Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has rated the performance of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) low, saying it is not optimistically feasible and under-performing.
Mrs Ahmed said this during the 2020 National Budget defence on Thursday, October 24, before the Senate Committee on Finance at the National Assembly at the nation’s capital, Abuja.
According to her, both the nation’s money and capital markets have not been in their best, with the latter not been able to provide a vibrant mainstay for the weak Nigerian economy.
“The [Nigerian] stock market, to my mind, personally, is shallow and we are looking at how to deepen it,” Mrs Ahmed told the Senate Committee during the budget defence.
She made this comment while answering a question asked by Senator Kasim Shettima as to why the capital market didn’t step up to absorb the effects of Nigeria going into a recession in 2016.
The Finance minister also said that a larger percentage of investments in the nation’s capital market are done by foreign investors which meant that these expatriate investors holding a higher share of the market was not healthy for the country.
While looking at ways to turn around the NSE’s under-performance, Mrs Ahmed recommended an amendment to the Pension Act to enable government invest the enormous pension funds in the markets as well as in the development of infrastructural facilities.
She added that federal government was working together with capital markets operators to mobilise domestic investors in the capital market.
Business Post reports that in late 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the bill to demutualise the stock exchange.
The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning proposed a total of N3.8 billion for its 2020 operations.