By Itohan Abara-Laserian
Lagos, Oct. 27, 2020 The World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), NASDAQ and other financial market ecosystem players, are to prioritise Nigeria’s financial market toward economic development.
Mr Olatunde Amolegbe, President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos.
Amolegbe said it had become pertinent to appraise the Nigerian financial market, as it steered the economic development at the 2020 Stockbrokers’ Conference.
He said that the conference tagged: “Navigating Through the Storms – Reenergising the Economy Through the Capital Market”, would hold on Nov. 4 and Nov. 5.
Amolegbe said that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had aggravated Nigeria’s fragile economy.
“The sharp drop in government revenue has made it more difficult for it to weather the crisis.
“This has resulted in decline in consumption, aggregate demand, investment, net export and increasing government spending.
“The Federal Government had to review the budget downwards to N10.8 trillion.
“The trend informed our focus on how the Nigerian capital market can assist, to bridge the infrastructure deficit and funding gap in the country.
“We believe that even the 29 per cent allocation to capital expenditure of about N3.4 trillion, is not sufficient to bridge the gap, given the neglect in the past, compared to about 14 billion dollars annual requirement.
“So, the capital market via the private sector, can provide this support,” Amolegbe said.
According to him, our overriding objective for the conference is to provide direction for both fiscal and monetary authorities, to deploy expansionary policies for sustainable growth and development.
“Capital market provides a better funding options in terms of cost and tenor, relative to bank loans.
“Our panellists shall also examine investment options for diversification of portfolios across asset classes and beyond the traditional asset classes.
“We plan to examine how the proposed CAMA 2020 will benefit the capital market, as well as provide context on how the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s demutualisation shall benefit the capital market stakeholders,” he said.
Amolegbe said that the Federal and State Governments had several times raised capital through the market, to fund developmental projects.
He said: “Recently, the Federal Government raised N200 billion through its Sukuk 1 and 11 to fund over 26 roads across the six geopolitical zones in the country.
“Nigeria, the largest country in Africa by population, is battling with myriads of economic challenges.
“Its ability to realise optimal economic potential is constrained by structural issues, including inadequate infrastructure, limited foreign exchange capacity, trade barriers, growing unemployment, investor apathy, spiralling inflation and other macroeconomic vagaries.”
The institute president said that said that Mr Nandini Sukumar, Chief Executive Officer of WEF, would lead discussion on “The Nigerian Stock Exchange’s Demutualisation: Demystifying The Big Picture”.
He said Mr Adena Friedman of NASDAQ and Mr Robin Tucker, Head Solution Delivery Core Assets, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, are among the discussants.
According to him, other key discussants are Mr Oscar Onyema, NSE Chief Executive Officer, and Mr Olutola Mobolurin, Chairman, Capital Bancorp Plc.