2 November 2012

Nigeria: Reform to Impact Positively On Oil, Gas Firms - SEC

Photo: Vanguard
Oil Spill in Nigeria

The ongoing reform in the oil and gas sector will impact positively on energy companies quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Securities and Exchange Commission has said.

The sector recorded its worst performance when compared with others in the last nine months, as it lost 27.3 per cent to close at 159.95 points, from 220.11 points at which it opened the year on January 4, 2012.

The Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Arunma Oteh speaking at the fourth quarter meeting of the capital market committee in Lagos yesterday, said that with the clean-up in the sector, the companies stocks wold start doing well.

She said, "The government has done a lot to tackle the problems in the oil and gas sector, the companies stocks will start doing well, particularly the indigenous ones."

Oteh pointed out that the Petroleum Industry Bill will also enhance the performance of the companies.

She however said that the insurance companies stocks will start to do well, as the National Insurance Commission has embarked on various reforms in the sector.

"A lot of corporate governance issues have been tackled. For instance, Pension Commission is a source of investible assets and 10 state governments have approved pension law. We are going to encourage 26 other states yet to understand the importance of the law," Oteh said.

On the privatisation of power sector, she reiterated that the commission was working with the Bureau of Public Enterprises to ensure that the companies come to list on the Exchange.

She added that the BPE has agreed in 1999 that the companies would be listed on the Exchange to ensure that the public benefits from their operations.

The Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, attributed the current bullish trend in equities in the Nigerian capital market to the regulators' efforts to restore investors' confidence to the market.

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