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Stakeholders in the Nigerian capital market have urged the federal government to concentrate more on policies that would improve living standards of the people.

Speaking at the 22nd Annual Conference of Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) in Lagos, at the weekend, they noted that all over the world, critical infrastructure that spur productions were being financed by private sectors.

According to them, Nigeria was projected to be the third most populous country on earth with over 500 million people by 2050. Nigeria’s population growth is relentless and empowering that population requires huge investment.

They also stated that private intervention from institutional and development capital utilising through capital market can be used to address the massive infrastructure deficit of the country.

The president and chairman of CIS, Mr. Adedapo Adekoje, said that this year’s theme of the conference is ‘The Nigerian Economy and Capital Market: Exploring the next Frontier for Growth’ is very important as the country prepares for another national election which would usher in a new term of office for elected office holders as there was the need to talk about the critical next steps for the Nigerian economy.

The chief executive officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. John Chukwu, said, “There is need for government to put less involvement in the financing of key infrastructure and allow the private sector to mobilise capital for these key infrastructure that will drive production and generate employment. Government should concern itself in policy formulation and implementation of programmes that will transform the living standard of the people.”

Corroborating, the chairman, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Chief Patrick Ezeagu, said that government has no business being in business.

According to him, the provision of infrastructure was key, but the financing should be driven by the private sector.

There should be Public Private Partnership (PPP) in this key infrastructure so that government can pay more attention to the provision of enabling environment that would strive investment and production.

Ezeagu urged the government to pay attention to policies that would transform the economy faster, saying that “imagine a key government agency, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) without substantive director-general and board. How can the foreign investors take the capital market serious?”

Also, the chief executive officer of Chapel Hill Denham, Mr. Bolaji Balogun, stated that the huge interconnectivity between key issues that need addressing in Nigeria and all the solutions were in the capital market, saying that Nigeria has several opportunities to use the markets to achieve all of its key objectives and lift its economy.

He added that capital market can finance Nigeria’s infrastructure, housing, create jobs and alleviate poverty, stating that the market reward those who use them effectively and those who recognise its power end up as winners.

Statistician-General of the Federation/CEO of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr. Yemi Kale, called more efficient capital market policies, saying that there should be encouragement of stock market participation, enabling environment and corporate governance oversight of listed companies.

On the fiscal policy, Kale said that incentives for broader participation in stock markets, incentives local investors’ participation and development of local institutional investors like insurance, asset management, private equity and venture capital (PE & VC) funds.

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