By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, has assured the federal government that the capital market would ensure it attracts investment in infrastructure to stimulate the economy.
In an interview on Thursday, Mr Yuguda said the administration of President Bola Tinubu had shown the desire to jump-start the economy with his policy direction.
He said the Nigerian capital market could be a viable tool to achieve infrastructure development, as it is an organised and specialised financial market that drives capital mobilisation through domestic savings and foreign capital inflows.
According to him, the benefits of adequate infrastructure in any economy cannot be overemphasised as they help to speed up development and create wealth.
“If we can get well thought out infrastructure in this country, it will do many things. It will raise the level of economic activities in the country as a whole, and these activities will need people to be employed so they can carry out those activities.
“That means the youths 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. Also, people will be buying the essentials of life, and the people who are in the business of producing or selling them will be in business. So, you find out that there is a chain effect,” the DG stated.
The SEC chief recalled that in the past, most famous industries were sited close to rail lines to aid the transportation of heavy machinery, raw materials, and finished products to consumers.
“You can have several carriages in the train carrying various products. Today we do not have the rail lines, and we need to revive this infrastructure,” he said.
The SEC DG expressed the hope that the nation’s economy will 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. Still, I am very confident that if we get our infrastructure right, our ranking will improve tremendously,” he said, adding that Nigeria has the population and the market right now, which means that investment in infrastructure can pay back itself in Nigeria faster than 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 towards the capital market for financing such investments, which he said would aid the much-needed economic development, assuring that once the infrastructure is right, the number of users will grow, boosting economic activities.
Mr Yuguda said this would 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 enjoy good roads again,” he added.
The SEC DG assured that the commission was committed to protecting investors and creating an enabling in the market, emphasising the SEC’s unwavering resolve to build a robust capital market that is instrumental to driving economic progress in the country.