TO avert another round of crisis in the nation’s capital market that could lead to the loss of investments, stakeholders have urged its regulators to attract local investors and break the hold of foreigners on the sector.
The stakeholders raised the alarm at the over- dependence on foreign investors for the sustenance of the market. They warned that this could cause another crisis in the near future.
The equities market, according to them, has remained the most attractive investment to foreign investors, accounting for 78 per cent of total capital investment in different sectors of the economy as at October 2012, with local investors occupying a miserly 30 percent of the market.
Data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Statistics Database posted on its website indicate that the total value of capital brought into Nigeria stood at $12.64 billion as at October 2012, out of which investments in equities accounted for $10.34 billion.
According to the stakeholders, to ensure a vibrant and sustainable capital market, there is the need for regulators to put a machinery in place that would help restore local investors’ confidence and attract them to the market.
In his review of the performance of the stock market in 2012, the General Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Adebayo Adeleke, explained that the regulators should focus more on measures that would make the market attractive for retail investors.
“Going forward, regulators should pursue measures to make the market attractive, not over-dependence on foreign investors and Foreign Direct Investment because when other foreign markets are troubled, it would have a ripple effect on our market and cripple activities. We should grow our own local market. Look for what to do for retail investors that lost their money.
“Retail investors have lost confidence in the market again. Nigerian Breweries delisted from the market on its own, Poly Products is on the verge of delisting, among others. That is to explain that things are not yet normal. The little recovery we are seeing is because the European economy is troubled and by the time it recovers, these foreign investors would exit our market and the market may crash again.
“What we have been experiencing are troubled and financially sick regulators which are not recognized under the law. No allocation was given to them in 2013 and the implication is that they would come back to manipulate the exchange by hiking transaction charges to make money. In fact, we have a lot of issues to address for a sustainable recovery of the market, ” he said.
Stockbrokers have noted that the Nigerian equities market’s year-to-date appreciation was by over 35 per cent.
But they noted that the recovery of the secondary market for equities was yet to translate into the reactivation of the primary market segment.
The Chief Executive Officer, Lambert Trust Securities Limited, Mr David Adonri admitted that while the primary market for bonds had been very active, the world class secondary market bonds platform of the NSE remained dormant.
He explained that there was the need to deepen the capital market with the reactivation of the NSE bond platform, listing of privatised state enterprises and expansion of the derivatives market in order to attract retail investors, adding that this would help to prevent a crisis in the equities market.
The Chief Executive Officer of Cowry Assets Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, said the Nigerian capital market recorded an impressive performance in 2012, closing the year at 35.45 per cent appreciation in all-share index.
“Interestingly most of the appreciation occurred in the third and fourth quarters but most especially the fourth quarter of 2012. The market turned the corner in Q3 when government borrowing rates began to trend southwards. During the early part of the year, the market performance was quite sluggish due to high Federal Government treasury bills and bond yields.
“Following from the trend noticed in 2012, it is obvious that for the Nigerian capital market to sustain the positive performance, the Federal Government should continue to moderate the rate it offers on its debt instruments - treasury bills and FGN bonds. If the government offers moderate yield on its debt instruments, portfolio investors will be compelled to look for alternative instruments with better returns. Such fund managers will also be encouraged to restructure their portfolios in favour of equities.”
Other factors that will ensure the sustenance of positive capital market performance next year, according to Chukwu include the maintenance of strong foreign exchange reserve and stable exchange rate in the country. This is particularly important for the foreign portfolio investors to retain their interest in the Nigerian capital market.
He noted that there was the need for quoted companies to continue to generate strong financial performance such that the appreciation in their market prices would be in tandem with their intrinsic valuation.
“Finally, the country must maintain political stability to encourage both local and foreign investors to continue to invest in Nigerian equities. Should the spate of bomb attacks in the North spread to the South, foreign portfolio investors and some of their local counterparts may be frightened out of Nigerian instruments particularly equity instruments,” he said.
And from this month, all three tiers of government in Nigeria are expected to implement the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) to entrench probity, transparency and accountability in order to promote purposeful governance and economic growth.
Particularly, it is to check corruption and inconsistency in management, while aiming to rekindle the people’s confidence. Nigeria’s quest to reposition her economy as one of the top 20 by 2020 has necessitated various reforms aimed at jump-starting speedy growth. One of such steps is the recent decision to commence the gradual compliance, by Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs), with the
provisions of the global accounting system.
Developed economies like the United States (US), United Kingdom, Germany and Japan operate openness in the daily administration and control of their expenditure. This system does not only promote checks and balances in governance but also provides the citizenry the opportunity to be part of the government. It equally provides a platform to measure economic growth, income and expenditure and budget implementation.
