Capital Market Operators Want FG To Increase Investment In Infrastructure

The Nigerian capital market operators have urged the Federal Government to improve the economy by increasing its in investment in infrastructure.

The operators, who made the appeal on Monday in Lagos, also urged the government to ensure the sustenance of the infrastructure.

The operators comprise the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria (AIHN) and the Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON).

According to the group, their appeal became imperative following the under utilisation of the nation’s bourse for funding of government’s development programmes.

The Chairman of AIHN, Mr Victor Ogiemwonyi, said that contrary to opinions, the capital market remained critical in the management of fiscal and monetary policies of government.

He said the sustained pegging of the monetary policy rate (MPC) at 13 per cent and savings rate of three per cent remained a great disincentive to lending and economic growth.

“With the current monetary regime, most banks prefer to deposit their funds with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to earn assured returns than lending it to the challenged real sector,’’ he said.

Ogiemwonyi also commended government for devaluing the Naira to mitigate the effects of national economic challenges and make Nigeria to remain competitive in the global arena.

“We as a group support devaluation of the Naira but we feel that recent devaluation was not deep enough to allow the currency find its true value globally.

“We will support devaluation to N200 to one dollar compared with the current N168.

“We are not averse to devaluation of the Naira because of its benefits to the economy.

“Devaluation should not be in bits but in quantum that will be meaningful to the long term development of the economy,’’ he said.

For CIS President, Mr Albert Okumgba, there should be consolidated effort by government to maximise the benefits of privatising state-owned companies, especially in the power sector.

He said the recent unbundling of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and the needed huge capital involved made it imperative for government to float 20 per cent of its holding at the NSE.

Okumgba said that the challenges and the dynamics of the global economy showed that the new investors would benefit more by listing their companies at the nation’s bourse.

He said that stakeholders would aggressively mobilise to seek review of subsisting laws and make it mandatory for government to compare new investors of privatised entities to be quoted on the NSE.

Also speaking, ASHON Chairman Mr Emeka Madubuike said the collaboration between the operators would focus on how to utilise the potential of local institutional investors like Pension Fund Administrators, banks and insurance companies.

Madubauke also said that their primary aim of converging remained the restoration of local investors’ confidence in the market through the collective investment scheme.

“Our overall objective is to make the Nigerian investing public the engine of growth of an all inclusive domestic economy.

“We also pledge to assist the government in the mobilisation of local savings and the creation of wealth through the capital market,” Madubuike said. (NAN)

 

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