to wider market which integration provides could encourage more companies to embrace the capital market for funds and listing, and further deepen the regional markets,â€ he said.
Ndanusa noted that the reality is that the region stands to benefit more from integration than remaining in silos, adding that given the mapped out implementation strategies of the Council and with support of the various stakeholders in the region, the capital market integration will be successful.
In his presentation, Chairman of WACMIC and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema, said achieving integration will facilitate momentous growth in the markets,. According to him, it will empower the region to remain relevant in attracting investment flows by creating a much larger market for local and international businesses.
According to him, the stock exchanges participating in the integration process include the NSE, Ghana Stock Exchange, Sierra Leone Stock Exchange, and The Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres (BRVM), which comprises eight francophone countries.