Vice president, Senator Kashim Shettima has called for active involvement of capital market stakeholders in bridging Nigeria’s $3 trillion infrastructure deficit.
Shettima stated this at the opening ceremony of the third West Africa Capital Market Conference (WACMaC) with the theme: ‘Infrastructural Deficit and Sustainable Financing in an Integrated West African Capital Market’ held on Wednesday in Lagos.
Shettima, who was represented by Special Adviser to the President on Economic Affairs in the Office of the Vice President, Mr. Tope Fasua, said, the centrality of capital market to Nigeria’s development trajectory especially to the evolution of corporate sector, industries and most importantly infrastructural development cannot be over emphasised.
He added that, it is a time of intense competition among nations and resources, and with advancement in technology, nations are able to reach to nations with their products just as businesses have their fingers in billions of pockets the world over.
The vice president urged regulators and operators to be deliberate on how to meet the challenges the capital market presently faces by meeting young West Africans online, creating apps that they can relate with, using block chains where necessary to show transparency and to give them control that they seek.
He implored West Africa regulators and operators to think hard to find liquidity, growth and sustainability in their markets, saying if stock exchanges in developed countries still thrive like New York, London, Amsterdam, Bombay and Egypt there is no reason why West African exchanges should not thrive.
The director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and chairman of West Africa Securities Regulators Association, WASRA, Mr. Lamido Yuguda stated that, the conference (WACMaC) was conceived as a platform to address crucial issues related to the orderly growth and development of regional and continental capital markets and jointly hosted by WASRA, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West Africa Capital Market Integration Council (WACMIC), and the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI).
According to him, “WACMIC and WASRA bring together the securities exchanges, central securities depositories and commissions of the sub-region, comprising Cape Verde, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), with Morocco as an observer member. Our mission, as outlined in the ECOWAS Commission Treaty, is to facilitate the issuance and trading of financial securities across the region.”
He added that, “we are confident that this event, will foster integration, encourage capital formation, promote tourism, and attract investors.”
In an address, executive governor of Lagos State Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said, the co-operation between the various bodies fortifies the bedrock of the West African region fostering a collaborative spirit among member states.
Sanwo-Olu said, governments are actively aware of the imperatives of addressing infrastructure deficit and sustainable financing in the region, saying, the theme of the conference is especially apt for the moment as across the sub region, modern infrastructure such as roads, rails, ports, fibre optics connectivity power, among others are largely inadequate.