Some financial experts on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to infuse policies that would stimulate infrastructure development to tame the persistent bearish trend in the nation’s stock exchange.
Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, Professor of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye, Ogun, said that government needed to formulate policies that would revitalise the economy for the capital market to grow.
Tella said that government should be interested in the nation’s economy by formulating policies and activities that would revitalise the economy.
‘’If the economy is growing steadily, the capital market activities will reflect more positive outcomes.
‘’While we have to be concerned about the bearish stand of the capital market, we need to realise that the market often reflects activities in the larger market, the economy itself,’’ he said.
Tella suggested that capital market regulators should continue to liberalise entry and exit from the market and as well encourage more firms to list on the stock exchange.
Malam Garba Kurfi, the Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd., said that government should embrace friendly policies that would boost the capital market and the economy in general.
Kurfi noted that the market would recover with the harmonisation of the monetary and fiscal policies.
He said that capital market regulators should rise up to their responsibilities and duties aimed at ensuring market development.
‘’There is a need for capital market awareness across the nation which is not being done for some time as well as foreign trips to bring awareness to both local and foreign investors,’’ Kurfi said.
Also speaking, Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., said that stock market the world over oscillate to reflect economic fundamentals.
‘’To address the prolonged downtrend in the nation’s equities market, government need to urgently assign portfolios to the ministers in order to kick-start governance,’’ Omordion said.
He said that the ministers as a matter of urgency should review the present economic agenda and embrace policies that would stimulate infrastructure development and productivity to complement the apex real sector drive.
According to him, the government and regulators should double their efforts on investment education to increase participation of Nigerians to support stability and reduce volatility.
Omordion also called for reduction in the cost of transaction and elimination of multiple taxation to encourage investor’s participation.
He explained that reintroduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) in all capital market transactions contributed to the bearish trend in the market.
Edited by Adeleye Ajayi
CBN to build 7 diagnostic centres in 6 geopolitical zones, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says it will build diagnostic centres in the six geopolitical zones of the country and Abuja.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele disclosed this while speaking with newsmen at the inauguration of a centre, named ‘CBN Centre of Excellence’ at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria on Thursday.
Emefiele explained that the centre that would be established in Abuja would have both heart and cancer diagnostic centres.
He however, said depending on available funding, the construction which would commence by 2020 or 2021 would be ready by 2024 or 2025.
According to him, such centres are important because what usually takes Nigerians outside the country is diagnosis.
“The importance cannot be quantified because once your illness is diagnosed, the assignment of the doctors will be made simple.
“The centres will be done in a way that a referral will come from teaching and private hospitals.
“Those coming to access care at the centres will be paying to generate revenue so the centres can manage themselves without CBN interference,’’ he said.
According to him, health and education are the bedrock of any nation’s development and there is need to invest in them.
Edited by Ese E. Ekama
Traders decry multiple taxation in Enugu market
Traders in Ogbette Main Market, Enugu have expressed disaffection with the multiple taxation and levies in the market.
The traders also feared a possible outbreak of epidemic in the market due to the overflow of waste from a sewage in the nneigbouring premises of the Nigerian Correctional Service (former Nigerian Prisons Service)
They spoke at a sensitisation programme organised by a non-governmental organisation, called Strengthening Citizens Resistance against Prevalence of Corruption (SCRAP-C) project.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the taxes and levies were introduced by the market leadership as well as state and local governments.
One of the traders, Mr Patrick Ezema, said that they were emburdened with different types of levies and taxes that were affecting their businesses.
Ezema listed some of the levies to include sanitation levy, annual levy, EEDC levy, packing late levy and special security levy.
He said that they were more worried with the introduction of three other levies, including wheel barrow permit, hawkers’ permit and eating permit.
He said that the eating permit was being paid by caterers in the market, adding that stall levies were rising in geometric progression annually.
He said, “Some of these levies are unacceptable to us because their impact was not being felt in the market.”
Ezema wondered why wheelbarrow pushers and sachet water hawkers, who were struggling to survive, would be made to pay levies in the market.
