By Chinwendu Obienyi
One of the many ways in which the capital market can be a catalyst for economic development and sustainable growth is for stockbrokers to continue strong and effective collaborations with the Federal Government in enacting policies which will aid the improvement in the nation’s infrastructural deficit.
This were the remarks of Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and the Chairman of House Committee on Capital Market, Ibrahim Babaginda, and other market stakeholders that graced the opening ceremony of the 25th Annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) which held in Lagos recently.
In his opening remark, Obaseki, while noting that the capital market is the barometer with which to measure the economy, said countries like the U.S, Canada and Japan have well developed capital markets which have significantly contributed to their various economies, while Nigeria or most emerging countries have not efficiently done that. While pointing out that Nigeria’s economic indices are quite weak, Obaseki noted that Nigeria would require over N357 trillion in the next five years to fund its development and, at least, 70 per cent of this funding will have to come from the private sector which means that the capital market will be largely responsible for large percentage of this funding requirement.
He stated: “Currently, our economic indices are quite weak and we are really short on everything especially infrastructure. So when you look at our requirement as a country in terms of infrastructure, it stands at almost N350 trillion and I know that, as we speak, the development plan is in place and should be finalized very soon. It claims that Nigeria will require in excess of N357 trillion over the next five years to fund its development and, at least ,70 per cent of this funding will have to come from the private sector. And that means that the capital market will be largely responsible for large percentage of this funding requirement.
“We do not expect revenues to exceed N60-70 trillion and so that gap between what we will require have to be sourced from the local and international capital markets. If we do not do that, we will continue to be highly under-developed or the current insecurity issue will be exacerbated if we do not focus on the economy”.
According to him, there is a need for the stockbrokers to look at ways of promoting fiscal and monetary stability, work on policies with the government on improving the ease of doing business so that more incentives can be created for people to come and invest in the market, relax capital control measures and promote exchange rate uniformity.
“We see what is going on in the economy today and we see that there is lot of multiple exchange rates and we should not be having multiple exchange rates as this spells doom for capital inflows. We have to enact policies to develop our capital market and the issue around security for businesses has to be addressed and so these are things we need to work on to ensure people can come in and invest in our market which will be used to grow our economy”, the governor added.
Also speaking, Ibrahim Babaginda, said the theme of the event, Capital Market as a Catalyst for Economic Development and Sustainable Growth, was timely as it presented opportunities for stockbrokers to fashion out better ways to assist the government in reviving the ailing economy.
Babaginda said the CIS conference was coming at a time the parliament was embarking on legislative activities in the passing the 2022 Appropriation Bill submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari and urged the stockbrokers to employ their professionalism in collaborating with the legislature in the process.
“All what the people of Nigeria want to see is a revamped economy where there will be great inflow of investments by investors with resultant real and positive economic growth. Nigeria and indeed African countries know the critical role the CIS and indeed the capital markets can play in transforming our economy via making conscious efforts to urgently develop a world class capital market”.