By OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos
The need for Nigeria to develop the capital market in a bid to accelerate economic growth and tackle the infrastructural challenges bedevilling the nation, has again been emphasised.
Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and other Institutions, Mr. Babangida Ibrahim stated this during a visit to the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange in Lagos, yesterday.
Ibrahim said the lawmakers decided to visit the Exchanges to familiarise with their workings in a bid to providing legislative support where necessary. The Chairman said capital markets broaden access to economic prosperity by enabling the emergence of financially responsible citizens, accelerating wealth creation and wealth distribution, providing capital to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), and catalysing housing finance.
The Lawmaker further stated that capital market is a critical sector that contributes to macro-economic and financial system stability by fostering the diversification of economies and raising their capacity to absorb volatile capital flows.
“Our purpose is to visit most of the exchanges and understand how they operate and see if there is any parliamentary intervention we can provide. The only way to save the economy is through capital market activities,” he stated.
On the issue of unclaimed dividends, Ibrahim said the National Assembly is committed to supporting investors in ensuring that they receive the benefit for investing in the capital market.
In his remarks, director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr Lamido Yuguda described the development of a vibrant and efficient commodities trading ecosystem as a major driver of economic growth and development, assuring that the regulator is committed to working with the Exchange to grow the commodities market.
According to him, this visit is a demonstration of the commitment both the legislative arm of government and the regulator have to the development of the capital market of which the commodities market is important.
“We are impressed with what we have seen here today. We have engaged them for the past one year and are aware they have been working hard to make this exchange successful.”
He said the SEC is willing to work with LCFE to develop all the rules needed to realise the potentials of the country in the area of commodities trading, adding that the responsibility of SEC is to ensure good market development, fair trading and investor protection.
Also, chairman of LCFE, Chief Onyenwechukwu Ezeagu said the need to fully realise the potential of the federal government’s drive towards the development of the agricultural and solid minerals sector and to tap the opportunities there of, brought about the initiative to establish a Commodities and Futures Exchange, which will be well positioned to support the Federal Government’s stride to create wealth and enhance flow of foreign currency.
Ezeagu said the Exchange will redefine practise standards of the Nigerian commodities ecosystem and give hope to producers of commodities who are constantly searching for ways to offload and improve on their commodities.