•Senat Capital Market Committee Pledges Support, Laws For Market Devt
Chief Executive of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Oscar Onyema, on Thursday lamented that the bourse has lost all of N3.2tr from March 9, 2020, which he referred to as black Monday, when market capitalization fell by N329.387bn from N13.694tr on Friday to N13.365tr, while the benchmark All-Share index lost 632.07 basis points or 2.41%.
Onyema, who was reacting to a challenge by Senator Ibikunle Amosun, that the capitalization should hit the N15tr mark before the next visit of the Senate Committee on Capital Market to the bourse.
Amosun, chairman of the committee, who led members on a working visit to the exchange, had before striking the gong to close the day’s trading, was told that before that Monday, the market was rising towards N15tr.
Before striking the gong, Amosun, former Ogun State governor, noted that the NSE must play a significant role in the process of diversifying the nation’s economy, calling attention to sectors that would enhance greater participation of Nigerians in the economy.
Specifically, he said the real sector more be energized to do more for the people, even as “the MSMEs (Micro, Medium and Small-scale Enterprises) should be those feeding the conglomerates.”
He promised that the committee and the National Assembly as a whole will help the capital market by creating the enabling environment for its to thrive by making laws and revising existing ones. Such laws in need of a revisiting in support of the NSE and the capital market, he continued, include the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB); and the Companies & Allied Matters Act (CAMA), among others.
The NASS, Amosun continued, will also look into how to make the nation’s pension assets play deeper into the market, even as he commended the level of improvement in the workings of the stock exchange and the room for improvement.
Fielding questions from journalists later, the committee chairman said despite the decline in market indices, it is time for the capital market to buckle up and prepare to absorb future shocks.
“We need to think outside of the box” to get the market out of murky waters, even as he expressed optimism that the situation would not last forever.
While commending stakeholders for their efforts so far, he stressed that it is for times like this that Nigeria needs to diversify, with the collapse in oil price.
“Now is the time to encourage other sectors for participatory development.
Addressing council members of the NSE during an interactive session earlier, Amosun commended efforts by the bourse to create a truly sustainable exchange hub for wealth creation and capital formation in Africa.
“We have met a very professionally run Exchange during this visit and we encourage you to keep up the good work. The Nigerian Stock Exchange has been a critical player in the development of the Nigerian economy. Your efforts have culminated in moving Nigeria out of a monolithic phase and we thank you for all the good work. On behalf of the Senate Committee, I assure you that we will continue to create that enabling environment that will support you in growing our market and providing Nigerians innovative opportunities to create wealth,” he stressed.
Despite the current gloom, Onyema expressed a positive outlook for the Nigerian economy, assuring the visitors of the NSE’s commitment to national development.
“Nigeria remains an attractive investment destination as Africa’s most populous country, positioned to be a top 20 economy by 2030 and top 10 by 2050. The Exchange is, therefore, committed to engaging stakeholders to set the Nigerian economy on a positive trajectory. To successfully do this, we will continue to advocate for the right economic policies that will ensure that both issuers and investors in our market can reap real value.”
Photo caption: Sen. Amah Micheal Nnachi, Member, Senate Committee on Capital Market; Sen. Kashim Shettima, Member, Senate Committee on Capital Market; Ms. Mary Uduk. Acting Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission; Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON, Chief Executive Officer, The Nigerian Stock Exchange; H.E. Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, CON, Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market; Sen Yaroe Binos Dauda, Member, Senate Committee on Capital Market; and Sen. Yakubu Oseni, Member, Senate Committee on Capital Market during the Senate Committee on Capital Market’s courtesy visit to The Exchange on Thursday, March 19, 2020.