NGX Eyes $1bn Tech Market, To Launch Specialised Board For Listing

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The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) says it is planning to launch a specialised trading platform for the tech industry to strengthen the diversity of the capital market.

The exchange said the proposed platform — NGX technology board — will encourage more tech listings and contribute substantially to the proliferation of opportunities for African technology firms.

This was disclosed at the NGX technology board webinar held on Thursday.

The virtual event had astute professionals in both the public and private sectors deliberate on the theme ‘enabling the next wave of growth for technology companies in Africa’, even as they expressed optimism about the proposed project.

Speaking in his opening remarks, Abubakar Mahmoud, chairman of NGX, represented by Angela Adebayo, NGX board member; said Nigeria is home to several unicorns like Flutterwave, Andela, Jumia, OPay which have valuations surpassing US$1 billion.

He said, NGX, as a sustainable exchange championing Africa’s growth, is positioned to support the growth of the next wave of technology companies.

NGX Eyes $1bn Tech Market, To Launch Specialised Board For Listing

“It (NGX) is stimulating the capital market, providing a tailored platform for tech companies in Nigeria and wider Africa to access growth capital whilst providing exit opportunities for all investors.

The next wave of growth for home-bred technology companies needs to be anchored on sustainability, agility, collaboration and digital innovation and these are elements that NGX represents,” Mahmoud said.

Speaking on the proposed NGX technology board, Temi Popoola, chief executive officer, NGX, said the exchange, in conjunction with other major stakeholders including SEC, CBN, Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) and pension fund operations association of Nigeria (PenOp) are working tirelessly to launch and on-board a new asset class.

“The specialised technology board aims to encourage the listing of companies in the technology space, provide increased transparency, and visibility on foreign investment activities in tech companies and local tech startups,” he explained.

Also addressing guests at the event, Lamido Yuguda, director-general, Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), said with the several developments recorded in the technology space, Africa remains a continent with the highest potential when it comes to tech and innovations.

Yuguda, represented by Dayo Obisan, executive commissioner of operations, SEC, noted that Africa’s ability to determine its future digitally must be accelerated by strengthening its technological capabilities.

“Africa has the potential to grow into a technological giant with the right enablement and SEC will support laudable initiatives aimed at improving on the capacity of our market to develop a robust ecosystem for the Nigerian capital market,” he added.

Meanwhile, panellists agreed that the proposed launch of NGX technology board was timely as it addresses challenges start-ups face with funding and capital formation during their developmental stage.

Additionally, they noted that having major stakeholders like NGX, SEC and CBN champion the board would attract foreign investor participation, especially in terms of liquidity.

Speakers at the event include Oswald Osaretin Guobadia, senior special assistant to the president on digital transformation; Kendall Ananyi, chief executive officer, Tizeti; Onyebuchim Obiyemi, vice-president, Cardinalstone; Olu Akanmu, CEO, OPay; Timi Agama, managing director, Nigerian capital Market Institute; Demenongu J. Yanfa; head, financial markets support and development division, financial markets department, CBN; and many others.