In the past few months, the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) has held sensitization workshops in the six geo-political zones of the country with critical stakeholders on the project.
Government strongly believes that the eventual adoption of IPSAS in Nigeria would greatly assist in achieving the current transformation agenda of the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
IPSAS is a set of accounting standards for use by public sector entities around the world in the preparation of financial statements. They standards are based on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). A sound government accounting standard such as IPSAS is a critical part of a nation’s institutional infrastructure. It has become a recognized benchmark for evaluating and improving government accounting in most developing countries.
According to Mr. Jonah Otunla, Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), the adoption of IPSAS by the three tiers of government would definitely lead to a better assessment of resource allocation, decisions made by government and improve transparency and accountability in the system.
According to the AGF, the desire of government is to incorporate the system as an integral element of reforms directed at promoting social and economic development.
In many states of the federation, balance sheet audits, when performed, still routinely reveal major discrepancies. This situation is largely blamed on the fact that the operation of government business and accounts has been within the general framework of the principles of fund accounting, with financial reporting structure being far from the principles in absolute terms.
Compliance with relevant standards in fact is said to at best being incidental.
While opening the first sensitization workshop for stakeholders comprising, commissioners of finance, states Accountants Generals, members of the State Houses of Assembly in the finance and appropriation committees and State Auditors General as well as other relevant stakeholders from the North- West zone in Kaduna, Mr. Otunla explained that considering the role which the new system would play in assisting the country achieve speedy economic growth, the
Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved at its July 28, 2010 meeting that Nigeria adopt the provisions of the IFRS and IPSAS for the private and public sectors respectively.
This is the more reason why pundits insist too that limited financial reporting and disclosures made by most entities in the country could sadly be responsible for some perception that Nigeria is a risky environment for the flow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). In such instances, as research indicates, investors are not provided with sufficient economic information that will enable them to understand the risk profiles of entities in order to make informed judgments and decisions.
Besides being mandated to identify infrastructural needs and make recommendations to the government, a sub-committee is to ensure that officers involved in finance and accounts functions understand the core requirement of IPSAS, ensure adequate coverage of all stakeholders in the distribution of the document and tackling gaps noted in the financial statements of the three tiers in order to ensure that they are bridged.
It is also a key element within the United Nations System. Since 2006, UN system organizations have made headway in aligning themselves with IPSAS requirement.
There are over 50 countries that have and are in the process of adopting these standards. They include Algeria, Albania, Afghanistan, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, China, Cyprus, East and Southern Africa, France, India, Jamaica, Morocco, Norway, Zambia, Pakistan and Uganda.
At the 42nd annual conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), one of the cardinal recommendations was “that public sector financial management systems must provide reliable information to decision-makers for good governance and accountability. It is in this respect that participants welcomed the move by the government to adopt IPSAS as a basis for financial reporting in the Public Sector.”
It also noted: “Markets and economies function properly when participants have trust in the financial statements that drive activities and decisions in the capital markets. The Conference urged Chartered Accountants to continue to develop their professional capacity for generating credible and reliable financial reports that present a true and fair view of the results of the performance of reporting entities. Financial markets in which investors have confidence are the foundation for strong economies and accelerated development.”
ICAN’s president, Adedoyin Owolabi, said: “It is the quest for transparency in governance that has necessitated the call for the preparation of financial reports by all tiers of government with IPSAS. Expectedly, IPSAS would help check a major defect of the cash basis of financial reporting particularly as it relates to the smooth tracking of assets created with public funds.”
But there have been high hurdles in the effective implementation of this laudable accounting standard. The main obstacle is the legislative framework to guide accountants to abide strictly by the standards of IPSAS. The low development of Information and communication technology at the states level,
given that some of them do not have a computerised accounting system.
Equally important, as graft has become endemic, stakeholders have expressed fears that because corruption can easily be traced, fraudsters especially would not want the successful adopting of the new accounting standard.
“Fighting corruption is not easy and since IPSAS will ensure an accounting reporting system that will checkmate corruption and fraud, we should not expect the buy-in of all the stakeholders,” the secretary of the committee said.
The Federal Government has done much of the surface work for the project to succeed through the training of Principal Accounting Officers from the 36 states by a German-based global accounting firm, in some key features of the standard to ensure a clearer understanding of the adoption process. An acceptable uniform chart of accountants to all stakeholders is being developed to be released soon.
The implementation was initially set for December last year, but because of some other exigencies, it was shifted to January 2013.
