BusinessDay

Osinbajo, others see higher prospects for capital market growth

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says an innovative capital market will help reverse trend of declining initial public offers (IPOs) while also positioning the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) for global competiveness.

The vice president’s views align with those of Muhammadu Sanusi, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who believes that an innovative capital market can be more efficient in mobilising capital flows to critical sectors of the economy.

The duo, alongside other critical stakeholders, spoke on Tuesday at the inaugural NGX Capital Markets Conference held in Abuja. At the conference with the theme “The Future Ready Capital Market: Innovating for Nigeria’s Sustainable Recovery”, they reaffirmed that the Nigerian capital market has prospects that must be leveraged to grow the nation’s economy.

As a hybrid event (physical and virtual), the conference brought together policymakers, government, financial experts, business leaders, investors, international development partners, regulators, and other market stakeholders, to share insights and broaden the thinking needed for greater capital flows through innovative sources of financing.

Osinbajo said an innovative capital would position the Exchange for global competiveness, stressing the need for Nigeria to decisively deal with barriers to entry into the market.

Read Also: NGX hosts 9th Nigerian capital market information security forum

“We must commend the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for steady regulatory oversight of the market. We must work to ensure that when policy may be involved, we must encourage and not to hamper these companies coming into the market.”

The VP noted that the NNPC should make good its promise to get listed, adding “we certainly look forward to it fulfilling the listing promise”.

“The capital market undoubtedly has a key role in mobilising needed resources to critical sectors of the economy,” the VP noted. To re-usher in foreign portfolio investment into the country, he noted that government must work with the NGX to ensure that the foreign investors return, adding that Nigeria has an important need to advance the nation’s capital market like never before.

Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, during the plenary session on “driving government’s economic growth plans through the capital market,” noted that using a digital platform will encourage more participation in the capital market.

Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker, House of Representatives said at the conference that the capital market was the lifeline of commerce, pointing out that the government has the responsibility of ensuring the free flow of capital. “The capital market is critical to accelerating growth to reduce poverty.”

Lamido Yuguda, the director-general of SEC noted that Nigeria, like other countries across the globe, experiences weak growth, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that “innovation plays a critical role in the development of the capital market”. He noted that SEC has strengthened its market regulations to mitigate some of the risks emanating from market innovations.

Ibikunle Amosun, chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market, who represented the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan said “A country with a robust capital market will be economically productive. The future-ready capital market represents the market of our dreams. I’m confident that the outcome of this conference will be useful for the development of the capital market and the nation.”

Muhammadu Sanusi II 14th Emir of Kano said at the conference that deeper and more efficient capital market can be more efficient in mobilising capital flows to critical sectors of the economy. “An effective capital market cannot be overemphasised, he added.

The conference focused on three main points: driving capital market recovery through policy advocacy; driving government’s economic growth plans using the capital market; the role of the private sector in growing the capital market.

Karl Toriola, CEO, MTN Nigeria told the participants that the leading Telco has since inception been creating value for shareholders by paying about N2.3 trillion as dividend. He noted that MTN which is currently in the market for share sale has also paid about N2.9 trillion in taxes and levies while its capital investment in Nigeria is in excess of N3.2 trillion.

Also speaking, Abdul Samad Rabiu, chairman BUA Group noted the need for increased collaboration between all stakeholders in the market.

Temi Popoola, chief executive officer, Nigerian Exchange (NGX) said: “We are confident that this conference will inspire capital market players to champion innovation and transformation in the capital market, sustain policy advocacy to build a vibrant capital market and pursue emerging technologies and digital innovations to deepen retail investment and domestic participation in the capital market, with NGX at the forefront.

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