Lagos state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, Tuesday expressed optimism that increased capital flows spurred by tax incentive would boost the nation’s capital market. He said this at his meeting with UK-Nigeria Emerging Capital Market Taskforce, led by a former Lord Mayor of the City of London, Sir Roger Gifford and President of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), who serve as co-chair of the Taskforce. The group had put together a report on Nigeria’s capital markets. Ambode believes Lagos state being the hub of Nigerian capital markets and the country generally will benefit from such development. The governor hinged his belief that Lagos would be a gainer of a transformed capital market on it being the fifth largest market in Africa.
“Lagos state has an important role to play in this process, not just as the host of the key market platforms, but as the largest issuers of sub-sovereign bonds in the Nigerian Capital Market”, Ambode stated.
“Even when you try to situate the level of bonds that we have taken and the level of growth and development that has taken place in Lagos, it’s very clear that the contribution of the capital market has been immense to us”.
He was also reasoned that a virile capital market would empower small and medium scale enterprises and larger companies, giving them greater access to long term capital and introducing innovative financial products. The governor promised that the state would provide an environment that will enable business growth, protect investments and ensure efficient judicial dispute resolution and arbitration system. On his part, Roger Gifford noted the report aim at reducing the cost of capital market transactions and tightening the regulatory enforcement process among others. Gifford said four key focused on were integrity of the market, regulatory infrastructure behind the market, market incentives and barriers, and market development in the areas of
derivatives and commodities. “The report reviews and makes recommendations for reforms that would deepen the Nigeria Capital Market and attract both domestic and international institution player. This is essential to the benefit of Nigeria as we also hope it would be to the benefit of the
international institutions”, he stated.
“We see a win-win situation for all of us, particularly the Lagos state government and we want to continue that process now over the next six months up to a year where we build capacity, strengthen the regulatory environment and deepen the considerable business links that
we have between London and Lagos, ”Gifford added.