By Chinwendu Obienyi
The Federal Government has been urged to focus on raising bonds from the capital market to finance revenue generating projects while working to reduce balance sheet borrowing.
These among others were part of the resolutions reached at the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC)’s yearly Budget Seminar with the theme “Financing Nigeria’s Budget and Infrastructure Deficits through the Capital Market” held virtually on Thursday.
Participants at the seminar agreed that the government remains an enabler to creating the conducive enabling environment for policies, security and good leadership that will ultimately support business growth and development.
They urged the Federal Government to prioritise funding of sectors such as security, education and health while creating an enabling environment for the private sector to fund sectors like power, transportation and telecommunications that have revenue generating potential.
The budget seminar participants also agreed on the need to develop an investment framework including an enabling legal and regulatory environment which represents contracts and compensates investors when necessary. This, they posited would ensure that there is a viable and attractive investment environment to attract and retain investors in Nigeria’s capital market.
Speaking at the seminar, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the capital market is very key to the development of the Nigerian economy as past experiences have shown that the capital market has been quite supportive in providing the necessary funds needed to finance government’s needs.
Ahmed said the capital market serves as an important channel through which government budget deficits and the economic infrastructure deficits can be financed and government is committed to introducing more of these instruments in partnership with the capital market to finance projects for economic growth. Describing the theme as apt, Ahmed said, Nigeria needs to spend and spend now more on infrastructure and other capital projects, adding that the need was further underscored by the current global pandemic with its attendant negative effects on daily economic and social activities.