FG to develop policies to stimulate investment in Nigeria
By Michael Eboh
Nigeria’s federal government has said it plans to develop policies and programs to boost investment in the country and in the capital market in particular over the next two years.
Speaking at the commemoration of 50 years of trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos on Monday, the President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, revealed that the federal government is committed to introducing measures that will help deepen the country’s capital market, repositioning the economy as a major player in the global economic landscape.
He expressed confidence in the phenomenal growth of the market over the next two years, a development which he believes will help spur economic growth and development.
He said, âWe will pursue specific policies and programs to transform the investment climate in the country, bringing about the growth of Nigeria in the climate of the global economy.
âWe are committed to vigorously pursuing good policies that will impact on appropriate economic planning and help transform the business environment, placing the economy in a strategic position in the global economy.
“I want to assure everyone that Nigeria will remain open for business for the next four years, the next 10 years and the next 50 years.”
Earlier in his welcome speech, the Acting Chairman of the NSE Board, Mallam Ballama Manu lamented the inability of the capital market to function as a barometer of the economy, unlike other countries, a development that ‘he attributed to the absence of key sectors of the economy from the capital market.
According to him, it is obvious to the local and international investing public that two of the main sectors of the Nigerian economy; Telecommunications and the upstream oil and gas sectors are excluded from the market.
This, he said, runs counter to the fact that the majority of multinational companies in these sectors are publicly traded in their home countries, generating significant opportunities for wealth and growth for their local economies. .
âThe disconnect between these sectors of the economy and those traded on the stock exchange makes international investors uncertain about investing in our stock exchange. Although international telecommunications companies have local partners, the vast majority of Nigerian investors have not benefited from the huge profits made by these companies, âhe said.
Speaking further, Manu said, âWe are not advocating retroactive legislation to force telecom operators to register, rather we are calling for a targeted policy from the federal government to encourage telecom operators to list a percentage of their shares on the local market.
âFor IOCs active in the Nigerian upstream oil and gas sectors, we appreciate the reality of their current operational structure which prevents them from listing. Our hope is that as soon as the constraints of the operating structure are removed and the joint ventures are finally formed, the government will encourage successor companies to enter the local market. “
Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola reiterated his administration’s commitment to provide the necessary infrastructure for state enterprises to thrive, thus having an indirect impact on the capital.
According to him, the expansion of the capital market will ultimately depend on the capacity of the companies listed there, while the success of companies will depend on the infrastructure available to support their activities.
Other dignitaries present at the event include: Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido, Managing Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Senator Udo Udoma, Managing Director of the SEC , Ms. Arunma Oteh, among others. .