With the Nigerian economy growing at an average of seven per cent annually, the planned rebasing of the gross domestic product (GDP) by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is expected to increase the country's GDP to $600 billion by 2016, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema, has said.
Onyema stated this yesterday at the Standard Bank West Africa annual investors' conference held in Lagos, just as he reiterated the exchange's plan to achieve a market capitalisation of $1 trillion in five years.
To this end, he said, NSE planned to attract companies in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, which contribute a huge percent to the nation's GDP.
He said the NSE had worked hard to ensure most of the companies that would acquire the power assets are listed on the Exchange in addition with its plans to introduce options, features and other derivatives.
Speaking earlier, chairman of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Mr. Atedo Peterside, stated that Nigeria had achieved several important milestones in its economic transformation agenda.
He pointed out that analysts, both local and international appeared to be oblivious of some of these developments in the economy.
"At Stanbic IBTC, we believe very firmly that the Nigerian economy is on the cusp of a tipping point. Of course we all know that a tipping point only becomes unmistakably clear after the fact that one has joined the ranks of those who are left to ponder how they could possibly have missed out.
"With respect to the power sector, we now have preferred private sector bidders for 10 out of the 11 distribution companies and for out of the five generation companies that were slated for privatisation. We also have a contract in place for the private sector management of Nigeria's network operator-Manitoba Hydro International of Canada. This is a set of milestones that have never been attained before in the history of power sector reform in Nigeria, "he said.
He added that Nigeria had also made giant strides in the agricultural sector adding that lending to the sector by banks had increased from 1.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent this year.
He added that lending to the agric sector was expected to move from its present position to 10 per cent in 2017.
"Within the agric sector, we have seen greater effectiveness in the dissemination of fertiliser to farmers within Nigeria as the Federal Government in no longer a part of the procurement and distribution process, "he said.