The Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy has said it intends to collaborate with Nigerian Exchange Limited to stimulate startup listings with the newly-created NGX Technology Board.
In a statement issued on Friday by the NGX, it was revealed that the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, stated this during a tech event themed; Invest in Africa’s Future- Let’s talk about exits- a joint initiative of the Ministry, NGX, and Future Africa in New York.
Tijani noted that Nigeria had been grappling with over dependence on oil in the last few years. He added that diversifying from reliance on a single sector like the oil industry often requires increasing productivity in other sectors and for him, this can be achieved through the application of technology and innovation.
Highlighting his goals, Tijani said the ministry will work on creating a regulatory environment for fintechs, access to funding especially from angel investors, improve digital infrastructure, facilitate the export of tech products and services and collaborate with NGX on tailored listing options for startups via its Technology Board.
The Minister said, “We cannot do all of these as a country if we do not prioritise innovation and encourage entrepreneurs to build. Nigeria is now open to investments. We want to prioritise the ability of our technology companies to export products and we are targeting Africa first and then eventually start selling to the rest of the world.”
At the same event, the Chief Executive Officer, NGX, Temi Popoola, stated that the exchange will work to support the agenda of the minister and the mandate of President Bola Tinubu. Whilst stating that technology is a big enabler of the capital market, Popoola said that NGX is keen on fostering innovation in the capital market, potentially to attract a larger pool of investors and mature tech companies to list on its platform.
Explaining the challenges around listings, he stated that the demand for private capital currently outweighs public capital. Popoola revealed that the NGX is in discussions with Securities and Exchange Commission on private markets to enable the exchange do business with non-listed companies like startups.
“We will continue to do a lot of work that makes us able to attract local capital and the day tech startups come to the exchange, we are confident that there would be very good audience of investors that would want to own a bit of their shares. This is what we at NGX are doing by removing all barriers for that to happen,” the CEO said.