By Ndubuisi Francis 04 May 2012
The Federal Government yesterday said that it would compel telecommunications companies operating in the country to list their shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The biggest telecoms operators are MTN, Airtel, Etisalat and Globacom.
Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, who spoke at a forum where ministers unveiled their scorecard as part of the 2012 democracy day celebration and first anniversary of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, stated that the era where multinational companies would come to Nigeria and generate huge profit without the citizenry benefiting would become a thing of the past with the compulsory listing.
The minister said a lot was being done to revive the capital market, adding: “We know that most of us who invested in the market have lost a lot. Not because these companies are not known yet. In fact, many of the intrinsic values of their shares are higher than their market values but what is happening is that there is a loss of confidence by Nigerians.”
He said 81 per cent of all the trading on the NSE involves foreign investors, stressing that Nigerians were displaying a lukewarm attitude occasioned by what transpired in the capital market.
“We are also trying to encourage new companies to list on the NSE; we want to make sure that MTN, Glo, Zain (Airtel) and all the companies that are doing very well and making billions of profit should also list on the capital market so that Nigerians can also share from their profits,” he said.
The minister also added that the power generation and distribution companies that would be privatised would be compelled to list their shares on the NSE.
“The power sector is also another big business in Nigeria and we are working to ensure that when we are regulating the sector, we want to do it in such a way that one or two people will not come into the sector to form a cartel.
“So to avoid this, we are also going to make sure that distribution companies that will operate in that sector list their shares so that after their privatisation, Nigerians will be given the opportunity to buy shares in these power generation and distribution companies,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, at the forum yesterday also disclosed that the launch of the Integrated Personnel and Pay System (IPPS) in 2010 had started yielding fruits, citing the N14 billion saved from the payment of pensions to ghost pensioners.
She added that in 2011, the Federal Government investments yielded N48.723 billion in dividends, operating surplus, rent, and privatisation proceeds even as the minister noted that appreciable progress had been made in re-directing credit to key sectors like agriculture, power and aviation at single digit interest rates.
Source : Thisday