BUSI­NESS We en­cour­age quoted firms to have more women di­rec­tors - Oteh

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS -

we don’t rein­vent the wheel, where some­thing ex­ists and is al­ready work­ing. We are very pleased that there is al­ready a body of people who are trained in the CFA qual­i­fi­ca­tion be­cause it is a very com­pre­hen­sive qual­i­fi­ca­tion for any­body in in­vest­ment man­age­ment.

We are also work­ing through the Nige­rian Cap­i­tal Mar­ket In­sti­tute with the Fi­nan­cial Plan­ning As­so­ci­a­tion to try and en­sure that we can train young people to be­come fi­nan­cial plan­ners, so maybe those who grad­u­ate from law school, in eco­nom­ics among oth­ers. We can put them through a booth camp pro­gramme that pre­pares them to be able to af­fil­i­ate with some of these fund man­agers and be able to sell their prod­ucts to in­vestors. That is some­thing that we are very keen to do be­cause we think it will also help the job sit­u­a­tion in Nigeria. It is some­thing that will take us time to be able to do be­cause it is not just within our own hands in that re­spect.

Are there any in­cen­tives for women?

Your choice to par­tic­i­pate in CIS is an in­di­vid­ual choice so you don’t need to cre­ate in­cen­tives for one group to par­tic­i­pate ver­sus the other group. I want men and women to in­vest in mu­tual funds; I don’t think we should do one thing in favour of the other. And then un­like some of the gen­der bi­ases we have in other ar­eas, there are no gen­der bi­ases in terms of how you par­tic­i­pate. It is un­like when you want to get bank loan where there are gen­der bi­ases. If I bring my money for you to take and in­vest and you are a fund man­ager will you say you won’t take it be­cause I’m a woman? You also will not say you won’t take it be­cause I am a man. There is no gen­der bias; at SEC what we are in­ter­ested in is that where there is a gen­der bias, we want to en­sure that those bi­ases are re­moved. But we want men and women to have equal op­por­tu­ni­ties.

I think that we have had a cul­ture in Nigeria of div­i­dend pay­ment. I’m glad that our mar­ket is evolv­ing, where people will want to in­vest be­cause of the growth story of a com­pany, you will in­vest be­cause you ex­pect that this com­pany will grow in the fu­ture and you will ben­e­fit from it. You will also in­vest be­cause you are older, you have re­tired and you want to get some div­i­dends. What the Stock Ex­change is do­ing is en­abling us to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween those kinds of com­pa­nies. The fact that you don’t pay div­i­dend in a par­tic­u­lar year is not a bad thing.

Ms. Arunma Oteh

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