Buhari Applauds Stock Exchange for Stimulating Economic Growth

May 19, 2021
Buhari stimulating economic growth

By Dipo Olowookere

The nation’s stock exchange, the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc, has been applauded by President Muhammadu Buhari for providing a platform that stimulates economic growth.

The President gave this commendation on Tuesday when he was hosted virtually by the NGX at the unveiling of its campaign called The Stock Africa Is Made Of.

Business Post reports that the event featured several key speeches and goodwill messages from industry veterans across the public and private sectors including the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo; the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda; the Chairman of Dangote Group, Mr Aliko Dangote; and the Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr Jim Ovia.

Others were the President of Toronto Raptors, Mr Masai Ujiri; the Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Tony Elumelu; the CEO of the London Stock Exchange, Mr David Swchimmer; the CEO of Luxembourg Stock Exchange, Ms Julie Becker; the Chairman of Global Reporting Initiative, Mr Eric Hespenheide; and the Deputy British High Commission Lagos, Mr Ben Llewellyn-Jones.

In his speech, President Buhari, prior to sounding the closing gong and bringing the day’s trading to a close, stated that, “It is my pleasure to join you all at this important event organised to amplify the positive narrative about Africa and its great potentials.

“Let me start by congratulating Nigerian Exchange Group Plc on its recently concluded demutualisation, which is the first in the country.

“I recall signing the Demutualisation Bill in August 2018, paving the way for the long-awaited demutualisation of the then Nigerian Stock Exchange.”

“It is also important for me to highlight that the history of NGX Group is tied to that of the nation itself founded 61 years ago at a pivotal time when Nigeria gained her independence.

“The exchange continues to play its part in nation building by stimulating economic growth and providing a platform for businesses and individual to save and raise capital through innovation, diversified products and services, enabling regulatory environment and much more.

“The occasion of the demutualisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange is yet a proud moment for all of us, and indeed all Nigerians deserve congratulations for this feat as it is the beginning of a new era for the capital market,” Mr Buhari added.

In his remarks, the Chairman of NGX Group Plc, Mr Abimbola Ogunbanjo, said, “The exchange has come a long way, through different leadership regimes – civilian and military – that have overseen multiple booms and bust economic dispensations within the Nigerian economy, to emerge as a leading integrated market infrastructure in Africa and the engine of growth for Africa’s largest economy.

“Our story is one birthed from resilience, collaboration, determination and continued focus on our vision; a true Africa story. With demutualisation, NGX Group is well-positioned to enable strong economic growth and contribute its quota to the development of the Nigerian capital market and the African continent.”

On his part, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NGX Group Plc, Mr Oscar Onyema, noted that, “At Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, we have the vision to be the premier exchange hub for Nigerian businesses and for the wider African economy building on the strong reputation and corporate governance the NSE has established over the years.

“As we march bravely into the NGX era, we look forward to impacting creating partnerships that will unlock value for our stakeholders, whilst improving the state of the Nigerian economy. It is a period to reinforce on the global stage, our great African pedigree and the Stock Africa Is Made of.”

The unveiling event culminated in a closing gong ceremony where the CEO of the NGX Limited, Mr Temi Popoola, stated, “I am delighted to have hosted President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Today’s epochal closing gong ceremony could not have been possible without Mr President’s support. The NGX era is indeed very exciting for us and we will continue to champion the growth of the African capital market through trade and investments that will facilitate Africa’s economic recovery and reposition the continent for sustainable economic development.

“Partnerships are a critical element of our strategy and we will continue to engage our stakeholders whose support is essential to the achievement of our aspirations in this NGX era.”

In her closing remarks, the CEO of NGX Regulation Limited, Ms Tinuade Awe, stated, “My deepest gratitude goes to President Buhari for gracing us with his presence and honouring our invitation to close the market on the official launch day of the NGX era. This has truly been an inspiring event and we have our amazing line-up of speakers to thank for that.

“I must also thank our regulators, the entire capital market ecosystem and the management and staff of NGX Group for the hard work and diligence that has set us firmly on the path of success.

“It has been an exciting journey to date, and I am confident that we will all work well together to achieve even greater heights in the NGX era.”

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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