The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has reassured international community and investors of Federal Government’s commitment to implement strategies and policies toward achieving economic development.
Osinbajo restated this at the 2nd Capital Market Stakeholders’ Forum in Abuja on Monday.
The forum was organised by the National Assembly Joint Committee on Capital Market and Institutions in collaboration with Securities and Exchange Commission and other stakeholders.
He said some of the initiatives to achieve economic development, including Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), unprecedented investments in capital projects in the past three years, tax incentives and Ease of Doing Business policy.
The vice president said that the strategies and policies were aimed at attracting investors into various sectors of Nigeria’s economy with the aim of growing and diversifying the economy, creating jobs and improving quality of life.
Represented by Ms Patience Oniha, Director-General, Debt Management Office, Osinbajo also underscored the importance of Nigeria’s capital market in the attainment of the objectives.
The financial markets, he said, were known to be engines of growth because of the strategic role they played in the flow of funds to businesses and governments.
“There is extensive literature that there is strong positive correlation between level of development of the financial system and economic development for the simple reason that financial markets act as intermediaries between lenders and borrowers.
“While this correlation is certainly the case for the advanced market economies, the same cannot be said for Nigerian capital market in areas of legislations, regulations, technology and bi-products, among others, which have attracted local and foreign investors.
“And, I would like to commend the regulators and operators alike for these achievements. There is, however, room for innovation, increased depth and efficiency of the capital market.
“This represents an opportuned time for these to begin to occur in anticipation of increased and more sophisticated demand for capital market products,” Osinbajo said.
He also tasked the stakeholders to come up with various innovations that would provide opportunities for small and medium scale businesses to access required funds for growth.
“While deliberating on big businesses, I hope that creative ways for enabling small and medium businesses to access capital will also be considered as they have a great potential for growth, job creation and effective source of local resources.”
Osinbajo also charged the private sector to take advantage of government incentives and improved business environment, given the large and diverse resource base of Nigeria.
He expressed optimism that with the forum, Nigeria’s capital market could become a reliable source of large pools of stable funds that could be readily assessed by local and international institutions seeking to do business in Nigeria.
In his remarks, Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, reiterated the commitment of the 8th Assembly to develop the capital market.
He said that the Assembly had so far delivered some of the legislative actions enunciated in the communique at the maiden capital market stakeholders’ forum held in June, 2016.
Dogara, represented by Rep. Palley Iriase, Deputy Chief Whip, said that it was instructive to note that the National Assembly had recorded relevant milestones that were expected to drive the operations of Nigeria’s capital market.
He said that the instruments were passage of Demutualisation Bill, ongoing amendment of CAMA Act and public hearing on the amendment of relevant sections of Investment and Securities Act, 2007.
Others were Review of the Warehouse Receipts and Other Related Bills, Arbitration and Conciliation Bill, Ports and Harbour Bill, Nigerian Roads Fund Bill, CISI Bill and Railway bill.
He said that they also included legislative intervention through public hearings on downward trend of the capital market, Bonds, Securities and Private Placement and Other Related Bill, which were at advanced stages of legislative action. (NAN)