On the overflow of waste into the market, he said, “many of us have fallen sick as a result of the human waste that flows into the market from the neighbouring building.”
Ezema called for urgent measures to check the situation to avert a possible outbreak of epidemic in the market.
Also, Mr James Ukomadu, another trader, appealed to the state and local government to build a clinic in the market to handle minor health issues and emergencies in the market.
Ukomadu also charged the market leadership to build necessary infrastructure in the market to justify the huge levies paid by traders.
Mrs Chinyere Ukatu appealed to the government to sink a borehole in the market, saying that the lack of potable water was affecting them.
In a speech, the Executive Director of DEDSRI, Ms Ogechukwu Enwelum, said that the aim of the sensitisation was to get first hand information on the issue of multiple taxation in the market.
Enwelum said that the organisation discovered from their investigation that the traders were grappling with multiple taxation.
She said that the situation was inconsistent with the reputation of Enugu as a state with a conducive environment for business.
“We call for advocacy to enable us understand the situation. We want businesses to grow in the state,” Enwelum said.
She also said that the group needed to know if there was an accountability forum in the market.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the issue of multiple taxation had been a recurrent phenomenon in the state.
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had at different fora expressed willingness to harmonise the levies.
NAN reports that SCRAP-C project, which is funded by the UKaid, is designed to build the capacity of the citizenry in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
It was a brainchild of ActionAid Nigeria and being implemented in the state in partnership with Divine Era Development and Social Rights Initiative.
The programme is currently being implemented in six pilot states of the federation.
Building collapse: Stakeholders call for effective regulation, legislation
The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has stressed the need for all levels of government to enforce building regulations and necessary legislations to mitigate issues of building collapse in the country.
The NSE president, Mr Adekunle Mokuolu, said this on Thursday in Lagos during the August Breakfast meeting of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC).
The meeting was themed: “Building Collapse and the need for re-certification.’’
Mokuolu said that the re-certification of buildings was necessary to ensure they conformed to the purposes they are being used for and the building plans suitable for the locality where the buildings are situated.
“This, no doubt, could be a proactive or preventative step in curbing incessant building collapse in the country,’’ he said.
Mokuolu said that government should also ensure that only structural drawings prepared and endorsed by registered structural engineers are approved for construction.
He urged the government to upscale the capacities of their staff and equip building approvals and control agencies with experienced professionals to enhance safety and sanity in the construction industry.
According to him, building collapse in Nigeria has become a regular occurrence, that results in casualties, material losses, financial wastages and severe property damage.
He stressed that the government should ensure that property owners and developers whose property werer not covered by valid building approval plans should regularise such property after ascertaining the structural stability of the buildings.
The expert said that such qualitative structural assessment would reveal inherent dangers and the havoc that was associated with existing defective buildings.
He stressed the need for state governments to implement an integrity audit of all old structures within locations where previous collapse had been recorded.
“The Process of Certification and re-certification of old and existing structures should not be a “righteousness fulfilling approach” anymore. We must put practical and feasible enforcement around it all,” he said.
He charged all professional bodies in the construction industry to embark on sensitisation campaigns for the public to create awareness on the evils and risks of using unqualified persons for construction.
Mokuolu emphasised that stiffer penalties should be placed on owners of collapsed buildings and project handlers in the country, especially where loss of lives was involved.
He said this would serve as a deterrent to the practices of some carefree developers in the country.
Also, Chief Adetola EmmanuelKing, Chief Executive Officer, Adron Homes and Properties, said that the country needed to pay attention to its housing outlook.
He stressed that enforcement of law to achieve standardisation was key, adding that government agencies should make the processes less cumbersome.
Mr Sunday Wusu, Vice Chairman, Lagos State Chapter, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), stressed the need for more collaboration among professionals in the construction industry.
Earlier, Mr Ehi Braimah, Vice President, NACC, said the predominant rate of building collapse in Nigeria posed a grave concern and serious challenges to all stakeholders in the building construction industry.
