By Aduragbemi Omiyale
If Nigeria intends to reduce poverty and provide for the welfare of its citizens, then it must ensure that the economy records a double-digit growth rate.
This was the submission of the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, at the annual workshop of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) with the theme Leveraging the Financial markets to achieve double-digit economic growth for Nigeria held in Abuja last Thursday.
While delivering his paper at the event which attracted various stakeholders, Mr Yuguda noted that growing the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 10 per cent and above should not be a herculean task given that most key factors of production like a large vibrant youthful population, arable land, abundant rainfall, good drainage and a large and growing pool of savings are available.
He stressed that one key factor dragging the country backwards was infrastructure, noting that solving this problem will accelerate domestic production and employment given the direct correlation between an increase in production and job creation.
“Infrastructure is the area where we have a major problem and I mean roads and rail transportation, power generation and distribution, health infrastructure, and the like.
“I believe the capital market can play a vital role in the financing of infrastructure and forums such as this one would do well to dwell on this important subject.
“Recall that at independence in 1960, the domestic savings pool was rather limited, yet the new nation was able to mobilise adequate funds from both domestic and foreign sources to fund the construction of highways, railways and large power projects.
“These same projects are in a dismal state today when the population has grown more than threefold. The commission is increasingly focusing its attention on this subject because of its impact on economic development and the quality of life of our citizens,” Mr Yuguda said.
The SEC boss described the theme of the workshop as very relevant, particularly for a developing economy like Nigeria.
According to him, with a GDP growth rate of -1.92 per cent in 2020 and an IMF growth forecast of only 2.5 per cent for 2021, Nigeria must do more to make its citizens happy, noting that there was a need to urgently address the country’s high unemployment rate which currently stands at over 30 per cent.
He said SEC, as the apex body responsible for regulating and developing the Nigerian capital market, undertakes specific activities to ensure investor protection, preserve the integrity of the market and improve its overall efficiency through registration, surveillance and enforcement activities.
The agency, he stated, also supports market development through investor education and the introduction of robust frameworks for new products and processes in collaboration with market stakeholders.
“The activities of the commission are necessary to ensure a well-regulated, effective, deep and liquid capital market which is crucial for promoting optimal capital allocation and intermediation to finance productive investment and generate much-needed employment in the Nigerian economy,” he said.
According to him, “Over the past decade, the Nigerian capital market has grown significantly with a major uptick in activities both in the equity and bond markets, including leaps in the growth and size of Collective Investment Schemes.
“The growth, however, slowed in the past 3 to 4 years owing to a recessionary trend experienced in the economy. This is because the Nigerian capital market closely mirrors the Nigerian economy and feels the full effect of the prevailing economic situation of the country.
“To further increase the capital market’s contribution to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy, the commission is currently implementing its 10-year Capital Market Master Plan (2015-2025).
“The commission is midway into the implementation and has embarked on a review of the Plan – in collaboration with the relevant market stakeholders – to reflect new realities and sharpen its focus,” Mr Yuguda disclosed.
He, therefore, assured that the agency will continue to work assiduously towards achieving its mission of developing and regulating a capital market that is dynamic, fair, transparent and efficient, to contribute to the nation’s economic development.
“I believe that if we all contribute our quota, we can achieve a Nigeria characterized by sustainable growth and increased job creation through efficient intermediation and allocation of resources in the financial market,” he added.
In his remarks, the President/Chairman of Council of CIS, Mr Olatunde Amolegbe, said Nigeria is blessed with immense human and natural resources, but expressed dismay that the country is listed among the poorest countries in the world in terms of per capita income.
“Just recently, in 2020, the country fell into its second economic recession in 5 years, although largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic which affected all countries in the world. We exited the recession in the fourth quarter of the same year 2020
“However, the critical point we have to note is that, historically, it has been observed that poorer countries need a much faster rate of GDP growth than the advanced economies of the world in to maintain standards of living as well as keep up with higher population growth rate,” he stated.
Mr Amolegbe said the theme for this year’s workshop has become imperative to drive the Nigerian economy as driving the economy will require financing of the right form, type, and mix.
He said despite government best efforts, the local financial market cannot be said to have been utilized optimally as of yet adding that the trend must be reviewed and reversed.
“Not long ago the capital market was used as the fulcrum of fundraising by all the different tiers of government. Such fund is always utilized for infrastructure development. Full subscription to the government’s revenue bond which is a form of borrowing is was widely used as the risk level is almost nil.
“Besides, governments’ participation in the market is a win-win affair for the government, the market, and investors. The time has come for all tiers of government to stage a comeback to the financial market to enhance capital raise for infrastructure development. Our seasoned facilitators shall surely do justice to this time-tested theme today.
“It is obvious that accelerated development of infrastructure will bring about job creation and employment opportunities with multiplier effects on the nation’s GDP. China’s GDP grows at an average of 10 per cent per year. This has lifted over 800 million people out of poverty in recent years,” he stated.
