In order to lift the Nigerian equity markets, galvanise new start-ups and expand existing projects, the federal government of Nigeria has inaugurated the National Savings Strategy (NSS) Workgroup, emphasising that there should be deliberate provision of naira-based risk capital.
Speaking at the occasion of the inauguration in Abuja yesterday, Mrs. (Dr.) Zainab Ahmed, the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, stressed the urgent task of diversifying the economy and deepening of the capital market.
On the NSS initiative, she said: “The Capital Market Masterplan proposed the NSS as one of the key initiatives to drive capital formation and investment necessary to support entrepreneurs and enterprise development in the urgent task of diversifying the economy and deepening of the Capital Market.”
“To lift the equity markets, galvanise new start-ups and expand existing projects, there should be deliberate provision of naira-based risk capital. In essence, nurturing, growing and channelling domestic savings to fund the creation of new enterprises will result in rapid economic growth, diversification of the economy, accelerated job creation and increased productivity and output of the Nigerian economy,” she also stated.
According to her, efforts are ongoing to review the Masterplan to align the assumptions and projections with current realities. “This is indeed a very important step in redefining the road map for stakeholder participation in the Nigerian capital market.”
“My expectation when the review is concluded is that we would have a strategic document that provides a clear pathway that would enable the Nigeria’s capital market achieve the goal to be Africa’s largest, deepest and most liquid capital market contributing not only to Nigeria’s socio-economic development but also serve as a global financial hub offering opportunities to other parts of Africa,” she stated further.
Aside from commending Ms. Mary Uduk, Ag. Director-General (DG) of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and her team, Chairman Capital Market Masterplan Implementation Committee (CAMMIC), as well as the members of CAMMIC Chaired by Mr. Olutola Mobolurin, Members designate of the National Savings Strategy (NSS) Working Group, other stakeholders in the Nigerian Financial Sector, for their dedication and commitment to the implementation of the Nigerian Capital Market Masterplan so far, the Honourable Minister also highlighted the terms of reference of the working group.
“Consequently, the terms of reference of the working group we are inaugurating today include: To study the NSS paper and advice the federal government on the feasibility of the proposals and/or with recommended changes; to advise on ways and means of mobilising and channeling corporate and individual savings to accelerate domestic capital formation to support entrepreneurs and enterprise development in the urgent task of diversifying the economy and the deepening of the capital market; to draft a National Working Paper that outlines a detailed roadmap on the implementation of the National Savings Scheme to be submitted for approval by the Federal Executive Council; and to engage all relevant stakeholders and carry out any relevant activity towards the actualisation of the mandate of the working group.
She also emphasised that the members of the working group have been carefully selected to ensure a rich combination of skill, experience and competence necessary to deliver on the task at hand. “I am, therefore, very confident in your abilities, individually and collectively, and charge you to go about the discharge of this national assignment with the spirit of patriotism, bringing to bear your professional pedigree and expertise towards achieving the desired results.”
The Chairman and members of the Federal Working Group of the NSS were inaugurated as follows: Mr. Fola Adeola (Banking & Investment) Chairman, while the members are Dr. Ore Sofekun (Fund & Investment Management); Mrs. Tokunboh Ishmael (Private Equity & Venture Capital); Mrs. Elizabeth Ngozi Ebi (Stock Brokerage); Mr. Chuka Eseka (Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria); Mr. Tunde Odukale (Insurance Industry); Mr. D.J. Yanfa (Central Bank of Nigeria); Ms. Ronke Adedeji (Pension Fund Operators of Nigeria); Mr. Okonkon Udoh (Federal Ministry of Finance); Dr. Thomas Olorundare (National Insurance Commission); Mr. Gabriel Ogunjemilusi (Federal Inland Revenue Service); Mr. Efiok E. Efiok (Securities & Exchange Commission); Prof. Ken Ife (Independent Economist); Prof. Nazifi Abdullahi Darma (Independent Economist); Dr. Bashir Aliyu Umar (Islamic Finance Expert); Mr. Bukar Kyari (Payment & Settlement Services Expert); Dr. Mo’ Omamegbe (Secretariat, Securities & Exchange Commission).