Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson
Goddy Egene in Warri
The Federal Government is working on the criteria that would encourage telecommunications companies and other multinationals firms to list their shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as part of efforts to deepen the Nigerian capital market.
The Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, stated this Monday at the on-going second Capital Market Committee (CMC) Retreat in Warri, Delta State.
There have been calls for the compulsion of telcos and oil exploration firms not listed on the NSE to get their shares to other Nigerians through listing.
Going forward, the minister said that the government, through her ministry, regulators in the capital market and other stakeholders, was working out criteria that would encourage those companies to list their shares without necessary compelling them.
“It is not only attracting the telcos per se but we are looking at the entire economy and take a look at the companies that should be listed on the exchange because they are operating in Nigeria and because they will begin to share this wealth or dividends or whatever with more Nigerians that are participating in these providing the profits,” she said.
Johnson noted that apart from attracting the telcos to list their shares, investors should take advantage of mobile phones to participate more in the Nigerian capital market, disclosing the her ministry was already working with telcos operators to improve on their service quality.
“If we are going to use the mobile phones and get more Nigerians to participate in the in the capital market, the operators have to improve their services and we are working with the telecoms firms now to increase the capacity of their network. We are working with them to remove the bottlenecks that have prevented their networks from function as expected,” she said.
The CMC retreat is a gathering of key market stakeholders including regulators, chief executive officers of broking firms, exchanges, presidents of trade groups among others.
The Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Arunma Oteh, said one of the things that the ministry of communications technology, the ministry of youths development and supervising ministry of finance were doing jointly was to see how they could harness the great assets that were in the young people.
“And I think that it is a step that really target young people in terms of software development and many others. But my favorite point is the phrase that the president often uses which is democratising the capital market. And we can use the mobile telephone to democratise the capital market.
So it calls for the capital market to do more in terms of leveraging the telephone to make sure that 167 million Nigerians were able to access to technology.
“We can use a mobile telephone to democratising the capital market and we need to leverage on this issue” she said”.