“For every collapsed building, the footprints of destruction of lives and loss of properties in locations where they occur, mostly in the urban cities of Port Harcourt, Abuja and Lagos, are usually undesirable,” he said.
(Edited by Idonije Obakhedo)
Economy: Capital market operators task new ministers on recession
Some capital market operators on Thursday said there was the need for the new ministers to commence work without delay to revive the nation’s economy to avoid another round of recession.
Mr Sola Oni, a chartered stockbroker and Chief Executive Officer, Sofunix Investment and Communications, said the ministers needed to commence work without wasting time to revitalise the economy.
“We run an economy where about 65 per cent of our income is devoted to servicing debt which hovers at 70 billion dollars.
“This is a killer situation and the state of infrastructure is still a journey to be accomplished,” Oni said.
He noted that attractive rate of fixed income securities was fast crowding out investment in equities.
“Once investors continue to be apprehensive of macroeconomic stability, the issue of medium and long term investment horizon becomes unpopular.
“This is one of the major factors accounting for the continuous slide in prices of shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange,” Oni said.
He said the ministers of Finance and Trade and Investment, the Senate and House of Representatives Capital Market Committees and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) needed to collaborate with capital market stakeholders.
Oni said they should engage the capital market stakeholders to agree on specific policy issues that would ensure economic recovery so as to revive the capital market on the basis of short, medium and long-term.
“Morning shows the day. The engagement should not take a whole quarter in preparation,” he said.
Malam Garba Kurfi, the Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd, called for more robust economic policies that would boost investor confidence in the capital market.
Kurfi said that there was the need for fiscal policy that would support monetary policy aimed at stabilising the foreign exchange and lowering inflation rate.
He also called for the privatisation of GENCOs and DISCOs by the Federal Government to make both companies more viable.
According to him, government should embrace the capital market as a source for infrastructure development.
Mr Moses Igbrude, Publicity Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), said all the ministers should start work immediately because things were in bad shape.
“Those saddled with the management of the economy should work closely with the private sector to formulate policies that will help businesses in order to create jobs and wealth for Nigerians.
“Government must and should harness the potential of the capital market for economic growth and development.
“A private sector-driven economy is the best approach to a sustainable and prosperous economy anywhere in the world,” Igbrude said.
He that the new Federal Executive Council (FEC) should also pursue policies targeted at Ease of Doing Business, multiple foreign exchange market and multiple taxation.
Mr Boniface Okezie, National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, said the new cabinet should embrace friendly-oriented policies.
Okezie said they should make Nigeria an investment destination by addressing insecurity, kidnapping and herdsmen clashes.
“Investors cannot come and invest in a place that is not safe for them to do their businesses whether foreigners or Nigerians,” he said.
Former NERC boss wants strong regulations to boost power sector
Mr Sam Amadi, former Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has called for strong regulations to drive the power sector for effective service delivery.
The forum has as its theme “Rules Compliance for Nigerian Electricity Market (NEM) Development and Sustainability”.¹
`We need to strengthen the regulations in the sector, government is trying with some policies intervention but policies cannot drive a regulated market. It is policy plus regulation .
“What TCN is doing by focusing on smart rules that can force this entities to perform is in the right direction.
“We should not think that the investors are coming to do the people good but they are coming to exploit the market .
“Our focus should be to create regulations that can put incentive and reassess capacity of the investors by setting a bench mark,” he said.
Amadi said that the critical issue in the market was funding, adding that market participant know what to do to improve the sector
According to him, the assumption is that it will be easy for private investors to raise capital to finance short term recovery of capacity and long time improvement of that.
“The wrong assumption was that tariff will provide the finance but its not possible even if you increase tariff by 1000 per-cent.
“The people cannot pay enough and the DisCos do not have good revenue management procedure to recover their money
“Primarily, we need to have a sector that can finance in the long term and recover the long term .
“We need to go back to reassess the capacity of the investors, if they cannot do the job, you find a way to divide their franchise in a way that it does not amount to risk.
Edited by Ese E. Ekama