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Nigeria Needs Capital Market that Broadens Access to Economic Prosperity—Minister

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By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has charged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to do more to deepen the country’s capital market so as to create wealth for citizens.

Speaking in Lagos on Thursday at the launch of the revised Capital Market Master Plan, she said, “Nigeria needs a capital market that broadens access to economic prosperity by enabling the emergence of financially responsible citizens, accelerating wealth creation and distribution, providing capital to small and medium scale enterprises, and catalysing housing finance.”

She noted that investor confidence remains one of the key ingredients that will accelerate the growth of the nation’s capital market and increase both domestic and foreign participation, assuring SEC of the continued support of the federal government to enable it effectively do its job of regulating and developing the ecosystem.

According to her, the capital market should be characterised by a high level of compliance with ethical standards, deep liquidity and sophistication, good corporate governance, and a strong domestic investor base.

“I consider the revised Capital Market Master Plan a veritable tool which the capital market must use as it drives key initiatives towards achieving the Country’s economic growth objectives,” the Minister, represented at the launch by the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms Patience Oniha, said.

Mrs Ahmed said the implementation of the master plan was one of the key initiatives in the 40- Deliverable Presidential mandate of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

This, the Minister said, underscores the fact that capital market growth resonates with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s unwavering commitment to deepening and re-positioning the financial market as a key anchor to achieving a private-sector-led development of our economy, as emphasised in the National Development Plan (NDP) objectives.

“This administration and, especially my office, has supported the Capital Market Master Plan implementation efforts since inception.

“The master plan, which represents collective aspirations of the capital market community, is focused on driving initiatives geared towards growing and deepening the market with the ultimate goal of accelerating the emergence of our country in the top 20 global economies by the year 2025,” she said.

The Finance Minister commended the SEC, CAMMIC and the capital market community for their laudable achievements, especially in the areas of dematerialization of share certificates, e-Dividend Mandate Management System, facilitation of access to alternative investments like SUKUK, enhancing the commodities trading ecosystem, national savings strategy, demutualization of the NSE, and the ongoing review of the ISA among others.

According to her, “I am also aware of ongoing efforts on other initiatives like the direct cash settlement, introduction of derivatives, financial literacy, enhancing market liquidity, incentives for listings, growth of collective investment schemes and leveraging fintech solutions in the capital market.

“I assure you of the government’s support in all these efforts, and I am confident in your ability to successfully drive these initiatives to fruition.

“As you chart the course for the next phase of the Capital Market Master Plan’s implementation, I assure you of the federal government’s support and look forward to working with you to realize the plan’s objectives” she stated.

In his remarks, the DG of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, stated that the master plan was designed to chart a strategic direction while providing clarity of vision and a robust road map required to facilitate innovation, investment, growth and expansion of empowering opportunities in Nigeria and beyond.

He said, “Our vision is to be Africa’s most modern, efficient, and internationally competitive market that catalyses Nigeria’s economic growth and development.

“We believe the plan provides a solid roadmap for achieving this vision as we collaborate with other stakeholders to effectively drive its implementation.”

Mr Yuguda stated that the main objective of the review was to produce an updated version of the document primarily to: engage stakeholders on the current level of market development and opportunities for further capital market growth, review and update the assumptions and vision of the Capital Market Master Plan (CMMP) and develop targets for the various thematic areas of the CMMP, and introduce a Strategy Map and KPIs for the CMMP and use the balanced scorecard approach for performance measurement.

Other objectives the DG said are to align existing initiatives with new ones based on targets and strategic objectives; develop an implementation plan for initiatives with clear milestones, deliverables, timelines, resource requirements, and dependencies; identify challenges, opportunities and risks associated with the CMMP implementation and recommend ways of effective and more efficient implementation; and identify and incorporate new product ideas and initiatives to deepen and grow the Capital Market.

The DG commended Mrs Ahmed for her unwavering support and commitment to the implementation of the master plan and the development of our capital market; the Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSDA) for their partnership and funding support in the review of the Capital Market Master Plan; Dr Andrew Nevin and his team at PwC for a comprehensive and professional revision of the master plan; and CAMMIC, and the entire capital market community for providing valuable insights during the review process.

