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ICSAN members want economy on sustainable growth path

ICSAN members want economy on sustainable growth path

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Ozioma Ubabukoh

Members of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria have said that as the country’s economy recovers from recession, there is a need to set it on the path of sustainable growth and development.

They stated this at the ICSAN 2018 Company Secretaries and Registrars’ Forum in Lagos, noting that critical long-term investment by both the public and private players to boost the productive capacity of Nigeria had become essential.

To achieve this, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Africa Prudential Plc, Mr. Peter Ashade, stated that the capital market had a critical role to play.

He said, “The capital market plays the crucial role of mobilising funds for long-term investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, services and other critical sectors of the economy.

“Hence, the development of the capital market is critical to bridging the investment gap in the country and highlights the importance of the 10-year capital market master plan being implemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is aimed at deepening the capacity of the Nigerian capital market.”

Ashade stated that to build a robust capital market capable of supporting the economy for sustainable growth, company secretaries and registrars had important roles to play.

He added, “While company secretaries play a crucial role in ensuring that companies comply with the corporate governance code to protect shareholders’ funds, registrars serve as an interface between the company and shareholders, and between the company and regulators.

“These seemingly inter-related functions are vital to improving investors’ confidence in the Nigerian capital market.”

According to him, while the turnaround in the Nigerian capital market from 2017 till date resulted from the improvement in investors’ confidence in the country as the economy returns to growth, the need to sustain the improvement to increase both domestic and international capital inflows into the capital market cannot be overemphasised.

The Africa Prudential boss said, “For instance, in 2017, the total domestic transaction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange increased by N701.52bn from N633.82bn in 2016 to N1.335tn in 2017, while total foreign transactions also increased by N690.01bn from N517.55bn in 2016 to N1.207tn in 2017.

“The resultant effect of this transaction growth on the capital market resurgence is obvious as investors on the NSE gained N4.39tn in 2017. Hence, maintaining investors’ confidence in the capital market is important to deepening the country’s capital market and improving its capacity to support the country’s economy for long-term sustainable growth.

“Therefore, x-raying the important roles of company secretaries and registrars in sustaining investors’ confidence cannot be timelier.”

The Registrar, ICSAN, Mrs. Nkechi Onyenso, had earlier said that the institute had consistently promoted the ideals of corporate governance through periodic issuance of communiqués, policy papers and guidance materials on corporate and public administration.

She stated, “I want to use this medium to enjoin the company secretaries herein present, who are not our members, to come for our qualification by writing our professional examination and become chartered secretaries.

“Beyond the prestige of being chartered secretaries and members of a profession recognised and respected in more than 70 countries of the world, our professional training equips candidates with the up-to-date requisite skills and technical expertise to function more effectively in all areas of their professional endeavours.”

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