By CHIOMA OBINAGWAM
IN recognition of the role of the Capital Market as very critical to the kind of economy the present administration intends to develop for Nigeria, the Federal Government is to set up a $25 billion fund wholly dedicated to infrastructure investments. This was stated by the Minister of Finance Mrs Kemi Adeosun during the inauguration of the Capital Market Master Plan Implementation Council (CAMMIC), National Investor Protection Fund (NIPF), and the launch of the Corporate Governance Scorecard for quoted companies by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Lagos Thursday.
According to Adeosun, “In the current environment of significant revenue squeeze and other budgetary constraints, these investments will clearly not come from government coffers alone. We believe this is where the capital market can really make itself relevant by stepping in to close the funding gap. Government is already looking to set up a $25 billion fund wholly dedicated to infrastructure investments. A crucial assignment we have for the capital market community is to come up with other innovative ways of mobilizing the capital needed to address Nigeria’s infrastructure challenge”.
The Minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, said an efficient and vibrant capital markets are an indispensable feature of any modern economy supplying affordable medium-to-long term capital needed for growth as they facilitate mobilization of savings, accelerate capital formation, provide investment avenues and enhance efficient allocation of capital to growth sectors as no country has been able to develop without a thriving capital market.
“Nigeria needs and deserves a capital market that is characterized by high levels of liquidity, depth, breadth and sophistication to enable rapid socio-economic development. Going through the Master Plan, it is heartwarming to note that this is the type of capital market you envision for our country and indeed we desperately need such a market to emerge in order to tackle Nigeria’s biggest challenges of huge infrastructure deficit and unacceptable level of unemployment. As you all know, to grow our economy, we require significant funds to modernize our critical infrastructure.
She expressed worry that currently less than 3 per cent of Nigerians invest in the capital market and even more worrisome, only 0.2 per cent of Nigerians invest in mutual funds.
Adeosun assured that as the Minister in charge of supervising the capital market, she would support the SEC Nigeria to ensure that this project is successful and where necessary is willing to add the weight of her voice to facilitate achievement of key initiatives within the Master Plan.
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