In line with its drive to enhance the diversity of the capital market by redefining it as an attractive destination for technology companies, Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has organized the NGX Technology Board Webinar to lead in-depth discussions and compelling actions to develop the African technology.
The event held virtually on Thursday, October 6, 2022, themed “Enabling the next wave of growth for tech companies in Africa”, saw astute professionals from the public and private sectors express their optimism about to the proposed launch of the NGX Technology Board to encourage more technology listings and contribute significantly to the proliferation of opportunities for African technology companies.
Opening the event with his remarks, NGX Chairman Abubakar Mahmoud represented by NGX Board Member Erelu Angela Adebayo said that Nigeria is home to several unicorns like Flutterwave, Andela, Jumia and Opay, including valuations exceed $1 billion. He said, “As a sustainable exchange championing Africa’s growth, NGX is well positioned to support the growth of the next wave of technology companies. It stimulates the capital market by providing a tailored platform for technology companies in Nigeria and Africa at large to access growth capital while providing exit opportunities for all investors. The next wave of growth for local tech companies must be anchored on sustainability, agility, collaboration and digital innovation and these are things that NGX stands for.”
Managing Director, Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda, represented by Dayo Obisan, Executive Commissioner, Operations, SEC, while delivering his goodwill message noted that with the many developments in the technology space, the africa remains a continent with the greatest potential for technology and innovation and as such its ability to digitally determine its future must be accelerated by building its technological capabilities. According to him, “Africa has the potential to become a tech giant with the right capabilities and the SEC will support commendable initiatives aimed at improving our market’s ability to develop a robust ecosystem for the Nigerian capital market.”
In his opening remarks, NGX Chairman and CEO Temi Popoola, speaking on the proposed NGX Technology Board, said: “The Exchange, together with other major stakeholders including SEC, CBN , Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) and Pension Fund Operations Association of Nigeria (PenOp) are working tirelessly to launch and integrate a new asset class.” The Specialized Technology Board aims to encourage the listing of companies in the technology space, to provide increased transparency and visibility into foreign investment activities in local tech companies and tech startups.”
Delivering the keynote address, Deputy Governor of the Financial Systems Stability Directorate, CBN, Ms. Aisha N. Ahmad noted that technology has evolved from an enabler of business to a sector in its own right, some of the largest companies in the world such as Meta and Google. . “Africa is a $2.7 trillion economy and for this growth to translate into wider economic impacts, we need greater participation from local investors and I am particularly excited about the plan of the Technology Board of the NGX which will help grow the listings of Nigerian and African tech companies. This will facilitate price discovery of tech industry valuations and channel capital into tech and other sectors,” she said. .
Panelists on the first panel titled The Path to Tech Listings – Leaving Capital Market for Exponential Growth, agreed that the proposed launch of the NGX Technology Board is timely as it addresses the challenges that startups face with funding and capital formation. during their development phase. Furthermore, they noted that having major stakeholders such as NGX, SEC and CBN to defend the board would attract participation from foreign investors, especially in terms of liquidity.
The second panel on “Beyond Technology – Regulation as an Enabler for Tech Board Listings and Investor Protection” highlighted policies and good standards as key factors in creating an enabling environment for technology listings and investor protection. The panelists noted that regulators should be concerned with listed companies, governance structure, valuations, returns and their positive impact on the Nigerian economy such as bringing new founders into the market and creating companies. jobs for Nigerians.
Speakers at the event include Senior Special Assistant to the President for Digital Transformation, Oswald Osaretin Guobadia; Kendall Ananyi, CEO, Tizeti; Vice President, Cardinalstone, Onyebuchim Obiyemi; CEO, Opay, Olu Akanmu; Managing Director, Capital Markets Institute of Nigeria, Timi Agama; Head, Financial Markets Support and Development Division, Capital Markets Department, CBN, Demenongu J. Yanfa; Chairman of the Association of Pension Fund Operators of Nigeria (PenOp), Oguche Agudah; CEO, Central Securities and Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, Jalo Waziri; Partner, Fund the Gap Alliance, Segun Cole; Associate Dean, Lagos Business School, LBS, Prof. Olayinka David West; London Stock Exchange Representative and Director, Technology Sector Specialist, Shah Neil; Co-Founder/COO, Director of One Watt Solar, Jubril Adeojo; Future Africa CEO, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Chief Growth Officer, Halo Invest, Nnenna Onyewuchi.