The implementation of the cash basis of IPSA is to conform to international accounting standards that chart a way for transparency in disbursement of funds. Experts say what remains for Nigeria is to overcome the hurdles and embrace the needful to ensure financial discipline, transparency and accountability in government business.
Source: The Guardian
Economic perspective and analysis by Afripol Organization www.afripol.org
The West African energy giant, Oando Plc of Nigeria is set to raise the sum of 21 billion naira ($140 million) by selling shares in the capital market. The capital raised will be used to finance ventures in energy sector and
The West African energy giant, Oando Plc of Nigeria is set to raise the sum of 21 billion naira ($140 million) by selling shares in the capital market. The capital raised will be used to finance ventures in energy sector and"refinancing the acquisition of upstream assets, providing operational capital to fund the operation of the upstream business, and short and medium term investment in its gas and power business segment."
Oando Plc headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria is the biggest indigenous energy firm in Nigeria that market oil products and involve in oil exploration at its acquired upstream assets, the segment that will receive the largest chunk of the proposed capital infusion.
Oando Plc will raise the capital "through a Right Issue of 301,694,878 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N70.00 per share on the basis of one 1 new ordinary share for every 3 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each held as at the close of business on Friday, 18 December 2009." Two powerful and resourceful companies in the capital market: Vetiva Capital Management Ltd. and Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc will participate in the selling of the shares to raise the proposed capital.
The capital market venture was announced by the CEO and Group Managing Director, Mr. Wale Tinubu at the end of the meeting of the executive board of directors. According to Mr. Wale the company planned to raise the capital for the refinance its acquisition of upstream assets.
The achievements of Wale Tinubu, the erudite and efficient chief executive officer must be acknowledged as a driving force at Oando Plc for his vision and leadership. Under his strategic leadership Oando‘s growth has been tremendous thus appreciating the shareholders’ dividends.
During the press conference Wale reaffirmed, "the size of the business we run at Oando Plc would require a substantial amount of capital. We are doing things in several stages. The one we are doing now is Right Issue which is a small amount of N20 billion for the recapitalisation process. Then we will be proceeding to do a much larger international equity Issue which would occur at the beginning of the second quarter. Then there is going to be two debt issues. One is a local five year debt issue which we are working on right now and the mandate has been signed, it’s in the final stages."
Wale further emphasized: "the final thing would be the bond issue. We are in the process of fund raising the debt restructuring 5 year term for N60 billion. Then we would do an international equity and debt raising of N75 billion which would come in the 1st week of April (second quarter). The bulk of the money is going into our gas and upstream division for the upstream, we have our crude oil. You are aware; we have diversified heavily towards increasing our production in the crude oil sector."
The bold move made by Oando Plc buttressed the company’s growth and strong confidence even in the turbulent oil industry especially in Nigeria with her unending problems in Niger Delta. The issue of Niger Delta has a global effect on the oil price and energy sector but with relatively less impact on the oil-marketer Oanda.Oando Plc is listed on both Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges, and has been concluding the arrangement to be listed in London Stock Exchange.
Recently it was reported by Reuters that "Dow Jones Capital Markets Report reported that Oando Plc had signed Memorandum of Understanding with Gazprom OAO. The two companies have agreed to collaborate on the development of oil and gas assets and infrastructure in the West African sub-region and the Gulf of Guinea."
Oando Plc is growing rapidly by increasing the number of oil rigs and "All Africa reported that Oando Plc has increased its fleet of oil drilling rigs to three with the acquisition of a USD 53.5 million rig, named the Constitution. Constitution, a swamp barge rig, has capacity for approximately 15,000 psi pressure output, about 3,000 horse power as well as the ability to undertake drilling operations, work over and high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) wells of over 30,000 ft drilling depths. The facility was purchased in July 2008, and was recently delivered to the Company. "
Emeka Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol, recently speaking at Energy Workshop noted that "Energy industry is capital intensive and continuously needs injection of large resources. The growing energy companies in Nigeria and Africa must be willing to look beyond the continent to raise capital that Africa cannot provide." Therefore Oando Plc is moving in the right direction.
Oando Plc is gradually but steadily making impact in the energy industry, therefore the infusion of the 21 billion naira will strengthen and energized its business prospect.
Oando’s stocks are doing well in the stock market in spite of the global economic downturn. Oando Plc must widen its scope beyond Africa and venture into new territory particularly in East Asia and Latin America. And the company must spend more resources in public relation to become an international household name, thus deemphasizing its Nigerian localized image.
Oando Plc has the potential and the credibility to become a major player in the global energy industry in 21 century. With this enormous injection of proposed capital Oando Plc is geared up for growth and expansion.