Capital market operators task new ministers on recession

Some capital market operators yesterday said there was the need for the new ministers to commence work without delay to revive the nation’s economy to avoid another round of recession.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the ministers must swing into action to revive the economy which was gradually descending into another round of recession.

Mr Sola Oni, a chartered stockbroker and Chief Executive Officer, Sofunix Investment and Communications, said the ministers needed to commence work without wasting time to revitalise the economy.

“We run an economy where about 65 per cent of our income is devoted to servicing debt which hovers at 70 billion dollars.

“This is a killer situation and the state of infrastructure is still a journey to be accomplished,” Oni said.

He noted that attractive rate of fixed income securities was fast crowding out investment in equities.

“Once investors continue to be apprehensive of macroeconomic stability, the issue of medium and long term investment horizon becomes unpopular.

“This is one of the major factors accounting for the continuous slide in prices of shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange,” Oni said.

He said the ministers of Finance and Trade and Investment, the Senate and House of Representatives Capital Market Committees and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) needed to collaborate with capital market stakeholders.

Oni said they should engage the capital market stakeholders to agree on specific policy issues that would ensure economic recovery so as to revive the capital market on the basis of short, medium and long-term.

“Morning shows the day. The engagement should not take a whole quarter in preparation,” he said.

Garba Kurfi, the Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd, called for more robust economic policies that would boost investor confidence in the capital market.

Kurfi said that there was the need for fiscal policy that would support monetary policy aimed at stabilising the foreign exchange and lowering inflation rate.

He also called for the privatisation of GENCOs and DISCOs by the Federal Government to make both companies more viable.

According to him, government should embrace the capital market as a source for infrastructure development.

Mr Moses Igbrude, Publicity Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), said all the ministers should start work immediately because things were in bad shape.

“Those saddled with the management of the economy should work closely with the private sector to formulate policies that will help businesses in order to create jobs and wealth for Nigerians.

“Government must and should harness the potential of the capital market for economic growth and development.

“A private sector-driven economy is the best approach to a sustainable and prosperous economy anywhere in the world,” Igbrude said.

He that the new Federal Executive Council (FEC) should also pursue policies targeted at Ease of Doing Business, multiple foreign exchange market and multiple taxation.

Mr Boniface Okezie, National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, said the new cabinet should embrace friendly-oriented policies.

Okezie said they should make Nigeria an investment destination by addressing insecurity, kidnapping and herdsmen clashes.

“Investors cannot invest in a place that is not safe for them to do their businesses whether foreigners or Nigerians,” he said.

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