A financial expert and founder of Impact Energy and Logistics Limited, Dare Osamo has said that unless the economy is conducive enough for small businesses to grow, the government will continue to face issues like unemployment, insecurity and other economic challenges.
Osamo said it was due time the government realise that there is a limit to which the current administration could grow the economy, thereby advocating the need for the government to ensure a conducive environment for businesses.
While speaking with journalists in Lagos, he said the government needs to make funds available for small businesses to thrive, as they are the engine room of any developing country adding that there are many Nigerians with ideas but the environment itself is unreceptive.
He condemned the rising insecurity in the country, stating that the government must improve on security to ensure investors can stay alive to realise their investment. Osamo said rather than trying to grow the economy, government should focus on providing infrastructure and enabling the environment.
“How many people can the government employ? We already have a bloated civil service. Let the small and medium scale enterprises be thriving,” he said.
Speaking on the state of the capital market in the country, Osamo said, “It is another sector we need to develop because that is where wealth can be built for all. In some developed economies, once you own certain classes of shares, it is assumed that you can live well after retirement, you can earn decent returns and Nigeria has the potential of doing that.”
He said many companies are being listed on the floor of the Exchange, stating that listing requirements should be made more liberal, so that other businesses can come on board and raise capital for their operations.
According to him, the interest on a fixed income for the money market is low as compared to the returns from specified shares.
“How much do you get on your fixed deposit? One to two per cent but if you buy some choice shares, some do have as much as 20 per cent return per annum; dividend yield and capital gain.
“So, the stock market is growing and if you equally look at the effect of the pension fund, unlike before when the sector was being developed by the foreign portfolio, for a variety of reasons, they have left with their money and ran away because of the devaluation of naira among other factors but what the pension fund now did is to fill that vacuum.
“For example, with a well-developed capital market, it will be possible to buy shares for kids and say in the next 20 years, this is the money you will use to go to university if you have a good and functional capital market, instead of keeping your money in a fixed deposit where you are given some returns that are even negative.” he added.