By Sam Eyoboka
THE returning deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo recently urged Nigerian investors to take advantage of the current low prices at the capital market to invest in stocks, declaring that the nation really had never been in a recession as many uninformed individuals would want the rest of us to believe.
Speaking to newsmen at an event in Lagos, the CBN deputy governor emphasised that this is the best time to invest in stocks because the fundamentals are good, stressing that despite the events at the capital market in the last couple of months ,many companies are making veryÂ impressive returns.
Addressing newsmen at the launch of Word of Life Bible Church N1 billion building fund at the Sheraton Hotel in Lagos, Mr. Lemo, a pastor with the Foursquare Gospel Church Nigeria, said the capital market can only do better being the biggest market in the West African sub region.
â€œNigerian population is put at 140 million which means that the economy of Nigeria is actually the economy of the West African sub region.
â€œWe are talking about activities, here, that actually powers over 300 million economies, Nigeria and the neighbouring countries and as you also know that most of the activities that you find in Nigeria, itâ€™s like Nigeria has the resources that have not been Continuing, the CBN deputy governor maintained that Nigeria has abundant untapped resources but has chosen to depend solely on crude oil, adding â€œyou also know that our potential in gas is even much more than the crude oil potential.
â€œWhen we begin to export gas, all of what we have seen in crude oil is even a childâ€™s play compared to what will happen, but I am not even talking much about that. I am talking about an economy that will explode much beyond what it is now once the energy sector is fixed,â€ he stated pointedly.
Mr. Lemo commended the Federal Government for its current initiative to fix the energy sector in addition to its interest in the critical sector of the nationâ€™s economy.
Asked if he had confidence in the current governmentâ€™s initiative on the energy sector, the CBN deputy governor said he hasÂ hope because they are tacking the challenge head on, â€œthey are already unbundling PHCN and then they are inviting the private sector to invest in energy.
â€œItâ€™s just that in Nigeria we are impatient because we donâ€™t know that for 20 years before President Obasanjoâ€™s government came in 1999, there was really no real investment in energy.
â€œWe depended on a monopoly that the entire world discovered 2-25 years ago and so it will take time for us to begin to rebuild what broke down in the past 20-25 years,â€ Mr. Lemo added.
Mr. Lemo also reassured Nigerians that the nationâ€™s economy which has witnessed a lull because of the change of guard at the apex bank, will soon rebound before long, â€œand in fact it has started rebounding. For those of you who do not already know, Nigeria was never in recession.
â€œThe global economy was in recession because of the global economic meltdown, but we have continued to record even great strides; GDP grew by over six per cent last year in spite of the global economy, and by the grace of God, once critical infrastructure and energy is fixed, the economy is set to explode.
â€œI am very bullish about the great potentials of the Nigerian economy,â€ he concluded, adding that the NSE is doing better now. â€œWe are beginning to see tremendous recovery. And watch it in the next few months or so; there will even be greater recovery in the Nigeria Stock Exchange,â€ Mr. Lemo concluded.