The Vice President of Nigeria, Senator Kashim Shettima, yesterday, said that the infrastructural deficits in Nigeria and the rest of the West African sub-region are better tackled with funding from the domestic capital market and not through foreign borrowing alone.
Similarly, Executive Governor of Lagos State Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, acknowledged the role of the capital market in providing long term finance, saying Lagos State has been the biggest beneficiary while governments like ours continue to make efforts at plugging the huge infrastructural deficits.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 3rd West Africa Capital Market Conference (WACMaC) with the theme: “Infrastructural Deficit and Sustainable Financing in an Integrated West African Capital Market” held in Lagos, Senator Shettima 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 emphasized.”
Shettima who was represented by Mr. Tope Fasua, Special Adviser to the President on Economic Affairs in the Office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, said: “Thus, 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 said “Innovations have turned out more than ever to be both a potent advantage and disadvantage depending on one’s readiness to engage. Indeed it is said that the best way to prepare for the future is to create it. Where are we on this? Whereas capital market development in any nation is not an easy task, much less its maintenance and sustainability.
“We must commend the efforts of entities, governments, corporates and individuals across West Africa who have over the time come together to put in the shift that got us here. There are three exchanges in the sub region, Nigeria, Ghana and Cote I’voire with others coming up. The question is why have other West African nations not developed their exchanges? How do they hope to leverage the advantage of capital formation, corporate governance and also to get companies fund in them to someday play big on the global stage?”
In an address, Executive Governor of Lagos State Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said governments are actively aware of the imperatives of addressing infrastructure deficit and sustainable financing in the region. He said 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 etc. are largely inadequate.
“These perennial inadequacies have hindered the economic growth of our various nations and economic development of our people. It behoves therefore on us to deliberate on ideas, financial strategies that can bridge these infrastructural gaps, enhancing the quality of life of our people and propelling our economy to greater heights.
“While governments like ours continues to make efforts at plugging the huge infrastructural deficits, we cannot do it alone and that is why we are collaborating with you and say we are waiting to see the types of innovative instruments and ideas that you can bring forward for us to be able to do the quick and very difficult work that you have asked us to do.”