Nigeria to spend $3.9 trn to meet infrastructure needs –Oteh

Director General of Securities and Ex­change Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh, has said that Nigeria’s infra­structure needs in the next 30 years will be worth over $3.9 trillion.

Speaking on the sidelines of the on going International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) an­nual meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Oteh said that the Af­rican Development Banks said in the next 10 years Nigeria’s infrastructure need would be about $350 billion.

She said that in view of the challenges governments are facing and with banking finance being short termed, in­cluding some of the more dif­ficult regulatory requirements that banks are facing, the alter­native was to basically struc­ture different kinds of vehicles that allow one to go to the capital market to raise money.

“So you can either have project finance where the spe­cific structure that is set up, where the flows that are re­ceived from that particular in­frastructure project are used to meet the obligations from that particular structure. So you can have securitisation, you can have project finance, you can have a variety of options which are available in the capital mar­ket” she said.

She however stated that just as SME finance needs patient capital, it also needs practitio­ners to match the requirement of certain investors with the different structures that infra­structure can provide saying that it can be structured such that people can have predict­able cash flow which is what some investors require.

This, The SEC boss said this can be structured such that peo­ple can match long term liabili­ties with long term assets. So it also gives an opportunity that other kinds of vehicles may not give you.

“The Securities and Ex­change Commission (SEC) Nigeria was established in 1979 as the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market. It is a Federal Government statu­tory body supervised by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

Its activities are currently governed by the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 2007. The SEC has the overiding mandate of investor protection, ensuring orderly and equitable dealings in securities, develop­ing the market and shielding it from all forms of abuses.

In regulating the market, the Commission undertakes the following activities meant to protect investors, market oper­ators and ensure market integ­rity: Registration of securities and market intermediaries to ensure that only fit and proper persons/institutions are al­lowed to operate in the market; Surveillance over exchanges / capital trade points / trading systems to forestall breaches of market rules as well as deter and detect unfair manipula­tions and practices which may cause market disruption and; Investigate alleged breaches of the laws and regulations governing the capital market and enforce sanctions where appropriate” she said.

On Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Oteh proffered reasons why coun­tries should focus more on Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs), saying that it is a sure way to create jobs and improve the standards of living of their citizens.

According to her, SMEs are vehicles for wealth creation which could in turn improve the economies of many coun­tries.

“I think first and foremost is the recognition globally about the importance of SMEs be­cause they are the ones who create jobs.

Source : SunOnline

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