‘2021 capital budget not enough’

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The 29 per cent allocation to capital budget in the 2021 appropriation bill is not sufficient to bridge the nation’s infrastructural gap and there I need to explore the capital market to bridge the gap.

President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Mr Olatunde Amolegbe, said the 29 per cent allocation to capital expenditure –about N3.4 trillion, is not sufficient to bridge the gap given the neglect in the past compared to about $14 billion annual requirement so the capital market and the private sector should provide support.

He noted that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated the Nigeria’s fragile economy with sharp drop in government revenue has made it more difficult for the government to weather the crisis.

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According to him, the resulted decline in consumption, aggregate demand, investment, net export and increasing government spending had led the Federal Government to review the budget downwards to N10.8 trillion.

He pointed out that the current macroeconomic trend informed the focus of the institute’s 2020 Stockbrokers’ Conference with the theme: “Navigating through the Storms-Reenergising the Economy through the Capital Market”.

He noted that numerous sub-themes on contemporary issues in the financial market with a view to dissecting current macroeconomic challenges militating against the country.

“Capital market provides better funding options in terms of cost and tenor, relative to bank loans. Our panelists shall also examine investment options for diversification of portfolios across asset classes and beyond the traditional asset classes. We plan to examine how the proposed CAMA 2020 will benefit the capital market as well as provide context on how the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s demutualisation shall benefit the capital market stakeholders,” Amolegbe said.

He said the flagship conference, the 24th edition and the first hybrid of physical and virtual presence; is unique as the presentations shall generate raw materials for the government’s economic blueprint in this era of tough operating environment.

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“We have invited seasoned speakers from within and outside the country to provide their perspectives on the focus areas. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the high profile conference, scheduled for Wednesday, November 4 and Thursday, November 5 by physical and virtual mode, is designed to address some of the fundamental economic challenges in Nigeria,” Amolegbe said.

He said the conference would sensitise all tiers of government, particularly, the Federal Government to leverage investment opportunities in the capital market to raise medium and long term capital  to bridge the mounting infrastructure deficit.

He added that the overriding objective for the conference is to provide direction for both fiscal and monetary authorities to deploy expansionary policies for sustainable growth and development.

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