By Peter Egwuatu
THE proposed listing of MTN, privatisation of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and the remaining power sector privatisation will attract more participation of investors in the capital market and thus enhance financial inclusion in the country, former Minister of National Planning , Dr Shamshudeen Usman has said.
He further expressed dismay that only 3.3 million people participate in the market out of 180 million people, while urging the federal government to privatise the NNPC and the remaining power sector entities by way of public offer and list them on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE for more participation of investors in the market.
Speaking at the 2019 Capital Market Summit and Award night organised by the Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria, ASHON , Usman, who was the key note speaker at the occasion with the theme” Financial Inclusion – The Capital Market Perspective” said ” We do not know how the privatisation of some of the government assets will take. The privatisation of the power sector was not properly done in the past. So if government is to privatise some of these entities then it should allow people to participate through public offering and list them on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE. The issue of private placement is not the best if we must deepen the market.”
The Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprises BPE, Patience Oniha also harped on issue of low participation of the populace in the capital market.
According to her :” I think we may need a special fund that will be use to educate the public on financial inclusion as this will further help enhance participation in the financial market. The operators also need to introduce more products that will attract investors of different categories. ”
In his opening address, ASHON’s Chairman, Chief Patrick Ezeagu said: ” Following the pursuit of expanded scope of its operations, the Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) has changed its corporate identity to Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASDHON).
The Summit attracted cream of capital market experts, policy makers, regulators and operators in the Nigerian Financial industry such as former president NSE, Aig- Aigboje Imoukhuede, President of NSE, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, Alhaji Oladejo , former Deputy Director General, NSE, Bukar Kyari, former Chairman Nigerian Economic Summit Group, among others.
Commenting on new logo and corporate name, ASHON’s Chairman, Ezeagu explained that the new name was long overdue in line with the changing dynamics of operations of ASHON’s members. He explained that it was too limiting to call the individual members stockbrokers because aside from equity trading, they deal in an array of securities, including derivatives, fixed income securities, commodities among others.
“ The name you bear defines you. It is long overdue for our members to drop a name that portrays them as dealing in equity trading alone. We are trained and qualified to deal in many commodities. Our new logo is symbolic.
The new name implies the true position of normal market. A normal market is never static continually. Bullish and bearish trend are normal features of a stock market
Speaking as well, Chairman of the occasion, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye said: “The capital market is very important that government cannot ignore as it is a catalyst for economic development.”
He commended the 10 year Capital Market Master Plan led by Tola Mobolurin, saying ” ASHON should take advantage of this plan to develop the market. We need more advocacy in the market to ensure that there is more participation. Also, in the case of cost of transaction of raising fund from the market need, it needs to be considered. Generally the cost of doing business is very high and need to be tackled by the government.”