‘Strong Corporate Governance, Rules Enforcement Key to Investor Confidence’

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Goddy Egene

The strengthening of corporate governance and risk management across stakeholders’ groups, enforcement of rules and regulations without exemptions, but heavy sanctions for infractions are among factors that will drive investor confidence in the nation’s economy and capital market in particular.

An economist and financial expert, Dr. Abiodun Adedipe, stated this while speaking at the 8th annual conference, investiture of fellows and induction of associates of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ICMR) in Lagos recently.

Adedipe, who is also the Managing Partner, B.Adedipe Associates Limited, spoke on “Strategic options to drive investor confidence-The role of stakeholders.”

According to him, a high sense of responsibility on the one hand and commitment to ‘project Nigeria’ on the other hand by all and sundry are the twin requirements for sustainably building investor confidence, and thus attracting the desired quantum of investments that will grow the Nigerian economy sustainably and inclusively.

He explained that investor confidence would be enhanced by robust policy environment with clearly defined rules and regulations, along with strict observance of the rule of law and sanctity of contracts.

“There should be constantly review and update market infrastructure to improve the convenience and ease of investment (doing business). Regulatory co-ordination should be strengthened to pre-empt regulatory arbitraging, within and across borders. There should regular engagement of policy makers and regulators with operators. There should be provision of more incentives for creative and innovative initiatives that foster market development, while professional bodies like the ICMR should promptly issue policy papers and professional opinions when issues bordering on investor confidence arise, no matter the parties involved,” he said.

According to him, whatever therefore, every stakeholder group does to strengthen governance, transparency, compliance, competitiveness and positive promotion of the Nigerian capital market is desirable.

“This is more so in a pre-election year that we are in, along with the promise of more robust investment environment in the 2020’s. This is the best time to position for the impending wealth creating opportunities,” he stated.

In his speech, the President/ Chairman of Council, ICMR, Mr. Bayo Olugbemi said if all organisations in the market as profitably managed, the impact on investor confidence will be positive.

He noted that as political gladiators strategise in their preparations for the 2019 general elections, governance is gradually taking the back stage and the stock market is feeling the impact from investors who cautiously watching events.

“If this seemingly ominous trend continues, investor confidence will continue to be on the decline,” Olugbemi said.