News Column

Emefiele's Economic Blueprint to Boost Capital Market Activities - - Finance Experts

June 8, 2014

Some finance experts on Friday expressed optimism that the full implementation of the new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele's economic blueprint would boost capital market activities and national economic growth.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in interviews in Lagos that various sectors of the economy would experience a turnaround, if Emefiele carried out policies contained in his blueprint.

NAN reports that Emefiele, on June 5, unveiled his blueprint for the banking sector and the economy, and promised a gradual reduction in the interest rates on lending.

Emefiele said the CBN would act as a financial catalyst by targeting predetermined sectors that could create jobs on a mass scale and reduce the country's import bills.

Mr Emeka Madubuike, President, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), said that the economic agenda centered on inclusive growth and job creation, would revamp the market and the economy.

Madubuike said that high interest rates and unemployment were the major problems of the country.

"Any policy that focuses on unemployment reduction will boost economic growth and development," he said.

Mr Sehinde Adenagbe, the Managing Director, Standard Union Investment Ltd, said that a gradual reduction of interest rates would increase activities in the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Adenagbe said that low interest rates would lead to a redirection of funds into the stock market, which offers higher returns.

He said that proper lending to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) would boost the productive sector and increase the number of companies listed on the NSE.

Accordingly, more companies will seek listings on the exchange once the SMEs are adequately funded.

He said that the conservative nature of the governor was good for the economy, noting that he could not make uncalculated utterances that would affect the economy.

Alhaji Rasheed Yussuf, immediate-past President, ASHON, said that the economic blueprint was a continuation of the existing CBN policies.

Yusuuf said that Emefiele's blueprint would not lead to a major policy change.

He said that a detailed implementation plan was paramount, to avoid erosion of investor confidence and a depletion of the nation's foreign reserves.

However, Mr Henry Boyo, an economist with Les Leba Nigeria Ltd, expressed reservations on the full implementation of the blueprint.

Boyo said that Emefiele might mean well for Nigerians but he may find it difficult to implement policies that would affect his constituency as a banker.

He said that banks had enjoyed growth and sustainability in the past, based on the apex bank's wrong economic policies.

Boyo said that lower interest rates could not be achieved without a reduction in the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) and the cash reserve ratio (CRR).

He said that the CBN needed to address the excess liquidity in the system, to achieve economic growth and ensure lending to the real sector. (NAN)

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Source: AllAfrica

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