By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, says the Federal Government is working very hard to address the current security challenges in the country to boost investment.
Mustapha gave the assurance at the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) 2021 national workshop.
The theme of the workshop was: “Leveraging the Financial Market to Achieve Double Digit Economic Growth for Nigeria.”
He assured Nigerians that the government would continue with its efforts to address the current security challenges to boost investment opportunities in the country.
Mustapha, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Economic and Political Affairs Office, Mr Andrew Adejo, the government was fully aware of the plight of citizens and would remain focused in delivering on its mandate of securing lives and property.
According to him, vibrant economic growth begins from an efficient financial market that is capable of pooling funds from surplus area to deficit, thereby boosting investment inflow and contributing optimally to the economy.
He said the role of stockbrokers in wealth creation and ensuring that the capital market remained a sustainable platform for raising long term capital could not be over emphasised.
Mustapha lauded the CIS in its efforts to regulate the conduct and practice of stockbroking in Nigeria and ensuring that investors got value for their investment.
He noted that the capital market connected the monetary sector with the real sector and facilitated growth to the real sector by extension enhanced economic development.
“It is, therefore, imperative that economic growth in a modern society hinges on an efficient and effective financial sector that pulls domestic savings, encourages foreign direct investment to formalise capital for productive projects in support of the nation’s development agenda.
“Government recognises the importance and the crucial role of the CIS in improving financial literacy and providing the necessary training and support,” he added.
Earlier in his address, Mr Olatunde Amolegbe, President & Chairman of Council CIS, said Nigeria, blessed with immense human and natural resources, was listed among the poorest countries in the world in terms of per capita income.
“Just recently, in 2020, the country fell into its second economic recession in five years, although largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected all countries in the world.
“Historically, it has been observed that poorer countries need a much faster rate of GDP growth than the advanced economies of the world to maintain standards of living as well as keep up with higher population growth rate relative to the developed economies.
“In fact, if we review the economic history of Nigeria, we will observe that this phenomenon is not new. In 1970, we recorded a GDP growth of 25.01 per cent,” he said.
He added that the following year, the country recorded 14.24 per cent, while in 1974, it dropped further to 11.16 per cent.
“As we can all attest to, most of the fundamental economic infrastructure of the country was built around 1970s.
“Our last record of double-digit GDP growth in Nigeria was in 2002 when the indicator grew by 15.33 per cent.
“As at today, Nigeria, no doubt has a massive infrastructural and educational deficit to cover. The country is also contending with a significant employment deficit,” Amolegbe said.
He said he was not surprised that the annual GDP growth rate of the Nigerian economy was at low single digit levels.
“We obviously need to push for an annual average GDP growth rate of 10 per cent or more over the next 10-to-20-year period to achieve the potential inherent in our economy and to improve the standard of living of the people.
“That was the secret of China’s transformation from a developing country of Nigeria’s status to a developed one that is rivalling the USA in almost every facet of economic activity globally today,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)