By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on December 3, 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (M0U) with its Moroccan counterpart, Autorite Marocaine Du Marche Des Capitaux (AMMC).
The MoU, which was signed on the sidelines of the Nigerian- Moroccan bilateral talks marked with the visit of His Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco, will serve as a platform for regulatory cooperation and information sharing between the two capital market regulators.
This is a first step towards achieving an effective cross border market policing between the two jurisdictions and enhanced market development through leveraging mutual comparative advantages.
The bilateral discussions covered a wide range of issues aimed towards deepening the mutual relationship between the two Countries. These included agriculture, aviation, immigration, banking, capital markets and the extractive industries, among others.
The Nigerian delegation was led by President Muhammadu Buhari with the SEC Director General, Mr Mounir Gwarzo, signing the MoU on behalf of the Country while Ms Nezha Hayat, CEO, AMMC represented the Kingdom of Morocco.
It is interesting to note that as members of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) which holds cooperation and integration as a cardinal objective, Nigeria and Morocco ordinarily has a platform to enter into bilateral agreements such as this as provided in the 38 IOSCO principles.
The involvement of the governments of both countries at the highest level is therefore a mark of the high premium placed on the importance of the capital market to the economic growth and prosperity of the two nations.
For Nigeria, this is a welcome development as it presents an opportunity to leverage the progress achieved in the Moroccan market to enhance especially the delivery of a few of the objectives of the 10 – year Capital Market Master plan.
This for example is especially as relates to deepening the asset management space of the market, an area of comparative advantage for Morocco.
The SEC Nigeria will also be understudying the advancements achieved by Morocco in growing the green capital markets which was the fulcrum of the COP22 conference recently held in Marrakech which focused on fostering green capital markets in emerging economies.
The signing of the MoU signals a strengthened cooperation framework between Nigeria and Morocco in areas of common interests as it will encourage cross investments in the respective capital markets.
It will also engender mutual recognition of regulations related to public offerings and professional certifications to facilitate dual listings and mobility of capital and labour between the two markets.
The signing of the MoU was a historic milestone for Nigeria as it is in clear tandem with moves around all regions of the world towards cooperation and market integration. Nigeria had earlier entered into such bilateral agreements with several other jurisdictions such as, Angola, China, Ghana, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
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