Regulators of the capital market have been called upon to encourage the activities of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises in the country.
The call was made by the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Omatek Ventures Plc, Mrs. Florence Seriki, during a press briefing on the company’s performance in Lagos on Monday.
She said presently, the few SMEs listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange were not doing as well as they should because they were not receiving enough support from the regulators and this had resulted in lower than expected performances.
Seriki said efforts by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the NSE to get more SMEs to list their shares on the Exchange might not yield the expected results if the activities of the firms were not duly encouraged.
She said, “If the SEC and NSE want more SMEs to come into the market for funding or to list their shares on the Exchange, they have to help to create an environment for these companies to thrive; they have to help in developing local policies and local markets, and ensure that the right policies and legal frameworks for their survival are put in place.
“And so, I will say that the regulators have a major role to play in encouraging these small companies and in assisting to drive the share prices of such companies. It is critical for those at the capital market to patronise local companies such as ours by making use of local brands, and promoting our products to their friends and colleagues.”
The Omatek boss said while SMEs were struggling on their own to survive the harsh business environment in the country, most of the regulators were flaunting the products of international brands, which made it tough for local manufacturers to have the much needed market to thrive.
The Director-General, SEC, Ms. Arunma Oteh, had said the commission was targeting the listing of SMEs on the Exchange, adding that this was part of efforts towards deepening the Nigerian market and ensuring more participation of both local and foreign investors.
She said SMEs played a critical role in the development of any economy and it was important that such companies should be encouraged to come to the capital market, adding that other companies in key sectors were also being wooed into the market.
Oteh said, “We aspire to attract to the market, companies operating in sectors that have little presence in our capital market and among these are the SMEs, which account for 0.06 per cent of our stock market capitalisation.
“Following the example of China and other BRIC countries, we aim to attract SMEs (only 12 of which are currently listed) to list as this will create more jobs and encourage entrepreneurship in the country.”