Tobi Soniyi and Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Disturbed by the comatose state of the Nigerian capital market and the protracted economic crisis rocking the nation, the National Assembly in collaboration with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, some ministers and captains of industry have concluded plans to organise a two-day stakeholders’ forum with a view to rescuing the market from collapse.
The move which is spearheaded by the Joint National Assembly Committee on Capital Market will also feature the effective participation of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, her counterparts in Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, as well as Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma.
Also involved in the arrangement are business magnate, Mr. Aliko Dangote; President, National Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and a host of captains of industry.
Briefing journalists in National Assembly yesterday on the unproductive state of the capital market and the effort being made by the committee to revamp the market, chairman of the joint committee, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, said the current economic downturn in the country calls for effective collaboration of all stakeholders as well as the intervention of all arms of government.
Against this background, he said the committee had perfected plans to organise a two-day stakeholders’ forum, with the theme: “Realising the Full Potentials of the Nigerian Economy through Proactive Capital Market Legislation.”
Adeleke who said the event would feature Osinbajo, ministers and captains of industry, added that the forum would come up with strategies meant to revive the capital market and consequently boost the economy through a legal framework.
According to him, the legislature will revisit all laws governing the operations of the capital market and make new ones wherever necessary adding that the trend would go a long way to enhance the importance of the capital market towards economic development.
His words: “You will agree with me that this era of change calls for major shifts in approaches to seeking solutions to our political, social, and economic challenges. The National Assembly is keenly aware of the dwindling fortunes of the capital market and by extension, the economy.
“As a mono-product economy, with oil and gas constituting the life-blood, the global downturn has continued to negatively affect meaningful growth and development. As a parliament, we strongly believe that the downward slide in Nigeria’s economy provides the best opportunity for major stakeholders to begin to return the economy to vibrancy. We are confident that the capital market can and should perform this role.
“The two chambers of the National Assembly have therefore, come to the jolting realisation that the Nigerian economy cannot fully develop without making the capital market the hub or pivot of its developmental strides. This market has long been neglected and denied its rightful and strategic role in our march towards economic recovery.
“The capital market is a veritable institution for the mobilisation, allocation and utilisation of long term funds, not just by the federal but also for states and local governments. The forum which intends to create an enabling legal environment for the achievement of the recommendations of the capital market master plan (2015 -2025) is primed towards the rejuvenation of the economy.
“The desire of the Joint Committee on Capital Market and institutions in this direction is to focus its legislative work in making the recommendations of the master plan the catalyst for achieving the infrastructural and development needs of a diversified national economy.
“As Legislators, we are ready to retool the laws guiding capital market operations or make new ones that would accelerate the relevance of the capital market in national economic development. Therefore, we seek to grow the Nigerian capital market to be in a position to contribute meaningfully to economic growth and development.
“This will make the capital market spearhead development in key sectors of the national economy such as oil and gas, agriculture, tourism and hospitality, etc.
“To achieve the above, we have put together a seasoned faculty of national and international experts in capital market issues and securities laws to give the forum the strength and flavor it deserves.