By Michael Eboh
The Director-General ofÂ the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Professor (Mrs.) Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke has blamed the long absence of President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua for Nigeriaâ€™s inability to host the World Economic Forum for Africa scheduled to hold in June this year.
She made this statement, Tuesday, when officials of the Dar-Es-Salaam Stock Exchange paid a one-week working visit to the NSE to learn the workings of the soon-to-be-introduced Alternative Investment Market and Private Placement Exchange (AIM/PRIPEX).
Onyiuke noted that the presidentâ€™s ailment and long absence made it impossible for the country to make the necessary ratifications and documentation needed for its hosting of the event, a factor which led to its losing the rights to Tanzania.
She said, â€œThe World Economic Forum for the African region, is a prelude to the World Economic Forum that takes place in Davos, Switzerland every January. The summits for African countries have always been held in Cape Town, South Africa, but following pressures from members, we decided that the forum be rotated around member countries.
â€œNigeria was given the first hosting right, and when the country was to start putting things in place, from the country, we were not able to conclude the necessary documentation and ratifications, hence, it has to be given to Tanzania.
â€œThe presence and consent of the President is required before a country can be allowed to host, because of the importance of the meeting. The Forum is expected to feature Head of States and top government officials of countries in the region and security concerns are taken very seriously in such situations.â€
She blamed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the delay in the take off of the AIM/PRIPEX market, which is to replace the Second-tier Securities Market, noting that it is awaiting the approval of SEC for the take off, after having submitted the guidelines for the setting up to SEC.
Onyiuke added that it has written a series of letter to SEC seeking to understand the rationale for the delay in the approval process and the status of the document.
Speaking in the same vein, Mr. Funsho Fatobi, Head, AIM/PRIPEX Department, noted that the new platform when launched, will remove restrictions on amount to be raised by companies in the sector, number of shareholders and a number of discounts and waivers to encourage companies to list on the sector on the NSE.