President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday in Lagos disclosed that the federal government would come up with guidelines and incentives that would encourage major companies in the oil/gas, telecommunications and power sectors to list on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Jonathan also said that a substantive Director General would be named for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in April.
Speaking during a meeting with the capital market community at the NSE, Jonathan said the government attaches much importance to the capital market as it reflects significant performance of the nation’s economy and would do everything economically possible to make the market attractive to investors and issuers.
He said, as the biggest economy in Africa, the nation’s capital market ought to equally be the largest, adding that the only to achieve that is to ensure that big companies operating in the economy and are benefiting make their shares available for Nigerians to invest in and benefit.
He said before now he has had discussions with MTN during one of his visits to South Africa on the need to list their shares.
“When I met with MTN in South Africa, we discussed the need for them to list. We are working hard to make sure that companies that are supposed to list do so. That is the only way the Nigerian capital market and economy can grow so that Nigerians can participate. Definitely if you take the power companies, as they grow bigger they will list,“ he said.
The president added that after a proper study of the situation, the government would come up with the guidelines for the listing, disclosing that listing of companies would be one of the incentives.
“We will certainly come up with guidelines in that regard. It is only proper study something and meets with technical experts before coming out with the final pronouncement on it. But will definitely encourage most of these companies to list and make it a condition for them to benefit from government in some areas you must do certain things properly. So I believe we will give you what you want,” he said.
Jonathan assured the stockbrokers and executives of listed companies that the government would continue to partner the private sector and hand off the management of business in order to solely face the provision of an enabling environment for businesses to thrive
“We will continue to partner the private sector. We are moving a away from where government used to be the best manager of companies, best investors, to area where the government will create the enabling environment for the private sector to manage the economy,” he said.