NGX Urges FG, CBN to Prioritize Listed Corporates in Procurement and Forex Access - The Top Society

NGX Urges FG, CBN to Prioritize Listed Corporates in Procurement and Forex Access

To boost the Nigerian capital market and address challenges faced by listed corporates, the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has called on the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to prioritize listed companies in their procurement processes and access to foreign exchange.
Temi Popoola, the Chief Executive Officer of NGX, emphasized the importance of this approach in encouraging more companies to list on the Exchange and alleviating the prevalent foreign exchange challenges in the economy. Speaking at the MTN Capital Markets Day, Popoola expressed excitement about President Bola Tinubu’s administration and its renewed hope agenda, seeing it as an opportunity to collaborate with market stakeholders and regulators to address existing challenges.
“The singular biggest thing that can be done to change the face of the capital market is not investment bankers wearing suits and knocking on the doors of companies for the next listing but really intentional advocacy,” Popoola stated.
He highlighted the issue faced by companies earning revenue in dollars, stating, “There are companies that would like to list on our Exchange, but they earn in dollars, their revenue to their bottom line is in dollars. There are also listed companies that would like to pay their dividends in dollars. However, the current regulation does not allow that.”
Popoola revealed ongoing discussions with regulators and policymakers to address these challenges, emphasizing the potential benefits for the government in resolving foreign exchange issues and unlocking dormant funds in domiciliary accounts for productive use in the capital market and the broader economy.
The NGX CEO also disclosed discussions with the Federal Government to attract listings through supportive legislation. He argued that increased listings would contribute to government revenue, citing transparency, higher tax contributions, and better governance exhibited by listed companies. Popoola highlighted the historical role of government support in facilitating the presence of many companies currently listed on the Exchange.
Regarding Nigeria’s recent downgrade from a frontier market to unclassified, Popoola provided a nuanced perspective. He stated, “The share of foreign investors in our market is already so small, 10 per cent and in some instances, five per cent so that the real short term impact is not as the headlines would suggest. A lot of those capital would have flown out already.” The call for prioritizing listed corporates aims to create a more favorable environment for companies and stimulate further growth in the Nigerian capital market.
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