UK Government’s MOBILIST programme underlines commitment to Nigeria’s Capital Market for Sustainable Development

By Olushola Okunlade

The UK Government believes that Nigeria will benefit from the further development of its capital market and is keen to support it through its Mobilising Institutional Capital Through Listed Product Structures (MOBILIST) programme.

Nigeria’s capital market can help contribute to the country’s economic goals, including the ambition to transition to clean energy solutions, but needs around USD10 billion in financing per year to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. 

At two MOBILIST events hosted by the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and the British Deputy High Commission (BDHC) in Lagos today, the UK underlined its commitment to work with Nigeria to meet these goals. The events in the country’s financial capital brought together stakeholders from across the finance community, including representatives of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and pension fund industry, to discuss opportunities to solve some of the principal barriers to increasing investment in the SDGs via public markets. 

This week’s events come after former UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announced a partnership between MOBILIST and NGX to catalyse greater investment in the SDGs via products listed on the exchange. Cleverly announced in August last year during a visit to Nigeria and the NGX trading floor.

MOBILIST offers equity capital as well as technical assistance to facilitate the listing of pioneering products that support the delivery of the SDGs. It also provides policy and research support to enhance the environment for issuers, investors, and intermediaries.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)Africa needs to invest an additional USD 194 billion per year to meet the SDGs by 2030. Closing this financing gap cannot be achieved without mobilising private investment and enhanced collaboration among capital market actors, governmental institutions, and development finance institutions.

British Deputy High Commissioner Jonny Baxter, while delivering his remarks at the event, said:

“The UK government is committed to supporting Nigeria in the continued development of its capital market to help deliver the country’s economic goals, including its ambitions to transition to clean energy solutions.

UK Government’s MOBILIST programme underlines commitment to Nigeria’s Capital Market for Sustainable Development

“A liquid and well-regulated capital market benefits the entire economy by enabling companies to raise capital to fund their expansion, which in turn helps deliver crucial development, job opportunities, and improved incomes.

“MOBILIST’s focus on stimulating the creation of innovative listed products can make a unique and impactful contribution to achieving these objectives.”

In his goodwill remarks, the Chairman, NGX, Ahonsi, Unuigbe, highlighted the need for addressing barriers hindering public listings through collaborative discussions. In his words:

“The discussions we have today are crucial as we address barriers hindering public listings and explore actionable solutions. By overcoming these obstacles, we can unlock the full potential of our capital market, enabling more businesses to access the funding they need to grow and thrive. Some of these obstacles are significant such as regulatory challenges, high listing costs, and market volatility.

He added, “An enhanced and efficient listing process will democratise access to capital, nurturing a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, particularly businesses dedicated to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), can flourish.”

MOBILIST Programme Lead at the FCDO, Ross Ferguson said:

“MOBILIST is the expression of the UK’s conviction that public markets have a leading role to play in financing sustainable development by mobilising private capital to flow where it is needed most – to firms tackling development challenges and the climate transition.

“We are committed to deepening our relationships in the Nigerian market as we seek to identify businesses and SDG-aligned assets that need our support.”

While delivering the welcome address, the Ag CEO of NGX, Jude Chiemeka, emphasized the impact of the partnership with MOBILIST. He stated:

“Our partnership with MOBILIST is geared towards advancing market efficiency, sustainability reporting, and integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles. This event represents a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to enhance the performance and deepening of Nigeria’s capital market by promoting sustainable capital flows and enhancing listing diversity.

The discussions from today are poised to yield actionable insights on how we can collectively catalyse economic growth through the capital market. By harnessing the potential of our capital market, we can unlock new opportunities for funding businesses, fostering entrepreneurship, and ultimately driving sustainable development across Nigeria”.

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