LAGOS – The Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ICMR), weekend said there would be hard times in the equities market in 2015 unless the Federal Government ensures strict implementation of the austerity measures.
Dr David Ogogo, ICMR Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, spoke in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
Ogogo predicted that the equities market would be turbulent in 2015 because of persistent drop in crude oil price at the global market.
He said that the government should ensure full implementation of its austerity measures to cushion the effect of the oil price fall on the economy and as well boost investors’ confidence.
The Federal Government had, on November 16, announced a package of austerity measures as part of fiscal adjustments designed to mitigate the negative impact of lower global oil prices on the Nigerian economy.
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance, and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, said that the belt tightening initiative was the first of other policies that the government intends to implement if the fall in oil prices persists.
Among the austerity measures is the restriction on foreign travel by public officials.
Henceforth, foreign trips will be permitted only when they become compellingly, while local travel will also be curtailed drastically.
Okonjo-Iweala said that the measures would not affect salaries of public sector workers and key initiatives in education, health and other critical areas vital to the development of the country.
According to Ogogo, the capital market will experience a little growth in 2015 if the measures are implemented rigorously.
He said that the market performance in 2015 would depend on the developments in the crude oil market, due to dominance of foreign investors in the Nigerian capital market.
Ogogo said that there was a need for the country to diversify in its economy and not to focus attention on only oil production.
He called for more support for the non-oil sector to enable it to contribute effectively to the growth of the economy.
The registrar said that the institute would embark on more public enlightenment programmes in 2015 to address the issue of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian capital market.
Ogogo said that ICMR’s major aim was to reduce the quantum of unclaimed dividend in the market.
He said that investors should embrace the e-dividend platform introduced by the Securities and Exchange Commission by giving their account details to their various registrars.