LAGOS – Some financial experts yesterday expressed concerns that the impending general elections might stall economic activities till second quarter of 2015.
They told newsmen in Lagos that uncertainties in the nation’s economy would normalise by June after the general elections.
Prof. Sheriffadeen Tella, Head, Department of Economics, Onabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun, said that economic activities would be determined by the outcome of the elections.
Tella said that the outcome of the general elections was strategic to economic growth and development in 2015 for both local and foreign investors.
He said that devaluation of the naira would lead to high inflation, high cost of borrowing and rise in production cost because of nation’s dependence on importation.
According to him, Nigerians should be prepared for tougher times in the year because there will be increase in cost of goods and services.
He said there was a need for the country to diversify in its economy and not to focus attention on only oil production.
Tella called for more support for the non-oil sector, to enable it to contribute effectively to the growth of the economy.
He said that developments in the crude oil markets called for serious adjustments in spending by the three tiers of governments.
Mr Adebayo Adeleke, National Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), said that the nation’s bourse would experience high volatility and unpredictable fluctuations in 2015 due to over reliance on foreign investors.
Adeleke said that the capital market would witness cautious trading during the first quarter due to the elections.
He said that the market would likely be upbeat in the second and third quarters if the elections were free and fair.
Adeleke also said that developments in the world economy, Nigerian fiscal and monetary policies and companies’ mid-year results were critical to economic growth in 2015.
Meanwhile, a turnover of 1.25 billion shares worth N15.89 billion were exchanged by investors in 12,018 deals last week.
This was against 1.86 billion shares valued N12.76 billion, exchanged in 13,469 deals in the preceding week.
The Financial Services Sector remained the most traded, accounting for 1.01 billion shares worth N6.86 billion traded in 5,992 deals.
The Consumer Goods industry followed with a turnover of 117.78 million shares valued N5.35 billion transacted in 2,459 deals.
The third place was occupied by the Conglomerates sector with 59.91 million shares worth N338.99 million, achieved in 762 deals.
The All-Share Index rose by 228.33 to close at 34,657.15 compared with 34,428.82 achieved in the corresponding week due to price gains.
Also, the market capitalisation appreciated by N76 billion to close at N11.478 trillion against the N11.402 trillion, posted in the previous week.
Vono Products led the gainers’ table for the week in percentage terms, appreciating by 24.44 per cent or 22k to close at N1.12 per share.
Champion Breweries trailed with 18.31 per cent or N1.08 to close at N6.98, while Continental Reinsurance increased by 17.24 per cent or 15k to close at N1.02 per share.
On the other hand, Oando topped the losers’ chart in percentage terms, shedding 19.33 per cent or N3.86 to close at N16.11 per share.
Transcorps came second with a loss of 18.14 per cent or 72k to close at N3.25, while Conoil declined by 14.24 per cent or N6.33 to close at N38.11 per share.