The Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers on Friday decried the low level of domestic investors’ patronage in the capital market and urged government at all levels to prioritise capital market development.
Adekoje Adedapo, the CIS President, made the appeal at the 2018 SEC Journalist Academy in Uyo with the theme: “The capital market Masterplan: The Journey so far”.
Adedapo said that domestic investors’ participation in the capital market was very low as less than five per cent of the country’s population were involved as investors.
He said that less than one per cent of registered companies with the Corporate Affairs Commission were listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange.
He said: “The truth is that we are not yet where we are supposed to be.
“In fact, we still have a very long way to go in bringing the Nigerian capital market to a level where it will truly galvanise the leap of the Nigerian economy to ‘developed’ status.”
Adedapo said that if local investors’ participation in the nation’s capital market was increased by 20 per cent in the next five years, there would be a massive growth in the capital market and in infrastructure.
He attributed the low investors’ patronage of the market to lack of awareness on the benefits of the market.
Adedapo stressed the need for government at all levels to accord capital market development the needed priority, while stockbrokers must be involved in the nation’s policy formulation.
He said: “Nigeria, as the globally acknowledged “giant of Africa” has huge responsibilities to its people and the African continent.
“Our continuous appellation as a “less developed country” is both an aberration and an embarrassment to Nigerians and Africans alike.
“The government at all levels in the country must begin to give capital market development priority attention in its scheme of things.
“We need a lot of financial literacy programmes to bring the market at par with other emerging economics.
“Let’s join hands with the regulators and operators to spread the gospel of the capital market.
“Let us take critical steps within our jurisdiction to enhance the impact of our market in our immediate environment for the market to function optimally.
“I believe that there is a role that each and every one of us need to play to develop the market.”
Adedapo advised government to explore opportunities in the capital market to access cheaper funds to finance massive projects.
Speaking on the topic: “Evolution of the Nigerian Capital Market”.
Adedapo said that stockbrokers must be involved in the entire government budget process and in major policy drafting within and internationally.
He added: “It is in the interest of the country that Stockbrokers be involved in government delegations to major international economic and financial conferences.”