A former Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mrs. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, has advised entrepreneurs in the country to expand their businesses by listing on the Exchange.
Okereke-Onyuike made the call while speaking at a launch of the 'Great Nigerian Entrepreneurs Compendium' organised by BusinessWorld newspapers in Lagos. According to her, listing on the NSE would provide an opportunity for increased availability of immediate capital to entrepreneurs in the country.
She argued that the listing requirements had been relaxed so as to encourage entrepreneurs to list their firms on the Nigerian bourse. "The listing requirements are easy for small businesses to raise money. I counted the number of people that increased the volume of their businesses and made more money at the NSE and it is encouraging," she added.
Continuing, Okereke-Onyiuke said: "Let me use Alhaji Aliko Dangote as an example, before he brought his companies to the market, he was like an average investor. But he brought two companies to the stock Exchange, and later two more. It was after the first two companies he brought to the stock Exchange that he got on the Forbes list.
"Today, we have more entrepreneurs, including Dr. Oba Otudeko who was also President of the NSE, that have brought their companies to the stock Exchange. If entrepreneurs have that fear of opening up their businesses for others to invest in them, then they cannot expand as expected.
"You can open your businesses for other people to contribute so that you can have more money to run your business by listing on the stock Exchange. Today, the interest rates banks offer are so high, that is why entrepreneurs should take advantage of the capital market."
The former NSE boss urged Nigerian youths to shun the idea of wanting to go into governments to make money, urging them to develop the spirit of entrepreneurship.
"In other parts of the world, people make money on their own, before they go to government to serve. But here, it is the other way round. If one-third of the country can forget about government and focus on business, the country will witness rapid development. So, we have to reverse that trend, and the only way we can do that is by creating a conducive environment for entrepreneurs to succeed, so that when they succeed as entrepreneurs, they can now go and serve the country," Okereke-Onyiuke further advised.
The Chairman of the occasion, Chief Kolapo Lawson, described entrepreneurs as risk-takers and creators of wealth. According Kolapo, for someone to succeed as an entrepreneur, he must be patient and diligent.