By PETER EGWUATU

The President of Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE , Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, has disclosed that quoted companies on the Exchange pay not less than N1 trillion as taxes to the government.

He stated this when President Goodluck Ebele Janathan visited the Lagos floor of the NSE to commission the NSE X-Gen Trading Platform, saying “As you know capital market is the heartbeat of the economy, quoted companies pay N1 trillion in taxes.

Aig-Imoukhuede, commended the President for visiting the Exchange and assured that the market will continue to play its role of enhancing transparency of market transactions and providing liquidity to both private and public sectors.

Meanwhile, Jonathan had said that the federal government will come up with guidelines and incentives that will encourage major companies in the oil/gas, telecommunications and power sectors to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE), adding that a substantive Director General , DG of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC will be named next month

Speaking at a meeting with the NSE in Lagos, President Jonathan said the federal government attaches much importance to the capital market as it reflects significant performance of the nation’s economy and would do everything economically possible to make the market attractive to investors and issuers.

According to the President “As the biggest economy in Africa, the nation’s capital market ought to equally be the largest, so the only thing to do to achieve this is to ensure that big companies operating in the economy and are benefiting make their shares available for Nigerians to invest in and benefit.”

He said before now he has had discussions with MTN during one of his visits to South Africa on the need to list their shares. “When I met with MTN in South Africa, we discussed the need for them to list. We are working hard to make sure that companies that are supposed to list do so. That is the only way the Nigerian capital market and economy can grow so that Nigerians can participate. Definitely if you take the power companies, as they grow bigger they will list” Jonathan said

The President added that after a proper study of the situation, the government would come up with the guidelines for the listing, disclosing that listing of companies would be one of the incentives.

“We will certainly come up with guidelines in that regard. It is only proper we study the situation and meet with technical experts before coming out with the final pronouncement on it . But we will definitely encourage most of these companies to list and make it a condition for them to benefit from government in some areas. You must do certain things properly. So I believe we will give you what you want” he said. Jonathan assured the stockbrokers and executives of listed companies that the government would continue to partner the private sector and hands off the management of business in order to solely face the provision of an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.”We will continue to partner the private sector. We are moving away from where government used to be the best manager of companies, best investors, to area where the government will create the enabling environment for the private sector to manage the economy” he said.

 

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