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Cautious optimism trails 2020 capital market activities

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COMFORT EKELEME, Asst Business Editor

As activities heralding the 2020 financial year is gradually unfolding, capital market experts have appealed to the federal government to take the capital serious, saying it is the barometer to measure economy of any nation.

This is even as some believe that the performance of the Nigerian capital market in 2019 was not without some hinges due to uncertainties in the political climate in the first quarter of the year, adding that the security situation in the country, scared many investors, leading to the delisting of some companies from the exchange.

They also stress the need for good policies that can impact the economy, policies that will enhance infrastructural development, improve power stability and  eliminate  ports congestion by opening up ports in other parts of country.

In a chat with Daily Champion, Publicity Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Moses Igbrude recalled that the performance of the stock market in 2019 was neither here nor there.

He said, “I say this because some companies paid good dividends especially the banks even with the challenging economic environment. Even with this performance, the stocks prices were generally poor and extremely under value through out this 2019.

“Many companies has delisted from the exchange because of environmental factors and government policies, policy instability,  insecurities, Port congestion multiple taxation,  infrastructural deficiency, high cost of funds etc.

“I am appealing to the federal government to take the Capital Market serious because it is the barometer to measure the economy of any Nation by providing necessary support through good policies that can impact the economy, policies that will enhance infrastructural development, improve power stability,  eliminating  ports congestion by opening up other ports in other parts of country.

“Harmonize all taxes for easy payment a situation where tax consultants will slam five to seven years of over N100 billion tax on  a company in order for the company management to negotiate is not ideal in modern society,” he said.

Speaking further, he stressed the need for the government and companies be partners in progress in order to grow the nation’s economy.

He said, the government should address the liquidity problem in the economy by providing tax incentives as well as finding strategy to reduce the high cost borrowing.

To him, FG’s policies should focus on how to stimulate local production and encourage exports, adding that the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme should be sincerely implemented.

In his view, National  Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Boniface Okezie who maintained that the performances of the capital market in 2019 was not too good, called for proactive measures by the regulators in order to move the market forward in 2020.

He said, “somehow the market performance in 2019 was not all that bad, at least people were able to survive it and move on but a lots need to be done by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and other nuclear regulators for them to be able to move the market forward.

“For the market to move forward in 2020, the regulators needs to wake up from their slumber, there is no two ways about it. SEC need to be proactive in their dealings with issues relating to frauds, so as to tackle it headlong they have not been forth coming in that directions. Until that is effective, we can’t now talk of improving the stock in 2020  but all the same let hope in God we will get there hoping the economy will improve,” he said .

Also speaking, Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, a Shareholder Activists was of the view that  the remodeling state of the economy in 2019 contributed to the poor performance of the market in 2019.

He said, “Our economy was remodeling and during the course of such actions,you couldn’t have it better than we did in year 2019. We tend to listen too much and digesting any theories pushed to us from abroad without giving our economic direction deep thought, forgetting that no two countries economy moves in the same direction, but that each must plan and move in accordance to their economic needs.

“The foreign investors came to our shore because we allowed them to dictates and direct our economic advancement,which weren’t in our best interest. We tend to listen and follow their manipulations on our economy and whenever we deviate, they threaten  with pull out and we go under the table.

“Nigeria economic life is under serious remodeling and focus,therefore we really performed well in year 2019, despite the tricks of our masters in the global economy.

“When China, under the leadership of Chairman Mao was remodeling Chinese economic life,the world super powers then distant themselves from them,but today China is the league of super powers, therefore no cause for alarm on our refocusing,remodeling and thank God the indigenous investor’s confidence is getting better on our capital market and we the Shareholders are reclaiming our capital market back from portfolio investors,” he stated.

Giving his expectations  for 2020, Olatokunbo maintained that this is the year of full recovery at the capital market.

He said, we expect to see several Rights/Public Offers and new quotations from the second quarter of the year on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the response will be overwhelming.

According to him, those foreign investors that left and those on defense would have to pay high price for re-entry, because of the recent attitudes of indigenous investors on the capital market.

“Our capital market is on track and the investors were showing proper understanding,therefore no cause for alarm,despite the fears of those who weren’t getting the necessary commission due to low trading at the NSE right now.

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