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Zainab Ahmed: Capital market can provide funds needed for government projects

The finance minister emphasised the importance of the capital market as a channel through which government budget and economic infrastructure deficits can be financed.

Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, has urged capital market operators to ramp up retail investments by encouraging citizens to invest in the capital market.

Ahmed was speaking on Thursday at the 5th Budget Seminar organised by the Security Exchange Commission (SEC).

NAN reports that the programme was themed ‘Financing Nigeria’s Budget and Infrastructure Deficits through the Capital Market’.

“This is necessary for us to be able to effectively compete with the rest of the world”

The finance minister emphasised the importance of the capital market as a channel through which government budget and economic infrastructure deficits can be financed.

“Past experiences have shown that the capital market has been supportive in providing the necessary funds to finance governments’ projects,” Ahmed said.

“The budget is N13.95 trillion, capital expenditure of N4.37 trillion amounting to 32.2 percent of the total expenditure and overall deficit of N5.6 trillion to be financed by almost equally domestic and foreign sources.

“Government is committed to introducing more of these instruments in partnership with the capital market, to finance projects for economic growth.”

In his remarks, Lamido Yuguda, director-general of SEC, said the capital market had the capacity to roll out innovative products to support the country’s infrastructure needs.

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“This is necessary for us to be able to effectively compete with the rest of the world,” he said.

“The communiqué from this meeting will be circulated to relevant public and private sectors stakeholders as input in financial discussions on fiscal policy.” 

Also speaking at the virtual event, Aisha Dahiru-Umar, director-general of the National Pension Commission (PenCom), represented by Farouk Aminu, the commission’s head of corporate affairs, said the pension sector is ready to invest in the capital market.

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