For investors to take advantage of government’s incentives and improved business environment, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for availability of medium to long-term capital in the form of bonds, equity and loans.
The necessity for stable long term funds for the actualisation of the vision of economic growth and development he said, places the capital market in a unique and strategic position for which it must be prepared.
Osinbajo stated this at the second capital market stakeholders’ forum held by the national assembly with the theme:“Capital Market as a Catalyst for Growth and Development,” in Abuja, yesterday.
Represented by director-general, Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms. Patience Oniha, he said the present administration introduced a number of strategies and policies which contributed to the exit from recession and remains committed to their continued implementation 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, acting director-general Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Mary Uduk, said the forum and its theme were very relevant and timely, given the pressing needs to grow the economy and also achieve sustainable development.
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.
According to her, 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,” he said.
The acting DG said there were many capital market instruments that could be used to stimulate economic development in Nigeria like bonds, equities and commodities, saying that the Nigerian capital market has actually been serving as a catalyst for economic growth and development.
She however, said some potentials were still untapped, pointing out that one major initiative to tap this potential 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 said some of these initiatives include the e-Dividend payment, Direct Cash Settlement, Dematerialization, Financial Literacy, Non-interest Capital Market, Complaints Management Framework, Liquidity Enhancement and Equity Listing Enhancement.
Speaking through his representative and deputy House Whip, Pally Iriase, Speaker Yakubu Dogara reiterated the commitment of the 8th Assembly towards the growth and development of the capital market.
He disclosed further that the National Assembly has so far delivered some of the legislative actions enunciated in the communique issued at the maiden capital market stakeholders’ forum held in June, 2016.
He said: “It is instructive to note that the National Assembly has recorded relevant milestones that is expected to drive the operations of Nigeria’s capital market.
“These include: passage of demutualisation bill, ongoing amendment of CAMA Act, public hearing held on the amendment of relevant sections of Investment and Securities Act, 2007; review of the warehouse receipts and other related bills; arbitration and conciliation bill; ports and harbour bill; Nigerian Roads Fund bill; CISI bill; Railway bill; legislative intervention through public hearings on ‘downward tree of the capital market’, bonds, securities and private placement and other related bill are at advanced stages of legislative action.
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