Daily Trust (Abuja)

5 November 2012

Nigeria: NSE to Collaborate With Private Sector in Agric Repositioning

Lagos — Management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has said it is capable, concerned and willing to work with the private sector in repositioning the Nigerian agricultural sector. Chief Executive Officer of NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema stated this during the facts behind the figures presentation of Presco in Lagos.

Oscar said one of the reasons the sector has remained subsistent is poor financing as the sector needs substantial finance which could come through the money market.He said: "Taking into consideration the long-term nature of the sector, as well as capital intensive disposition of the industry, the agriculture sector cannot rely predominantly on short-term borrowing."

It is a known fact that the capital market has a comparative advantage over other sources of finance in the provision of long-term funds compared to the generally higher cost of bank financing for long-term capital infrastructural projects, Oscar said.

He noted that despite the importance of capital market to the growth and development of the sector, promoters of Nigerian agricultural ventures are yet to take advantage of the opportunities the stock market provides.

"Currently, there are five companies listed in the agriculture sector of this exchange and this sector accounts for N34.62 billion (0.4 per cent) out of the total market capitalization of N8.59 trillion as at October 29, 2012. We believe this situation can be better," he noted. He said for the agric sector to take its prime place in the Nigerian economy, the capital market clearly holds the ace adding that the NSE is the right platform to raise capital towards the growth and expansion of the sector.

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