The Nigerian government plans to team up with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) to forge a synergy that will help draw start-ups to list on the bourse’s new technology board.
While the Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy will partner with the NGX to devise listing options for such companies to be quoted on the exchange, it will work on its own to create an investor-friendly regulatory environment for fintechs, Bosun Tijani, the minister overseeing the ministry said at a tech event in New York on Thursday.
The ministry aims to provide access to funding and angel investors, enhance digital infrastructure and ease the export of tech services.
“We cannot do all of this as a country if we do not prioritise innovation and encourage entrepreneurs to build,” the minister was quoted as saying in a statement by the NGX on Friday.
“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,” he added.
Jointly arranged by the ministry, Future Africa and the NGX, the conference was backed by CardinalStone Partners Limited, Stanbic IBTC and Chapel Hill Denham.
Mr Tijani is optimistic that improving productivity through increased application of technology and prioritisation of innovation is a key consideration for President Bola Tinubu’s administration as the government looks to wean the economy off its dependence on oil.
As the bourse struggles to attract traditional companies to list, it is betting on the tech board to help expand its scope of quoted companies and its market capitalisation as Africa’s second-biggest stock exchange.
That has prompted the management to soften listing rules like quarterly submission of financial reports and a track record of profitability for tech companies, unlike others who are bound to meet such conditions.
“We will continue to do a lot of work that makes us able to attract local capital and the day tech start-ups 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,” said NGX CEO Temi Popoola.
“This is what we at NGX are doing by removing all barriers for that to happen,” he added.
Nigerian tech start-ups attracted the most funding into the continent last year accounting for more than $976 million or 29.3 per cent of Africa’s total. In all, 180 businesses in the country raised that sum.
Listing on the tech board grants such companies access to additional capital from retail investors, institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals to scale their operations.
Flutterwave, the country’s biggest fintech valued at $3 billion, is looking to sell its shares to the public for the first, which will allow it to list on Nasdaq, a U.S. stock exchange dedicated to tech companies. The NGX Tech Board is modelled after Nasdaq.
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