The Nigerian Stock Exchanges has expressed optimism that the country’s economy will recover from its current recession this year with a modest Gross Domestic Product growth forecast of 0.6 per cent.
The recovery, according to the bourse, will be driven by the vigour of fiscal policy implementation, with a keen focus on articulation of desired goals; lower rates of disruptions to oil infrastructure as a result of the resolution of the Niger Delta conflict; crude oil prices remaining above the Federal Government’s benchmark of $42.5 per barrel; and positive impact of the war against corruption manifested in the improvement in the ease of doing business in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer, NSE, who said this at a business conference on Thursday, also said the economy would be driven by policies aimed at boosting productivity, citing improved budgetary allocation to capital expenditure, and exit from joint venture cash call arrangements with the International Oil Companies by the government, which is expected to save the country $2bn annually.
Onyema stressed that one critical move the government must make was to sell the ailing refineries as they were old and operating below optimal levels.
“Nigeria is expected to recover from its recession in 2017. One of the points in our 10-point agenda is to revamp the refineries. We think those refineries have outlived their age and they need to be sold because they are a drain on the government’s resources,” he said.
The NSE boss said the country’s capital market would have to do a better job at promoting its unique value proposition to both global and domestic investors.
Monetary policy, according to him, will continue to play a vital role in determining activity in the market, adding, “With forecasts for inflation expected to moderate due to the base effect, we believe that all things being equal, monetary authorities will have more flexibility with respect to interest rates and the foreign exchange regime.”
He said good coordination between the fiscal and monetary authorities should result in the resolution of the current structural deficiencies and drive economic growth.
To this end, Onyema said the market would be listing more firms this year, noting that MedView Airline Limited would come on board by January 30, while Jaiz Bank Plc would follow suit before the end of the first quarter.