L-R: Vice Chairman, Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN), Mr Friday Ekeoba; Managing Director/Chief Executive of Arthur Steven Asset Management Limited, Mr Olatunde Amolegbe and Chairman CAMCAN, Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma during the CAMCAN Review of 2023 Market Performance and Outlook for 2024 in Lagos

By Ngozi Onyeakusi—he Managing Director/Chief Executive of Arthur Steven Asset Management Limited, Mr Olatunde Amolegbe, has called on the Federal Government to encourage listings on the nation’s bourse to boost capital market participation and tax revenue generation.

Amolegbe highlighted companies in which the government had direct or indirect holding as well as companies that did business with government.

This, he said, would not only deepen the capital market but would engender transparency and boost tax revenue in the country.

Amolegbe made the call at the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) January forum in Lagos with the theme: “Review of 2023 Market Performance and Outlook for 2024.”

He said as against over 50 per cent market capitalisation to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as seen in many countries, Nigeria’s market capitalisation to GDP stands at 13 per cent.

“This is an indication that majority of the big companies in the country are not participating in the Nigerian capital market,” he said.

Amolegbe, former President of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, who noted that the capital market ensures transparency for listed companies said increased listing would increase tax revenue for the government.

“I believe government needs to consider urging companies particularly those they have direct holding in and those that have huge business with government to list on the market.

“A lot of businesses are not listed on the exchange and they do business a lot with government; the more transparent the listing, the more tax revenue, he said.

Expressing optimism on the listing of Dangote Refinery and NNPC Limited, he said it would boost the capitalisation of the Nigerian capital market.

He also charged the government on the rising spate of insecurity in the country saying until it is addressed, inflation would continue to soar and investor would remain wary of investing in the country.

“Insecurity is a major issue and government needs to work on it as it is disrupting supply chain and this contributing to the increase in inflation rate.

“Farmers are not unable to produce and the ones that can produce can’t get to market,” Amolegbe said.

“As long as the environment is seen as unstable, investors, both local and foreign will continue to be wary of investing, leading to a further decline in foreign exchange inflow,” Amolegbe said.

He added that foreign exchange would be a significant contributor to where the capital market would be by the year end.

“If liquidity improves and price stables, organisations can better plan.

“If not, 2024 might be a dicey year for a lot of quoted companies,” he said.

On the 2023 market performance, he noted that the All-Share Index closed the year at 74,773.77 points while the market capitalisation closed at N40.918 trillion.

Amolegbe listed the events that underpinned the market performance in 2023 as smooth transition of government, president’s inaugural speech, enactment of partial removal of subsidy, unification of foreign exchange and increasing monetary policy rate.