Mr Victor Nkiri, representing FSDA, said that the Nigerian capital market had gained prominence among its peers, having increased in size, depth and sophistication in terms of diversified products adding that the capital market continues to play a key role in the economy.

He said the revised CMMP would provide a blueprint for Nigeria’s capital market to remain up to date with emerging trends and future realities, even as it continues to attract increased local and foreign investors’ participation.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the Capital Market Implementation Council, Prof. Kanyinsola Ajayi, said the vision to be Africa’s most modern, efficient, and internationally competitive market that catalyzes Nigeria’s economic growth and development is ambitious but achievable.

He said, “We will need to work together as a market, across the financial sector and with the Government to ensure we ease all bottlenecks and address policy gaps that will help unleash the power of the private sector to drive the market growth we all aspire for. We believe the Plan provides a solid roadmap for achieving this vision as we collaborate with all our stakeholders under the leadership of SEC.”

Represented by Dr Dotun Suleiman, Mr Ajayi said the revised master Plan has proposed changes to the implementation governance structure to make it more efficient, flexible and focused on providing positive for the market and all stakeholders. Consequently, I would like to implore the DG to ensure that this structure is fully implemented and manned as proposed.

Economy

I Fully Agree Oil Has Been a Curse to Nigeria—Moghalu

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By Aduragbemi Omiyale

A former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Kingsley Moghalu, has said oil has been a curse to Nigeria.

He said this in reaction to the discovery of oil in the northern part of the country.

On Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari flagged off the Kolmani Integrated Development Project in Bauchi, and he said the country attracted $3 billion investment in fossil energy from the project at a time when the oil and gas sector was becoming less attractive.

“It is, therefore, to the credit of this administration that at a time when there is near zero appetites for investment in fossil energy, coupled with the location challenges, we are able to attract investment of over $3 billion to this project,” Mr Buhari said.

The Kolmani Integrated Development Project is a fully integrated in-situ development project comprising upstream production, oil refining, power generation and fertilizer.

The Kolmani River field has huge commercial deposits of hydrocarbons, which the President said is “over one billion barrels of oil reserves and 500 billion cubic feet of gas.”

But Mr Moghalu, who contested to be the President of Nigeria in 2019 under the Young Progressives Party (YPP), believes that the country has not gained anything meaningful from being an oil-producing nation.

Nigeria is one of the leading producers of crude oil in Africa. Most of the foreign exchange (FX) earnings come from the sale of the commodity. However, oil theft and corruption have subjected its citizens to abject poverty, with the government resorting to borrowing to fund its budgets.

“I fully agree with those who say oil has been a curse to Nigeria. Many of them question the ultimate value of the reported Kolmani oil find in Northern Nigeria.

“But I am also practical enough to know three things. First, some countries like Saudi Arabia, Gulf States, and Norway were smart enough to use oil to build their economies but diversified into other means of wealth creation and also built-up savings (reserves/Sovereign Wealth Funds) for the rainy day that have served them well.

“Secondly, the real secret of the wealth of nations does NOT lie in natural resources. It lies in economic complexity – the ability to prioritize technological innovation and use it to manufacture complex products that are value-added and competitively produced and then exported to dominate the world trading system. Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Switzerland and many other of the world’s wealthiest countries have NOTHING of value under their soil but have used this principle to create wealth for their citizens. That’s why they are rich, but we in Nigeria and most other African countries, with our so-called blessing of natural resources, are in a poverty trap.

“We in fact have the resource curse. 70% of the world’s strategic minerals are in Africa, but the continent’s share of world trade is just 3% in 2022.

“The third thing I am practical enough to know is that, as Nigeria is currently led and configured, the dominant mentality of its political leadership is still fixated on natural resources and resource rents. They simply do not share in, & do not care, about the secret of the wealth of nations.

“Their minds still haven’t evolved to that knowledge or, more accurately, the political will to de-emphasize natural resource thinking and shift to real wealth creation,” the respected economist said in a series of tweets via his verified Twitter handle, @MoghaluKingsley.

