Border closure, forex restriction’ll boost capital market –Minister

the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, has said the gains being recorded from the border closure and the foreign exchange restriction on 44 items will increase domestic business’ activities and make the capital market more active.

Adebayo, while speaking at the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s session on consumer goods, said there was no doubt that the consumer goods sector remained a critical segment and played an integral role in the development and advancement of the Nigerian economy.

According to him, available statistics show that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 1.94 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the second quarter of 2019, with the manufacturing sector contributing 11.49 per cent to nominal GDP.

He said the sector had nonetheless experienced various economic turmoil in recent years as witnessed in the foreign exchange market between 2014 and 2017, which made the government take immediate steps to redress the problems by banning forex access for purchase of 41 items in 2015.

Adebayo stated that the consumer market in the country was valued at $377bn in 2013 and expected to peak at $454.3bn by 2025.

He said, “Nigeria, with a population estimated at 200 million people with 72 per cent under the age of 30, indicates a huge potential for future investment and consumption activities.

“Nations must be proactive and focused to deliver the right policies and programmes using critical institutions – both public and private – to boost output by providing the right environment and financing for businesses to thrive.

“This, to my mind, is where the capital market should take the lead as a financial intermediator.”

He added that the Federal Government remained committed to improving the business environment towards industrialisation and economic prosperity.

The Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema, said the exchange had made policy advocacy and strategy execution efforts to ensure a positive impact was made in the private sector, and more importantly, listed companies.

He said the NSE continued to engage the Federal Government on tax incentives for listed companies and exemption relating to investments in the capital market.

Onyema said, “We are delighted to note that we have made some strides in our discussions, some of which are evident in the proposed amendments to the Finance Bill 2019, which has now been passed by both Houses of the National Assembly.”

He noted that the NSE was mindful of the legislative process and was optimistic of future implementations.
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