The application portal for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) regulatory incubation (RI) program has been made available to fintech companies already operating in or aspiring to operate in the Nigerian capital market.
The portal launches on April 28, 2023, and close on May 26, 2023, according to a recently published circular from the commission.
Applicants should be registered capital market operators or unregistered fintech innovators who require regulation, according to the SEC.
The decision to launch a portal, according to SEC, was made in response to a 2021 circular in which it announced the impending roll-out of the RI program for fintech already operating in or attempting to operate in the Nigerian capital market.
“Please refer to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) circular of June 2021 announcing its regulatory incubation (RI) program for fintech firms operating or seeking to operate in the Nigerian capital market,” the circular reads.
“This is to inform you that the portal for submitting applications is now ready to receive applications from cohort 001/23, from 28/04/2023 to 26/05/2023. Cohorts will be announced at specific times.”
The circular identified suitable applicants to be “registered capital market operators, unregistered fintech innovators that require regulation, firms of all sizes, and firms that want to enhance investor participation in the Nigerian capital market”.
The commission noted that companies that are interested in applying and participating in the RI program must demonstrate they meet the five eligibility criteria.
According to the organization, applicants must show that their innovation is for application in the Nigeria capital market, safe for investors, introduces a new product/process to serve specific investor needs, able to solve existing compliance or supervisory issues (optional), and ready for testing.
“Please provide as much information as possible about how you meet these criteria when submitting your application. If you are looking to test your proposition, you may apply for an engagement session,” SEC said.
The commission further revealed that fintech in the areas of crowdfunding, robo advisory/digital investment advisory, and sub-broker serving multiple brokers using a digital platform, are urged not to apply, citing that there are existing “regulations for them”.
“The regulatory incubation (RI) program is designed to address the needs of new business models and processes that require regulatory authorization to continue carrying out full or ancillary technology-driven capital market activities,” the commission said.