Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said that for investors to take advantage of government’s incentives and improved business environment, there was the need for medium to long-term capital in the form of bonds, equity and loans in the country.
The Vic President made this remark today while speaking in Abuja at the 2nd Capital Market Stakeholders’ Forum organised by Senate and House of Representatives Committees on capital market and institutions in collaboration with Securities and Exchange Commission and other stakeholders.
According to him, the necessity for stable long-term funds for the actualisation of the vision of economic growth and development places the capital market in a unique and strategic position for which it must be prepared to deliver.
Represented by Patience Oniha, Director General, Debt Management Office (DMO), Osinbajo specifically assured the international community and investors of the present administration’s commitment towards continued implementation of strategies and policies critical to the nation’s economic development.
He pointed out that the present administration introduced a number of strategies and policies, which contributed to the nation’s exit from recession and remained committed to the continued implementation of such policies in order to achieve economic development.
Osinbajo therefore expressed the urgent need for the nation to sustain its present growth and also ensure that the growth translates to development with positive impact on the lives of Nigerians.
In her keynote address, Mary Uduk, the acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said the forum and its theme were relevant and timely, given the pressing needs to grow the economy.
Uduk emphasised that there was no doubt that the capital market can serve as a key catalyst for Nigeria’s economic growth and development, as it offers a credible platform for obtaining long-term financing.
She explained: “Economic growth can be seen as increase in the production of goods and services in a country, often measured by changes in real gross domestic product (GDP).
“However, the concept of economic development is larger as it includes improvement in the quality of life and living standards of the citizens. These include improvements in literacy, health and life expectancy, better savings- investment culture as well as improved wealth distribution, housing and environment”, the SEC boss added.
Uduk pointed out that there were many capital market instruments that can be used to stimulate economic development in Nigeria like bonds, equities and commodities.
While saying that the Nigerian capital market has actually been serving as a catalyst for economic growth and development, Uduk however said some potential are still untapped.
One major initiative to tap this potential she said, was the development of a ten-year Capital Market Master Plan (CMMP) launched by the commission in 2014.
“The Plan has over 100 initiatives to spring–board the Nigerian capital market as one of the world’s deepest and most liquid as well as the largest in Africa by 2025. It is also aimed at ensuring that the market contributes much more to the socio- economic development of the nation, particularly in facilitating capital-raising for sustainable development and transformation of key sectors” Uduk said.
She listed some of the initiatives as including, the e-Dividend payment, direct cash settlement, dematerialization, financial literacy, Non-interest capital market, complaints management framework, liquidity enhancement and equity listing enhancement.
Uduk expressed delight that already each of these initiatives was contributing to the growth and development of the Nigerian capital market and by extension, the economy.