The Federal Government on Thursday expressed readiness to provide an enabling environment that would stimulate and boost competitiveness in the Nigerian capital market.
Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, stated this in a keynote speech at the 23rd Annual Conference of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) in Lagos.
Adebayo, represented by Dr Francis Alaneme, Director, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, said that government was willing to partner CIS in ensuring the necessary enabling environment.
He also said that the government would ensure a coordinated and integrated approach to Nigeria's financial sector was attainable.
Adebayo said that stockbrokers' common agenda was to ensure the development of a strong and robust economy, especially from the perspective of the financial services sector.
"The best way to improve competitiveness is through a mixture of policies designed to help, improve capital market competitiveness and long-term investment," he stated.
Adebayo explained that all these measures would improve both price and non-price competitiveness.
He urged CIS to come up with policy proposal to support and address Nigeria's infrastructure challenges such as roads, railways and housing.
He noted that government would incentivise and provide the enabling environment to support this objective to boost the competitiveness of the capital market.
"The institute should look into ways the rural community can benefit from financial inclusion and economic growth.
"Evidences suggest that well developed financial system have strong positive impact on economic growth over a long period," Adebayo said.
According to him, at the moment, access of the populace to financial services can tackle poverty, improve welfare and general standard of living which consequently promote economic growth.
He added that the micro-environment needed to be stabilised to create the right environment for investment, noting that the ministry would give adequate support.
Adebayo called for an inclusive engagement with the investing public as well as Nigerians that were far away from the capital market to bring them on board.
He added that the National Savings Committee set up by the President was to boost capital market competitiveness in a micro environment.
He assured that the committee would make recommendations to the government on the best ways to mobilise savings that would lead to economic growth.
"The government recognises that foreign investors come in and when anything happens, they quickly take their money and go away but our domestic investors will always be here for us," Adebayo said.
He stated that the government would provide an enabling environment for competitiveness among domestic investors to grow and remain in the market.
Mr Ibrahim Babangida, Chairman, Capital Market and Institution Committee, House of Representatives, said that the committee was ready to work with the CIS.
Babangida said that already the National Assembly and House of Representatives, in particular, were aware of the major challenges facing the capital market in recent times.
"As a result of that, we have already started engaging with some of the key stakeholders including the institute on the best way forward.
"We are already planning that possibly in the first or second quarter of next year to convene a National Investors Conference where all the key players will come together to identify the problems facing the market and whether the solutions can be operational and legislative.
"If it requires policy, then we will find a way of drawing the government's attention to it.
" I would like to appeal to the institute to be unofficial advisers to the government and to continue to monitor the activities of the government as regards policies affecting the market so as to ensure we move the capital market forward," he said.
Also speaking, Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, former Director-General, Nigerian Stock Exchange, urged the government to work with stockbrokers in attracting investments into the country.
"To attract investments, the government needs to work with stockbrokers so as to enhance the development of the market as well as the economy.
"The Central Bank of Nigeria is not in charge of investments, they are not wealth creators but they make policies only when there is money to spend.
"It is the stock market that creates wealth in any economy," she said.
Onyiuke stressed that government must work with market stakeholders so as to grow the economy faster through regular interaction with stockbrokers.
The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that the conference was themed: "Boosting capital market competitiveness in a challenging macro-environment."
Vanguard News Nigeria.