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Okonjo-Iweala, Johnson lead NSE’s listing drive

By on August 18, 2013

The Federal Government has intensified efforts to get more companies, especially those in the telecoms and oil and gas sectors, listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said this when she visited the Exchange in company with the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson and the Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Arunma Oteh.

While praising the Exchange for its contribution to the economy, she said, “We are here today because we believe that this stock market needs to be deepened and broadened and one of the key ways to do that is to get more companies to list.

“Our vision for this stock market is that it must become the premier stock exchange of Africa. We must overtake Johannesburg, even as our economy overtakes that of others and we are hoping that, down the line, this stock market will do the same.”

Okonjo-Iweala, who admitted that stockbrokers and officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the NSE had a lot to do to achieve the goal, pledged the support of the government, saying it would do what it had to do.

According to Johnson, the visit was also to support SEC and the NSE in their quest to bring the Nigeria capital market to where it was meant to be.

“We have spoken a lot about the technology and I am so impressed with the amount of technology I see here today. It has been a tremendous improvement,” she said.

“The other reason that I am here is to bring more companies unto the stock exchange. The ICT industry contributes 8.5 per cent to Gross Domestic Product: it is the fastest growing sector of the economy and we need to ensure that companies in the sector are listed on the stock exchange.”

Johnson explained that efforts had gone beyond just calls for more companies to be listed, adding that the drive was being done in a collaborative manner.

“We have had very good discussions with the telecoms companies; they understand why they should list. And what we are doing now is to prepare the plan for them to list because they are a number of things that need to be sorted out; these are very large companies… I think the difference here is that we have a plan and we would work that plan to ensure that we get the telecoms companies to list.”

The President, NSE, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, expressed his delight at the visit, saying it was proof that the government was fully in support of the revolution in the stock exchange.

He said stakeholders were eagerly anticipating the listing of the companies in the ICT industry because its contribution to the country’s GDP, as noted by the finance minister, was twice the contribution of the manufacturing sector.

Speaking on behalf of the stockbrokers, the Chief Executive Officer, Trust Yield Securities Limited, Mr. Ola Yussuf, thanked the ministers for the visit and for the support they had shown for the Exchange over the years.

He, however, called on the finance minister to make arrangements for the capital market to take over the funding of major projects in the country.