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FG to introduce incentives to boost capital market investment — Finance Minister

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Zainab Ahmed, VAT
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed

Dr Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, says the Federal Government will further introduce incentives to boost investments in the nation’s capital market.

Ahmed gave the assurance during a visit to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos on Monday.

The minister said the ministry would work closely with the exchange to put policies in place that would boost investment and enhance the growth of the market.

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She noted that government had in the past, worked with the NSE in various forms to ensure market growth and development.

Ahmed stated that some tax provisions made in the Finance Act of 2019 would assist in deepening the market in areas of Real Estate Investment Schemes (REITS) and securities lending.

“Given the need to accelerate reforms to attract the capital available for real estate development across the continent, we have worked very closely with the SEC, industry groups and the Capital Markets Master Plan Implementation Council for several years, to reform our tax laws.

“We have asked the NSE to continue to work with us so that we can encourage Nigerians to invest more in the Nigerian capital market.

“We have a lot of resources locally and we are working with the NSE to ensure we mobilise resources through the market.

“Any policy that government needs to put in place to enable the growth of the market, we will do that,” Ahmed said.

She assured the capital market community that the next Finance Act would make provisions for incentives that would make the market more attractive to investors.

Ahmed said the Finance Act of 2019 had taken care of some incentives, adding that, every appropriation bill going forward must come with finance bill on yearly basis.

Responding to the capital market operators plea to defer the planned recapitalisation exercise in the market, she stated that the exercise would make them stronger and more competitive.

She explained that with the demutualisation of the exchange,  stockbroking firms would have more businesses to embark on and therefore needed to recapitalise to operate better.

Also, responding to comments by stockbrokers that many ministers had in the past come to the NSE with many promises without fulfilment, Ahmed assured the market operators that her visit would be a different one.

She assured the brokers that she was committed to  ensuring that the capital market was used to unlock the economic potential of the country.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Mr Oscar Onyema, NSE Chief Executive Officer, said they were  delighted and honoured to host the minister and her delegation to the event, themed : ‘A day at the NSE.’

Onyema said  the initiative was one in a series of the NSE’s renewed government relations,  where key government stakeholders interacted with the capital market community on important issues that affected the market.

He said that the issues ranged from Nigeria’s economic management and policy reforms to ease of doing business, foreign and local investment attractiveness, among others.

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