Investors Gain N1.09bn as NASD Share Price Rises 9.1%
By Adedapo Adesanya
The unlisted securities market closed the last trading session of the week on a positive note after it appreciated by 0.18 per cent on the back of growth in the share price of NASD Plc.
Business Post reports that the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to the bulls’ territory on Friday after it closed flat on Thursday.
NASD Plc was the major driver of the return of the bourse to the green region as its value went up during the session by N2.45 or 9.1 per cent to close at N26.99 per unit in contrast to N24.54 per unit it closed at the previous session.
As a result of this, the NASD unlisted security index (NSI) moved up by 1.32 points to 745.44 points from 744.12 points, while the market capitalisation gained N1.09 billion to wrap the day at N615.86 billion in contrast to the previous day’s N614.77 billion.
On the activity chart, there was an improvement as the trading volume surged by 34,985.6 per cent because of the 2.3 million units of shares exchanged by market participants compared with the 6,688 units transacted at the previous session.
In the same vein, the trading value rose by 17,680.6 per cent to N63.4 million from the previous day’s N356,563.60, while the number of deals witnessed a 100 per cent rise as investors carried out 12 deals compared to the six deals executed at the previous session.
At the close of trades, Food Concepts Plc was the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 11.4 billion units of its shares worth N14.4 billion, Lighthouse Financial Service Plc followed with 1.1 billion units valued at N546.2 million, while Geo Fluids Plc was in third place with 1.0 billion units worth N700.1 million.
Food Concepts Plc was also the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with 11.4 billion units worth N14.4 billion, trailed by Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc with 456.4 million units valued at N9.2 billion, VFD Group Plc with 10.4 million units valued at N3.5 billion.
Naira Trades N414.73/$1 as Cryptos Bleed Heavily
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira appreciated against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the foreign exchange (forex) market by 0.02 per cent or 7 kobo on Friday, December 4.
Data showed that the local currency was sold for N414.73/$1 at the investors’ window yesterday compared with the N414.80/$1 it traded on Thursday.
At the final trading session of the week, the turnover was $103.01 million as against $139.67 million achieved at the preceding session, indicating a $36.66 million or 26.62 per cent decline.
Also, the exchange rate of the Naira to the United States currency recorded a movement on Friday, though downward as the Nigerian currency depreciated by 4 kobo as it closed at N411.74/$1 versus the preceding day’s N411.70/$1.
The local currency, however, appreciated by N2.17 against the British Pound Sterling to settle at N546.26/£1 compared to N548.43/£1 it traded at the previous trading session and 57 kobo against the Euro to trade at N465.68/€1 compared to the preceding day’s N466.25/€1.
At the cryptocurrency market, investors counted a heavy loss as the new variant of the coronavirus called Omicron and hawkish comments by the US Federal Reserve that it could raise interest rates have raised serious concerns, causing cryptos to bleed heavily.
The heaviest loss was suffered by Dash (DASH), which plunged by 35.3 per cent to sell for N66,595.85. Ripple (XRP) depreciated 30.6 per cent to trade at N381.85, while Litecoin (LTC) sold for N66,595.85 after declining by 24.1 per cent.
Dogecoin (DOGE) went down by 22.7 per cent to sell at N90.29, Cardano (ADA) depreciated by 20.8 per cent to N652.82, Bitcoin (BTC) depleted by 16.9 per cent to quote at N26,800,504.20, Ethereum (ETH) equally saw a 16.9 per cent depreciation to trade at N2,100,100.39, Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 12.9 per cent depreciation to trade at N218,577.24, Tron (TRX) went down by 12.7 per cent to trade at N48.00, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) recorded a 0.1 per cent marginal loss to sell for N554.76.
Crude Mixed as Market Remains Unsettled by Omicron Jitters
By Adedapo Adesanya
Crude prices closed mixed on Friday, December 3 after erasing earlier big gains on growing worries that rising coronavirus cases and a new variant could reduce global oil demand.
Brent crude gained 21 cents or 0.3 per cent to trade at $69.88 per barrel while on the other hand, the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude lost 24 cents or 0.36 per cent to sell at $66.26 per barrel.
Both benchmarks declined for a sixth week in a row for the first time since November 2018.
Oil prices had witnessed one of the most troubled weeks as the market reeled from the fear brought about by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus with speculations that it could spark new lockdowns and dent fuel demand.
The World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries to vaccinate their people to fight the virus, saying travel curbs were not the answer.
Even with this, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) surprised the market on Thursday when it stuck to its plans to add 400,000 barrels per day supply in January.
However, it said it will continue to monitor the market and this could make it change course if demand suffered from measures to contain the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
The alliance said they could meet again before their next scheduled meeting on January 4.
Analysts noted that with the coronavirus cases rising, the US jobs report for November also didn’t help demand outlook even as the unemployment rate plunged to a 21-month low of 4.2 per cent, suggesting the country’s labour market was rapidly tightening.
US employment growth slowed considerably in November amid job losses at retailers and in local government education.
Meanwhile, in Vienna, diplomats attempting to restore the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers face substantial challenges that need urgent solutions, the top European envoy said Friday. Talks are set to resume next week.
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