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Operators fault government’s infrastructure financing involvement

PHOTO: George Osodi/Bloomberg

CIS pledges advocacy role to boost bourse

Capital market operators have faulted government’s level of financial involvement in the provision of critical infrastructure, urging them to focus more on the formulation and implementation of policies that will impact positively on the lives of the people.

The operators, who gave the advice during the 22nd yearly conference of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), in Lagos, at the weekend, argued that balanced approach would help to boost production in the country and generate more employment for the rising youth population.

Specifically, the Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, John Chukwu, said the need for government to show less involvement in the financing of key infrastructure, as well as allow the private sector to mobilise capital to fund these key infrastructure has become imperative.

“Government should concern itself in policy formulation and implementation of programmes that will transform the living standard of the people. There is still abject poverty in the country, as parents cannot afford to send their children to school and have quality education.

“In fact, there is lack of manpower in the education sector and government should find a way of boosting the sector,” he said.

The Chairman, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Chief Patrick Ezeagu, pointed out that “government has no business being in business.”

“The provision of infrastructure is key, but the financing should be driven by the private sector. There should be Public Private Partnership, PPP in this key infrastructure so that government can pay more attention to the provision of enabling environment that will strive investment and production.

“Also, government should pay attention to policies that will transform the economy faster. Imagine, a key government agency, SEC without substantive Director General and Board. How can the foreign investors take the capital market serious?”, he said

The Presidential aide on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwale, however, assured that government is doing everything within its powers to  address some of the economic problems facing the country.

She said: “The Economic Recovery Growth Plan has helped in taking Nigeria out of recession in the short term. It has also helped to bring down inflation, though with marginal growth. It is helping in providing jobs through the provision of infrastructure and alleviating poverty among others.”

The President of CIS, Adedapo David Adekoje, said CIS operates in full partnership with the best known international professional bodies in Securities and Investment in the world.

He pointed out that as a mark of recognition of the institute’s high professional and examination standards, the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, United Kingdom (CISI-UK), with effect from this year, will grant full membership (MCSI) to Fellows and Associates of our institute.”

“The Institute has always made it a cardinal responsibility to bring its rich intellectual resources to bear and serve as a strong advocacy platform to guide policy makers at all levels of government and the organised private sector in forging a strong and robust economy, especially from the perspective of the financial services sector,” he added.