The Federal Government also reiterated its resolve to put an end to insecurity which has significantly dampened both foreign and local investors’ interest in Nigeria.
Addressing participants at the just-concluded national workshop, themed: Leveraging the Financial Markets to Achieve Double Digit Economic Growth for Nigeria, organised by the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) in Abuja at the weekend, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed, stated that the Buhari-led administration would work with regulators and operators of the capital market to address issues that would accelerate investment opportunities.
Ahmed noted that the Nigerian Capital Market (NCM) had contributed immensely to the long term growth and development of the economy and added that the Federal Government would continue to enact laws that would further globalise the NCM.
“There is a lot of work to be done in building the Nigerian economy and achieving the pace that is needed to make double digit growth a reality. I wish to pledge government’s continuous support and partnership with the Nigerian Capital Market and the CIS as we continue the task of nation building. Over the years, the NCM has provided access to significant long term development capital to the Federal Government and other tiers of government and private sectors,” she said.
The Finance Minister said that in an attempt to achieve consistent economic growth, earlier in the life of this administration, the government developed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020, a medium term plan designed to foster growth and build a globally competitive economy through diversification of the economy, increased investment in infrastructure, digitalisation of the economy and improvement in the ease of doing business in the country.
Corroborating her, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Economic and Political Affairs Office, Andrew Adejo, assured stockbrokers that the Federal Government would continue to improve on the security situation in Nigeria.
The Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda, said that the capital market needed to be strengthened in order to accelerate domestic production and employment given the direct correlation between increase in production and job creation.
According to him, facilitation of access to capital is the key to leveraging the capital market. This, he said, could be done by making it easy for corporates to access long-term finance in an efficient manner.
The SEC boss posited that it should not be difficult to achieve double digit growth in Nigeria given that most key factors of production like a large vibrant youthful population, arable land, abundant rainfall, good drainage, and a large and growing pool of savings are available.
“With a GDP growth rate of -1.92 per cent in 2020 and an IMF growth forecast of only 2.5 per cent for 2021, Nigeria requires a higher and preferably double-digit growth rate to be able to reduce poverty and provide for the welfare of its citizens,” Yuguda said.