Nigeria: Stakeholders Harp On Need for Private Capital to Fund Infrastructure

14 February 2020

Capital market stakeholders have stressed the need to attract private and domestic capital for funding of critical infrastructure in the country.

They noted that infrastructure development was critical for the achievement of economic prosperity, sustainable growth and development in the country.

They also called for the provision of a conducive business environment and credit enhancement for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), saying SME sub-sector remains one of the critical pillars for economic growth and national prosperity.

The stakeholders stated these yesterday, in a communiqué issued at the end of the 2020 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Budget Seminar in Lagos, with the theme: 'Leveraging the 2020 budget and Finance Act for the growth of the Nigerian capital market.'

According to them, there was need to create more hedging opportunities in the Nigerian capital market, as this have implication for market liquidity and efficiency.

"The government needs to work towards encouraging the participation of the private sector in the Nigerian business environment. The power and agricultural sectors are key sectors where in-depth reform and partnership with the private sector are important. There should be partnership with the private sector to mobilize domestic resources, create quality jobs and lift people out of poverty," they added.

The participants agreed on the need to leverage technology for trade and focus on adding value to the agricultural sector which is currently very low-paying.

This sector, they agreed, needs to become more beneficial to those involved and can be done through means such as provision of power for crop preservation, thus eliminating post-harvest losses.

In her opening address, acting Director General of the SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk emphasised the role budget plays in an economy, and by extension in the capital market.

She said over the years, the SEC Budget Seminar series has served as a forum for evaluating the connection between the Nigerian capital market and the annual federal government budget, with the aim of identifying how the capital market can contribute to, and benefit from, the budget and its implementation.

In his remarks, former Chairman of SEC, Dr. Suleyman Ndanusa, who was chairman of the occasion, said the return to the January - December budget cycle was important particularly in countries like Nigeria where government expenditure has significant impact on the economy.

Ndanusa said the budget sets the tone for the direction of the economy each year which presents opportunities and risks.

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