By NKIRUKA NNOROM
Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, has said that the stability and increase in investors’ confidence witnessed so far in the capital market is the result of various policy thrusts initiated by his management team since he took over the mantle of leadership in 2010.
Onyema made the claim while delivering a keynote speech, ‘Identifying Opportunities in Africa’, at the African Leadership Academy, Indaba (ALA Indaba) annual reunion for ALA students and alumni from the West African region.
According to him, the stability is evidenced by the significantly increased trading activity on the Exchange and its ranking as one of the highest returning markets in the world over the last one year. In his words, “In the last two years, I have been asked several times why I returned to Nigeria and the answer simply is to create a legacy by helping millions of African investors create durable wealth in the Nigerian securities market.
“I got to a point in my career at the Amex and NYSE Euronext in New York where I felt the need to bring my Wall Street experience to assist in the growth of the Nigerian capital market.”
“In my capacity as the CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, my experience so far has been rewarding for several reasons. One of which has been the opportunity to lead the transformation of a leading African Exchange into the preeminent market on the continent based on liquidity, regulation, innovation and efficiency.
“In addition, being a leader in Nigeria has taught me the need to collaborate with others to bring positive change to the society. It is important to be the best in what you do, but even more important to collaborate with champions from other areas of endeavour to innovate and create winning solutions to Africans challenges,” he added.
The NSE boss explained that the NSE was on the verge of entering a growth phase that would see many local and foreign investors benefiting from exposure to the various asset classes listed on the NSE in balanced and diversified portfolios.
While noting that foreign direct investment (FDI) in sub-Saharan Africa was expected to reach $54 billion by 2015, up from $37.7 billion recorded in 2012, Onyema stated that it requires collaborative effort to achieve the feat, saying, “No matter what area you are passionate about, you need to identify the gaps that exist and provide new solutions based on your knowledge and expertise.”