By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Some capital market operators on Tuesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently constitute his cabinet to ascertain economic direction of the country.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that though, there was no time frame for a leader to constitute a cabinet, there was need for an urgent one to attract investors.
Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., told NAN that further delay in the appointment of ministers would slow the economic growth and development.
Omordion said that investors were finding it difficult to ascertain economic direction due to lack of ministers and economic blueprint.
“This is because, when ministers are appointed, it will take the ministers several months to settle for real business.
“This will, as well, affect the budget implementation that was signed into law almost at the midyear.
“It’s only when there is a clear economic policy and direction that smart money will return to the capital market and the economy at large,” Omordion said.
He noted that the stock market, as a barometer for measuring economic growth, had shown slow growth in the first half of the year.
Omordion said the first half was characterised by selling pressure as a result of weak economic fundamentals and politics.
NAN reports that the benchmark of NSE All-Share index (ASI) in the first half of the year lost 1,463.63 points or 4.66 per cent to close at 29,966.87 compared with opening year figure of 31,430.50.
Omordion predicted that the stock market in second half of the year would oscillate till end of third quarter in anticipation of mixed and disappointing second quarter results.
On the way forward, he urged the government to ensure that the manufacturing sector got single digit interest rate to kick start economic activities.
He also stressed the need for budget cycle of January to December and appropriate disbursement of budgetary allocation to make impact on the economy and citizenry.
Also, Mr Moses Igbrude, Publicity Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), said that the first half of 2019 was not good for the capital market and shareholders.
Igbrude said that the market and investors lost huge sum of money during the period due to sell pressure.
He said that the market performed very poorly during the period in spite of impressive results and good dividends paid by some companies.
Igbrude attributed the development to the last general elections that created a lot of political and economic tension which made many investors to exit the market.
He said that currently, over 90 per cent of companies listed on the exchange were trading below their intrinsic value.
“We hope and appeal to those who won the elections to extend a hand of fellowship to those who did not win.
“This is to bring stability to the economy for the market to reflect its true position,” Igbrude said. (NAN)