The Nigerian government has reiterated its determination to support the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) so it can achieve its goals of becoming Africa’s most vibrant capital market and investors destination of first choice.
“We are committed to vigorously pursue those policies that will improve the capital market and protect investors. I urged you to consolidate on the achievements recorded over the years, so as to boost investors confidence in the market,” Vice-President Namadi Sambo said here during the programme marking 50 years of the exchange
The NSE began trading with about four stocks in 1961. From a manual mode of transactions, the exchange has graduated into an electronic trading platform with more than 300 quoted companies listed.
“Our market had in the last fifty years witnessed tremendous changes. Our trading volumes expanded in both real and nominal terms. Operationally, the market which started with a Call-Over System had since 1999 migrated to an Automated Trading System (ATS) with T+3 Settlement Cycle,” the interim President of the exchange, Balama Manu, said at the ceremony.
“We are not resting on our oars. We shall very soon commence the deployment of more advanced technology that will support leading-edge, time-sensitive, high speed trade execution just like what obtains in more advanced climes,” he said.
Manu also expressed his displeasure that two leading sectors of the economy – Telecommunications and the upstream Oil and Gas – are excluded from the market.
Surprisingly, most of the International companies operating in the two sectors are listed in their home countries and generate significant wealth and growth momentum for their local economies.
“The disconnect between these sectors of the economy and those traded on the stock market makes international investors uncertain about investing in our stock market. Although the international telecoms companies have local partners, the vast majority of Nigerian investors have not benefited from the huge profit made by these companies,” Manu said.
He called on the government to come up with attractive policies that will encourage the listing of the companies in both the telecommunications and the upstream of the oil and gas sectors to invest in the capital market