The Nigerian Stock Exchange (“NSE” or “The Exchange”) hosted the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed on Monday, 24 February 2020. The event themed, “A Day at the NSE” marked the first visit of Dr. Zainab Ahmed to the Stock Exchange House.
With a delegation comprising the Special Adviser to the President on Finance and Economy, Dr. Sarah Alade, and the Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Mary Uduk, the Honourable Minister engaged in a series of interactive sessions with members of the Council and Executive Committee of the NSE, Trading License Holder firms, members of the press and other capital market stakeholders.
Speaking in a closed door session, the President of the National Council, NSE, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo said, “We are delighted to host the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed and her powerful delegation at the Stock Exchange today. The NSE sees the portfolios under the Honourable Minister as pivotal to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy and is committed to partnering with the Ministry to boost activities in the capital market, especially in view of the completion of NSE’s demutualisation exercise.”
The CEO, NSE, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON speaking at the event highlighted, “The NSE is at the intersection of many stakeholders. We, therefore, continue to partner and engage with the government to advocate for policies that deliver an enabling business environment for the Nigerian Capital Market and the economy at large. Our efforts in this regard led to the successful capital raising efforts of government through Green Bonds making Nigeria the first country in Africa to issue Green Bonds. This market has now evolved to consist of Green Bonds from both government and private sector.”
Mr. Onyema further stated, “In fulfilling our mandate to unlock significant investment value for the nation, the NSE is eager to work with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to deliver on matters including the reduction of Company Income Tax for listed companies to boost compliance and encourage new listing; extended tax exemption for federal government securities and corporate debt; and the issuance, listing and trading of innovative investment instruments like tax credits and promissory notes.”
The Honourable Minister was also celebrated with a Closing Gong Ceremony on the trading floor of the NSE. Addressing the brokers on the floor, Dr. Zainab Ahmed said, “This has been a historic day for me and I count it a real privilege to be here. The NSE lies at the heart of the Nigerian economy. Since its inception in 1960, the NSE has been a pioneering institution achieving numerous ‘firsts’ in its efforts to deepen the capital market and this administration is proud to have collaborated on several significant projects. We see the NSE as a strategic partner and commit to reinforce, revise or renew the right policies to deepen this market as advised by the Exchange.”
The NSE in fulfilling its mission to be Africa’s preferred exchange hub periodically hosts “A Day at NSE”. This is one in a series of the NSE’s renewed government relations, where key government stakeholders interact with the capital market community on important issues that affect both parties in terms of Nigeria’s economic management and policy reforms, ease of doing business environment, foreign and local investment attractiveness, capital market and ultimately economic growth and development.