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Economy

Index Rises 2.04% on Interest Airtel Africa, MTN Nigeria Shares

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NSE lists Airtel Africa Shares

By Dipo Olowookere

It was another positive outing for the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Friday as it closed higher by 2.04 per cent on the back of buying interest in Airtel Africa, MTN Nigeria and 16 others.

The sustained upward movement was buoyed yesterday by the 1.10 per cent growth posted by the insurance sector, the 0.26 per cent improvement in the industrial goods space, and the 0.25 per cent rise in the banking counter.

The trio offset the 2.37 per cent loss printed by the consumer goods counter, as the energy index closed flat when trading activities were brought to an end at 2:30 pm.

Consequently, the All-Share Index (ASI) closed higher by 949.40 points to 47,554.34 points from 46,604.94 points, as the market capitalisation grew by N517 billion to settle at N25.902 trillion compared with Thursday’s closing value of N25.385 trillion.

The stock market was quiet on Friday as the most active stock, FCMB, only traded 16.8 million units, while MTN Nigeria sold 16.4 million units. Fidelity Bank traded 7.5 million shares, Zenith Bank exchanged 6.4 million equities, and Access Holdings transacted 5.8 million equities.

From an analysis of the activity chart, a total of 99.0 million stocks worth N5.5 billion were traded by investors yesterday in 2,780 deals compared with the 138.6 million stocks worth N2.2 billion traded in 3,434 deals, indicating an increase in the trading value of 154.41 per cent, a decline in the number of deals by 19.04 deals and a drop in the trading volume by 28.58 per cent.

Red Star Express ended the day on top of the gainers’ chart after its value rose by 9.66 per cent to N2.27, Regency Assurance appreciated by 8.70 per cent to 25 Kobo, Livestock Feeds grew by 8.16 per cent to N1.06, Prestige Assurance expanded by 7.50 per cent to 43 Kobo, and Airtel Africa improved by 7.41 per cent to N1,450.00.

Conversely, Capital Hotel topped the losers’ log yesterday after it went down by 10.00 per cent to N3.06, Nestle Nigeria fell by 10.00 per cent to N963.90, International Breweries drained by 2.27 per cent to N4.30, GTCO lost 1.48 per cent to N20.00, and Wema Bank depreciated by 0.97 per cent to N3.07.

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Economy

Naira Gains at P2P, Weakens at I&E

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira closed stronger against the United States Dollar at the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) window of the foreign exchange (FX) market on the last trading session of the week by N1 to sell at N786/$1 compared with the previous day’s exchange rate of N787/$1.

Similarly, in the black market, the Naira appreciated against the American Dollar by N2 to trade at N775/$1 yesterday, in contrast to the N777/$1 it closed on Thursday.

However, in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the forex market, the domestic currency depreciated against its US counterpart by 0.3 per cent or N1.33 to settle at N446.33/$1 compared with the preceding session’s N445/$1.

Data from FMDQ Securities Exchange indicated that the FX turnover at the I&E window on Friday was $117.26 million, lower than the $145.89 million reported a day earlier by $28.63 million or 19.6 per cent.

In the interbank segment, the Nigerian Naira closed flat against the Pound Sterling and the Euro yesterday at N526.97/£1 or N455.56/€1, respectively.

Meanwhile, in the cryptocurrency market, there were recoveries as a majority of the 10 cryptos tracked by Business Post pointed north, with Dogecoin (DOGE) surging by 14.6 per cent to trade at $0.093.

This happened as the crypto market is still reeling after a brutal month, with investor confidence shattered following news that FTX, once one of the biggest and most popular crypto exchanges, went bust.

Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 5.5 per cent appreciation to trade at $311.11, Ethereum (ETH) saw its value go up by 3.8 per cent to sell at $1,220.31, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 2.9 per cent rise to quote at $0.319, and Solana (SOL) appreciated by 2.8 per cent to trade at $14.41.

Further, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 2.4 per cent gain to settle at $0.4079, Bitcoin (BTC) made a 1.4 per cent improvement to sell at $16,626.37, Litecoin (LTC) jumped by 1.3 per cent to trade at $77.20.

But the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD) remained unchanged at $0.9995 and $1.00 apiece.

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