Good afternoon distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great delight that I welcome you to this induction ceremony of the recently qualified Dealing Clerks of The Nigerian Stock Exchange. For us, it is a remarkable event, as it represents the symbolic unleashing of a force of qualified stockbrokers who are the future leaders of the Nigerian capital market.
Let me congratulate those of you here today for your induction into the Dealing Clerkship of the Exchange. Of the 57 candidates who had already passed the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) examination and have gone through the mandatory practical Automated Trading System (ATS) training at the NSE, 50 candidates passed the oral examination at the Exchange. I think they deserve a round of applause.
At the Exchange, we believe that people will always make the difference in any endeavour, especially the capital market, when every other supporting conditions are right. It is for this reason that we carefully put prospective employees, dealing members, and other players through a stringent screening process that ensures only the cream of the crop make it through our doors.
On behalf of Council and Management of the Exchange, I welcome you all into a new relationship which faces inward – for Professionalism, Integrity, Transparency and Reliability; and outward – for Excellent Service to our investor and issuer communities. With the rigorous process leading to your qualification, I make bold to say that you are worthy to be practicing stockbrokers enabled to trade on any floor of The Nigerian Stock Exchange in Nigeria.
Today’s ceremony is not just a celebration. It marks a call to stand tall in integrity, to be impeccable in character, to be professional in service and to uphold the high ethics and values for which the Exchange and the capital market are renowned. That is the big hurdle that you must cross effortlessly in your daily practice of this profession .
As an Exchange, we will continue to do our part in ensuring that we provide a competitive platform for you to participate in the financial market. Please note that we have clear and enforceable rules, with a zero tolerance policy on all infractions. To accentuate this, we signed an MOU with Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) a couple years ago to increase cooperation and communication in the fight against financial crimes in the capital market.
To ensure a stronger, more efficient broker-dealer community that is well suited for doing business in the 21st century, we launched Minimum Operating Standards (MOS). We are pleased to state that 94% of Dealing Member firms achieved the set requirements and standards. We will continue to monitor to ensure that these standards are maintained.
In addition to the MOS, we have executed several initiatives to enhance the experience of issuers, dealing members, investors, and other stakeholders. Some of the initiatives targeted at the dealing brokers include: X-Whistle enables market participants to confidentially report fraud and infractions, and X-Compliance Report, a transparency initiative designed to help maintain market integrity by providing compliance related updates on all listed companies; Compliance Status Indicator symbols for near real time update of company compliance status on the Ticker Tape; and BrokerTraX for the compliance status of the brokers and dealing clerks on the Exchange.
To automate and enhance the regulatory and oversight function of NSE over its Dealing Members in the area of rendition of regulatory filings, analysis of financial renditions, capital and liquidity monitoring as well as compliance monitoring and reporting in line with global best practice, we developed and launched X-Boss. We also launched SMARTs solution for efficient/effective market surveillance.
As a sustainable Exchange, the NSE continues to highlight the importance of sustainable business practices in delivering value and supporting economic growth. While we are pleased to report that we have held ourselves accountable to the highest standards, we are also intensifying our advocacy efforts to support the integration of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) imperatives in the Nigerian capital market. I am pleased to announce that the Exchange’s Sustainability Disclosure Guidelines will be launched this year.
As we continue to work on our goal of becoming a more agile and demutualized exchange, the importance of your role cannot be over emphasized. It goes without saying that the investing community will know and judge the Nigerian capital market through your character and service innovation; the manner in which you engage and render your professional duties to your clients will go a long way in shaping the perception of our market. We will work with you to support you in developing your capacity and businesses.
To this end, I would like to challenge you to uphold the tenets of peaceful, innovative and harmonious working relationship and to strive to make strides that lead to the growth of your respective organizations and the capital market at large. Initiate creative projects and programs, walk your talk and serve with passion, commitment and sense of responsibility.
Once again I congratulate you on achieving this great accomplishment as Authorized Dealing Clerks of the NSE and wish you a successful future in the Nigerian capital market.
Oscar N. Onyema, OON Chief Executive Officer