NSE to focus on growth- Aig-Imoukhuede

President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, has indicated plans too prop activities of the market to help support economic growth.

Aig-Imoukhuede, said the country’s capital market would not be allowed to lag behind in the global arena adding that fresh strategies would be embarked upon to make it robust.

He said the capital market must facilitate capital raising for economic growth as well as mobilise savings for investment.

Aig-Imoukhuede said these at the 12th Annual Pearl Awards Public Lecture for Capital Market Development which held in Lagos south west Nigeria at the weekend.

The NSE president, who spoke on the theme, ‘Global and National Socio-Economic Challenges and Renaissance: Whither the Nigerian Capital Market,’ said part of the strategies was a broad consensus on sectorial priorities for growth, which should feed into policy formation.

He advocated for incentives/palliatives for priority economic sectors like Information and Communications Technology, while pushing for non-listed national champions to be listed on the NSE for others to follow.

He said, “Nigeria is facing a huge growth challenge. Nigeria, indeed, has a big challenge in terms of growth. Employment rate must grow owing to the fact that the population is also growing very fast. Growth is difficult to realise; so, government must stimulate growth.

“Nigeria is only exaggerating the impacts of falling oil prices now. This is because with a robust financial market, the economy can be sustained.  The financial market must be encouraged.”

He described the Nigerian financial market as a “high-risked” market, saying the situation was capable of attracting limited investors who could ultimately stop at nothing to maximise returns.

He stated that the country should endeavour to celebrate the achievements of listed entities, while also using capital market road shows for strategic diplomacy.

He noted that , “We need to build domestic private equity sector to mobilise domestic wealth. There is the need to attract and establish regional capital market powerhouses who can underwrite capital formation.”

The NSE President said a well-strategised capital market would facilitate government financing for developmental projects, which would  be driven by enhanced public-private partnership initiatives.

He maintained that the capital market must mobilise savings for investment, promote corporate governance and empower the populace through financial literacy programmes and corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Aig-Imoukhuede said, “Economic growth is the panacea for most of Nigeria’s challenges. Government’s economic policies must be based on fact and financial principles to achieve success. The capital market is the barometer for measuring the state of a nation’s economy. Public and private sector cooperation, collaboration and partnership are required.

“Integration of the capital market into public policy is required to create an enabling environment for investment, entrepreneurship and development.”

In his address, the Chairman, PEARL Awards Board of Governors, Alhaji Umar Abdullahi, said there was no gainsaying that the activities of the Nigerian capital market in the recent past had been nosediving due partly to the national and global economic recession, among other factors.

“It is therefore important for stakeholders of our capital market to come up with various initiatives that will urgently and holistically address these challenges,” he noted.