By Peter Egwuatu
Capital market operators, under the aegis of Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), have cautioned the federal government to be less financially involved in the funding of critical infrastructure, but concentrate more in the formulation of policies that will transform the living standard of Nigerians.
The operators gave the advice in Lagos, yesterday, during the 22nd Annual Conference of CIS.
Speaking at the conference, Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. John Chukwu, said: “There is need for government to be less involved in the financing of key infrastructure and allow the private sector to mobilise capital for these key infrastructure that will drive production and generate employment.
“Government should concern itself in policy formulation and implementation of programmes that will transform the living standard of the people. There is still abject poverty in the country as parents cannot afford to send their children to school and have quality education. In fact, there is lack of manpower in the education sector and government should find a way of boosting the sector.”
In the same vein, Chairman, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria, ASHON, Chief Patrick Ezeagu, said that government has no business being in business.
He stated: “The provision of infrastructure is key, but the financing should be driven by the private sector. There should be Public Private Partnership, PPP, in funding infrastructure so that government can pay more attention to the provision of enabling environment that will drive investment and production. Also, government should pay attention to policies that will transform the economy faster. Imagine, a key government agency, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), without substantive Director General and Board. How can foreign investors take the capital market serious?”
In her remark, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment said government is trying its best in addressing some of the economic problems facing the country.
Oduwole who represented President Muhammadu Buhari: “The Economic Recovery Growth Plan, ERGP has helped in taking Nigeria out of recession in the short term. It has also helped in bring down inflation and growing the economy though marginally. It is helping in providing jobs through the provision of infrastructure, and alleviating poverty among others.”