By Ifeyinwa Ezeokoli
With the assumption of office of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has assured of the readiness of the capital market to aid in infrastructure development.
The Director-General of the SEC, Lamido Yuguda, gave the assurance in an interview on Thursday.
Yuguda expressed the belief that the Nigerian capital market, being an organized and specialized financial market that drives capital mobilization through domestic savings and foreign capital inflows, is well positioned for the realization of the infrastructure objectives of the nation.
He noted that the benefits of adequate infrastructure in any economy cannot be overemphasized, as they help speed up development and create wealth.
“If we are able to get well-thought-out infrastructure in this country, it will do a lot of things. It will raise the level of economic activity in the country as a whole, and these activities will need people to be employed so they can carry them out.
“That means the youth and our people will get more employment, and as you get more employment, people get more disposable income and need to find outlets to spend that income. That means people can set up small industries and be able to live decent lives,” he said.
The SEC boss recalled that in the past, most famous industries were sited close to rail lines to aid the transportation of heavy machinery and raw materials as well as finished products to consumers.
“You can have several carriages in the train carrying various products. Today we do not have rail lines, and we need to revive this infrastructure,” he said.
Lamido expressed the hope that the nation’s economy would bounce back and thrive with the aid of the capital market.
“I have a lot of hope in our economy. Right now, if you do the GDP ranking, Nigeria is about number 30, but I am very confident that if we get our infrastructure right, our ranking will improve tremendously,” he added.
According to him, Nigeria has the population and the market right now, which means that investment in infrastructure can pay itself back in Nigeria faster than in other parts of Africa because the nation has more people that can use the infrastructure.
He, therefore, urged the government at all levels to look to the capital market for financing such investments, which he said would aid much-needed economic development.
He assured that once the infrastructure is right, the number of users will grow, which in turn will boost economic activity.
Yuguda said this will all be aided by the capital market, as it is an unbiased price determination machinery for the economy.
“Once we have the right infrastructure, people will travel by road.” We did in the past, and I think once we have the right structures in place, we can begin to enjoy good roads again,” he said.
Lamido assured that the commission is committed to protecting investors and creating an enabling market environment.
He said that the SEC’s unwavering resolve to build a robust capital market would be instrumental to driving economic progress in the country.
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