NSE backs sale of refineries, Ajaokuta Steel
Nigerian Stock Exchange
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has urged the Federal Government to sell the country’s four refineries and the Ajaokuta Steel complex to enhance their operations.
The NSE’s Chief Executive Officer, Oscar Onyema, made the request in Lagos yesterday at an event to mark the 2016 Market Recap and 2017 Outlook.Despite the conflicting positions taken by stakeholders in the past, Onyema said the sale became necessary to stop the plants from draining the country’s resources.
According to him, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), operators of the refineries, had failed to revamp the comatose refineries over the years.
He explained that unbundling them would mitigate the excessive government’s spending on them and allow the funds realised to be deployed to other projects.
He said: “The Federal Government’s 10-point roadmap was a step in the right direction, but has not gone far enough to revive their sustainability. We believe that other institutions like the Ajaokuta Steel complex were constituting drain pipes on the nation’s scarce resources.”
He urged government to find creative ways of borrowing funds, since it had agreed to access the recently introduced green bond, which would be implemented by the first quarter of 2017.
Onyema stressed that the NSE would work towards becoming a more demutualised entity. He said it would fast-track the development of innovative products, such as exchange-traded derivatives to provide investors with better tools to meet the economic realities in 2017.
“We will enhance our cross-border integration efforts through African Securities Exchange Association’s (ASEA), African Exchange Linkage Project (AELP) model and the West African Capital Market Integration (WACMI) programme.
“The exchange would also continue to engage government to promote the listing of privatised state-owned entities (SOEs), as well as engage the private sector issuers for listings across all of our product categories,” he said.
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