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‘How government can attract more investment, boost capital market’

By Helen Oji
17 December 2019   |   3:03 am
For Nigeria’s capital market to witness sustainable growth, and become more attractive to investors, the federal government must create policies that would help stabilise the macroeconomic environment

For Nigeria’s capital market to witness sustainable growth, and become more attractive to investors, the federal government must create policies that would help stabilise the macroeconomic environment and promote favourable fiscal regime to achieve investment objectives.
   
Participants, who spoke at a seminar on infrastructure, in Lagos, recently argued that given the central role of investment in the Nigerian developmental process, steps must be taken to create a stable macroeconomic framework, ensure favourable fiscal regime, and develop human resources to enhance competitiveness and boost investment drive.
 
Speaking at a panellist session, the stakeholders linked the nation’s poor economic performance to failure on the part of the government to create a stable and favourable operating environment for businesses to thrive over the years.

   
According to them, the high inflationary rate on a year-on-year basis, among other ills have negatively impacted on the nation’s development and ability to compete favourably among peers in the global market.
   
Specifically, the Managing Director, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, Haruna Jalo-Waziri, represented by Head, Internal Control, CSCS, Mrs Isioma Lawal, noted that for the capital market to attract more investment, transparency, as well as accountability, is needed.
   
“The Federal Government needs to focus on things that reassure investors that before they take investment decisions, key determinants such as security of investment, corporate governance amongst other factors can be guaranteed,” he said.
   
He pointed out that investors cannot stake their fund in an environment where protection and safety are not guaranteed.
   
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Oscar Onyema, stressed the need to bridge current infrastructural gaps, noting that it will go a long way to attract more investment into the country, and ultimately boost the capital market.
   
He also stressed the need for market participants to continuously create a variety of products that would appeal to a different segment of investors.
   
Onyema, who was represented by the Divisional Head, Trading Business, NSE, Jude Chiemeka, therefore called on the government to sustain collaboration with the private sector, assuring that the Exchange will continue to create products that can finance infrastructure.
 
“Government must interface with the private sector, and create favourable policies and enabling environment for businesses. Government must also begin to adopt frameworks that would help attract foreign capital into the market.
   
“The capital market thus represents a platform to provide guarantee to these investors because the government cannot do it all alone. Government cannot fund the nation’s infrastructure deficit alone; they must seek partnership with the private sector.”
   
The Head, Debt Capital Markets, FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited, Oluseun Olatidoye, noted that infrastructure financing remains an unsolved puzzle, and urged the states government to prioritise funding for specific projects.
   
He said, “One of the challenges facing Nigeria is that we have so many programmes but we are not concentrating well enough on them. There is a need to focus funding on specific projects and provide some form of guarantee, that way; investments can flow into the economy.”