Experts at the one-day conference organised by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos have argued that Nigeria needs to adopt a holistic strategy that would unlock rapid development of transport infrastructure in Nigeria.
The stakeholders who bemoaned the parlous state of road infrastructure in the country argued that increased private sector involvement is needed to spur activities in the sector and fast track economic growth.
According to them, raising money through the capital market could also be used to finance long-term projects such as transportation infrastructure.
Therefore, they suggested that a more robust capital market that would help boost investors’ confidence, mobilize funds, drive investment in the economy and improve infrastructure must be created.
Specifically, the Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Oscar Onyema explained that one of the major factors for sustainable foreign inflow into the country involves driving policies that would enable investors to derive consistent value in the nation’s capital market.
“The fundamental thing is market confidence. When investors are aware that the market operates in confidence, they will come, knowing that there is integrity in the market.
“Again, driving policies for people to attract value in the market in a sustainable way is also critical for increased foreign inflow”, he added.
Also speaking, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola stated that there is need for increased capital spending on critical infrastructure if Nigeria must witness meaningful economic growth with sustainable foreign inflow into the country.
Aside infrastructure development, he said diversification of income base with more focus on agriculture and mining will also enable the country to compete favorably in the global space.
Fashola, said these key areas needed to be prioritised due to their contributions to national development and capacities to generate multiplier effects and employment on a large scale.
Furthermore, he added that there was need to diversify the nation’s economy, noting that Nigeria has the potential to earn income from other sources that have relatively gone into obscurity.
The Head, Primary Markets, Middle East, Africa and India London Stock Exchange. Gokul Mani said international investors want to invest in infrastructural projects in Nigeria.
He noted that the nation’s capital market must participate in shared ownership structure where various capital markets put together infrastructure platform on the exchange and get international investors’ to play on the platform.
“International investors look at the platform because it will give them higher returns. Development of funding capital market is critical.
The Country Manager, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Eme Essien Lore said timely execution of project is critical, if Nigeria must foreign inflow in a sustainable manner.
“Nigeria has not done well in execution. Again, exchange rate stability is important for foreign inflow, Nigeria tax to GDP ratio is very low, more also needed to be done in this area.”
The Guardian Newspaper