From Uche Usim, Abuja
Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has disclosed that the Federal Government was investing N100 billion to spark off growth in the mortgage market.
She said the government was working on infrastructure bond and family home fund as part of its spending to stimulate the economy into full recovery.
Speaking at the 2017 Annual National Workshop of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) in Abuja, she said government was equally working hard at ensuring that strong Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) were developed so that they could be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
She maintained that the government’s eurobond schemes of $1billion and $500million were tradeable on the floor of the NSE, even as she expressed joy that Nigerian stockbrokers remained vital distribution channels for the savings bond.
Adeosun urged stockbrokers to stop providing tax shelters for Nigerians, pointing out that tax abuse in the country was phenomenal.
She assured the gathering that government was committed to spending massively in infrastructure and power to galvanize the growth needed to move the nation out of recession.
The minister lamented that only 214 Nigerians based in Lagos paid N20 million tax annually out of a country of about 180 million people.
“This is completely unacceptable and that is why government launched the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) so that Nigerians can regularise their tax payments.
“We want to end tax abuse in our country. What is coming to the government is just too low and we are committed in changing this.
“I know it is uncomfortable paying the right tax but it is needed. It is a game changer for our country.
We are borrowing heavily to run the country. Imagine the type of Nigeria we will build if we all pay taxes correctly,” she said.
The CIS president, Oluwaseyi Abe, said Nigeria’s stock market All Share Index (ALSI) as at June 30, 2017, closed at 33,117.48 against 26,872.85 as at December 30, 2016, indicating a year to date appreciation of 23.24 per cent.
He added that the $1billion eurobond oversubscribed at an interest rate of 7.875 per cent offered at the international was an indicator of the strong appetite for Nigeria’s capital despite continued volatility in emerging and frontier markets.
He revealed that the CIS had since reviewed its curriculum for professional examination and established strategic alliances with some international professional bodies in its bid to produce experts that can cope with the dynamics of the global market.
“The council has endorsed a Stand-Alone-Certification Programme which would enable specialisation in equity dealing, fixed income (bond) dealing, share registration and custodianship, portfolio management and financial advisory. Prospective professionals would undergo certification processes,” he said.