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Our economic policies’ll attract foreign investments – Osinbajo

John Ameh, Ifeanyi Onuba and Leke Baiyewu

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has assured investors that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is committed to implementing strategies and policies that will encourage foreign direct investments and economic development.

Osinbajo listed the economic initiatives of the administration towards achieving the goal as including the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, the unprecedented investments in capital projects in the last three years, tax incentives and the ease of doing business campaign.

The Vice-President said this in Abuja on Monday at the opening of the 2nd Capital Market Stakeholders’ Forum organised by the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Institutions.

He was represented at the event by the Director General, Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha.

Osinbajo said these strategies and policies were aimed at attracting investors into various sectors of the economy, with the aim of growing and diversifying the economy, creating jobs and improving the quality of life.

The Vice-President noted the importance of the capital market in the attainment of these objectives.

He said, “Financial markets are known to be engines of growth because of the strategic role they play in the flow of funds to businesses and governments. There is extensive literature on the fact that there is a strong positive correlation between the level of development of the financial system and economic development for the simple reason that financial markets act as intermediaries between lenders and borrowers.

“While this correlation is certainly the case for the advanced market economies, the same cannot be said for the Nigerian capital market in the areas of legislations, regulations, technology and be products, amongst others, which have attracted local and foreign investors to the market. I will like to commend the regulators and operators alike for these achievements.

“There is, however, room for innovation, increased depth and efficiency of the capital market, and this represents an opportune time for these to begin to occur in anticipation of increased and more sophisticated demand for capital market products.”

In his speech, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who was represented by the Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda, noted that the quality of minds at the forum, both from the organised private sector and the public sphere, truly underscored the crucial role of the capital market in the development and sustenance of the Nigerian economy.

Saraki said, “This is all in our collective bid to ensure that the economic mistakes and challenges of the past remain in the past, while we chart a new course for the future. In essence, hinging our survival on forces beyond our control is not sustainable, and guarding against this unfortunate event must evolve a robust diversification agenda for the economy.

“The need to prioritise agriculture and other non-oil sectors cannot be over emphasised, and the position of the capital market as a major driver of this plan is central. The role of the capital market, and the institutions integral to it, must be emboldened to drive development in the private sector.”