Stakeholders prescribe leeway to economic growth


Chief Executive Officer of RTC Advisory, Opeyemi Agbaje

Participants at the Capital Bancorp’s maiden investor forum have urged federal government to ensure that reforms and policies are anchored on diversification, efficiency and equity to facilitate strong economic growth.

Besides, they argued that the capital market would be a critical area in that equation, just as it has a significant role to play in reinforcing investors’ confidence and ensuring that the nation remains competitive.

Speaking at the forum held in Lagos at the weekend, an economist and the Chief Executive Officer of RTC Advisory, Opeyemi Agbaje explained that privatization policy of the federal government should be vigorously pursued to enhance economic activities.

Agbaje re-affirmed the imperative of privatization of the power sector, investment in Agriculture for enhanced export and institutional reforms to attract investment into Solid Minerals Sector.

He also stressed the need for government channel institutional funds such as the Sovereign Wealth Fund/Pension Funds into infrastructure and mortgages through capital market products to grow the market.

Agbaje pointed out that conditional cash transfers and welfare payments systems could be leveraged to improve financial inclusion and payments system He added that policy failures in the management of external reserves, electricity distribution, budget structure, oil structure and cost of governance among others were some of the factors responsible for lack of investor confidence in Nigeria.

He maintained that Nigeria had enormous investment opportunities that could attract both indigenous and foreign investors, noting that appropriate structure must be put in place to reinforce investor confidence.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Capital Bancorp Plc, Aigboje Higo argued that investors that stake their money in the market in the post 2009 era had realized good returns.

Aigboje, who provided statistical analysis from market data, noted that many of the investors had realized an average of over 50 percent returns while some realised above 200 percent.

Aigboje, however, listed factors responsible for investors’ apathy to the Capital Market in Nigeria such as: loss of investment, sharp practices amongst some operators, ineffective regulators, perception that the market is not fair, bottlenecks associated with the payment of dividend and bonus shares and lack of market liquidity.

He urged retail investors to ensure that they choose professionals that would put them through the rudiments of capital market to ensure that they make informed investment decision.   Speaking on the operations of Over-The-Counter (OTC) market, the NASD Plc’s Managing Director, Bola Ajomale explained that the OTC market had expanded trading platform for investors in the Nigerian Capital Market.

According to him, only publicly registered companies’ shares are trade, noting that NASD ensured investor protection through its disclosure mechanism and constant notification of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange on any observable lapses on the part of the quoted companies.

Ajomale explained that no fewer than 63 percent of the companies quoted on the NASD were profitable, adding that many of the companies trading on the platform have good fundamentals. Capital Bancorp’s Chairman, Olutola Mobolurin noted that the maiden investor forum was part of the company’s efforts aimed at attracting investors into the market through confidence building.

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