By Peter Egwuatu
Port Harcourt— Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, Wednesday, said productivity was necessary for attracting investment in the capital market, noting that the state was planning to float bonds to finance its infrastructure.
Speaking at the opening of the enlightenment programme organised by the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, in Port Harcourt, Amaechi said: “If Nigeria must grow and develop, the government must emphasize on productivity.
We cannot grow unless we concentrate on production, agriculture and be able to create employment opportunities otherwise we will return to armed robbery.”
He stressed the need for government to provide the needed infrastructure like power, good roads, and security as this would go a long way in reducing the cost of production in the country.
Amaechi said: “The high cost of providing the entire essential infrastructure needed for production has made the country unattractive for investment, thus resulting to many of the companies moving to other neighbouring countries.
He commended SEC for its efforts towards educating the Rivers populace, and urged the Commission to intensify efforts towards ensuring the rebound of the capital market.
However, SEC and other key operators in the Nigerian capital market who were at the programme were unanimous in their submission that critical infrastructure in Nigeria cannot develop without long term capital to fund projects.
They also noted that funds accessed from the capital market hold key to driving developmental projects across the nation.
Director General, Ms Arunma Oteh stated that capital market that will drive developmental projects across States continues to top federal government agenda.
Speaking at the ongoing three-day investor/issuer education outreach programme in Port Harcourt, Oteh said that capital market fosters transparency and good governance, adding that the Commission is committed in building a world class capital market that will support Nigeria in achieving its Vision 20:2020.
The SEC statement comes on the heels of revelation that the government of Rivers State is considering approaching the capital market to issue a developmental project-tied State bond. SEC also noted the need for State Governments to leverage on the opportunities in the bond market to drive national economic development.
“Emphatically, it is to say that no nation can develop without long term capital. The role of the capital market cannot be over emphasized. Capital market operators also recognize this and that is why they share the same vision with the SEC.
We are delighted that Rivers State is considering approaching the Capital market to fund some of its developmental projects,” Oteh.
The SEC-DG said, “The process of sourcing for long term funds from the capital market opens the book of the particular State or entity for other people to review.
We normally decline applications if they do not meet rules of approaching the capital market for funds. I want to confirm that one of the good mechanisms we have in Nigeria is the monitoring of projects which led to the approach of bond market.”