By Obas Esiedesa, Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that the Federal Government expects the NNPC Limited, the successor company to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to be listed on the Nigerian Exchange within a year.
Prof. Osinbajo spoke yesterday in Abuja at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Conference with the theme: The Future Ready Capital Market: Innovating for Nigeria’s Sustainable Recovery.
He noted that the listing of NNPC Ltd would deepen the market and underscore government’s support for the market.
According to him, the market was at the cusp of history to realize its full potentials by attracting a generation of technology savvy young Nigerians who were looking for innovative ways of investing their resources.
He urged the managers of the Exchange to work harder to ensure that excessive risks are abated and investors retained.
He said: “The NGX in 2020 was the highest performing exchange, we were told, with a return of 50 percent on the All Share Index when compared with other 98 exchanges tracked globally by Bloomberg.
“Yet in 2021, so far, the Exchange has experienced a significant withdrawal of foreign participation as well as domestic institutional participation leading to a meager year-to-date performance of about 7.65 percent.
“To correct this and usher in the return of foreign and domestic institutional participation, it is clear that all government agencies and regulators in the financial system must work with the NGX to ensure that the excessive risk premium within the market is abated and that foreign investors are reassured about foreign exchange mechanism and other regulations that would enable them channel their resources in and take their resources out with the least possible constraints”, he stated.
The Vice President said the government would continue to support the NGX as “the economy needs the Exchange as the Exchange needs the economy to be robust”.
On the oil sector, he said: “The recent passage of the PIA 2021 and consequently the incorporation of the NNPC Ltd should result in the rationalizing of expenditure as well as increased investment and improved output in the oil and gas industry.
“But also if the NNPC makes good its plans to be listed, this will not only deepen the market hugely but will also enhance its own governance framework. So, we certainly look forward to the fulfilling its promise of being listed within the next year or two”, he added.
On her part, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed insisted the Nigeria’s challenge was getting enough revenue and not the level of its debts, adding that poor revenue was the weakest link in the economy.
She said the government would continue to diversify its revenue sources with the growth of the non oil revenue sector.
Speaking at the conference via Zoom, the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Lamido Yuguda identified technological innovations as one of the factors that could enhance the efficiency and transparency of Capital Markets around the world and enable financial intermediation, making it easier for investors and market professionals to identify opportunities and conduct their businesses in a timely and cost efficient manner.
Yuguda pointed out that the capital market of every nation plays a strategic role, not only in allocating scarce resources, but in harnessing the huge investment opportunities in agriculture, infrastructure, oil and gas, natural resources as well as in other sectors of the economy.
Also speaking, the Chairman of NGX Group Ltd, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud noted that the “Nigerian capital market occupies a critical position in the economic growth and development of Nigeria and Africa. Given the macroeconomic and fiscal challenges prevalent in our economy today, the capital market provides a platform for savings mobilisation and wealth creation for players within the ecosystem.
“Through policy advocacy, digitalisation and the proliferation of innovative products and services, the capital market creates liquidity
and champions the reallocation of capital for the benefit of the economy”.