’Prioritize Capital Markets to Achieve $1 TRN Economy’

Professor of Finance and Capital Market, Uche Uwaleke, emphasized the need for government to unlock the huge potential of long-term financing inherent in the capital market and ensure loans tied to infrastructure bonds.

Uwaleke said this at the 2023 conference of the Capital Markets Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) held in Lagos at the weekend.

He said this is necessary for the country’s economy to grow at a steady rate of 16 percent per annum over the next six years to reach a $1 trillion economy by 2030.

Uwaleke said that as the country’s infrastructure investment needs continue to expand and government debt profiles rise significantly, raising long-term financing through the capital market and leveraging domestic market debt in infrastructure bonds is critical to achieving the target. .

Speaking on the theme, 'Improving Capital Markets in Financing the National Development Plan’, Uwaleke said: „Despite the creation of a development plan designed to address the country’s huge infrastructure gap, Nigeria is still rated as having one of the lowest shares of infrastructure in GDP among emerging economies.

“To bridge the gap, government has proposed that Nigeria invest $3 trillion over the next 30 years and $100 billion annually in infrastructure through the formulation of the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan. This translates into an annual investment of over N42 trillion, more than the combined annual budgets of the federal and sub-national governments. .

„Financing this huge infrastructure gap poses a formidable challenge for the government, given Nigeria’s low income-to-GDP ratio of less than 10 percent making capital market access.”

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However, Uwaleke pointed out that the country’s capital market is currently beset by myriad challenges, which have continued to limit its full development despite the giant strides made in the past two decades.

He noted that the extent to which the Nigerian capital market can facilitate economic growth is a function of its level of development.

The Deputy Director, Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) Lagos Regional Office, Mr John Briggs, urged the government to develop infrastructure financing instruments that would facilitate the fulfillment of obligations.

According to him, we have promoted several infrastructure funds like sukuk and green bonds and are even talking about blue bonds to develop the market. The capital market has created an enabling environment to ensure a transparent and dynamic market to attract investment.

Meanwhile, the President of CAMCAN, Mrs. Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma said this year’s workshop is part of the association’s contributions to the development of the country’s economy, adding that the forum has continued to act as a conduit for regulators, operators and company executives. To brainstorm on issues affecting the market and economy.

He said the theme of this year’s conference highlighted the imperative need to properly implement the National Development Plan and make the capital market the centerpiece of medium and long-term sources of finance.

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