Nigerian must develop its infrastructure to tackle ‘Japa’ syndrome, says SEC D-G

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The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda, emphasized the pivotal role of infrastructure in elevating the living standards of Nigerians during a pre-event news conference for the upcoming West Africa Capital Market Conference (WACMAC) in Lagos. The event, slated for October 25th and 26th, carries the theme: “Infrastructural Deficit and Sustainable Financing in an Integrated West Africa Capital Market.”

Yuguda stressed the vital importance of robust infrastructure, including power, telecommunications, transportation networks, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, commercial centers, and hospitality establishments, in enhancing the populace’s quality of life. As Nigeria’s population continues to rise, investments in infrastructure are imperative to sustain the growing needs of the people.

Addressing the issue of emigration, often referred to as the “Japa” syndrome, Yuguda noted that enhanced infrastructure development could mitigate this trend. Additionally, he highlighted that increased investment in infrastructure would help reduce brain drain, allowing the nation to retain its skilled workforce.

Yuguda called on the private sector to step up and secure long-term financing from the capital market to bridge the infrastructure deficit in the West African sub-region. Traditionally, the provision of infrastructure has been shifting from government to the private sector due to rising demand and the government’s limited ability to fund these projects single-handedly.

The conference aims to tackle the region’s infrastructure deficit by embracing innovative financing mechanisms and sustainable financing options. Discussions will revolve around mobilizing funds to meet critical infrastructure needs, foster economic growth, and achieve Sustainable Development Goals. The event will convene experts, regulators, policymakers, and industry leaders who will share insights, experiences, and strategies to address the infrastructure challenges faced by West Africa. With over 300 stakeholders in attendance, the conference is set to be a platform for meaningful discussions, knowledge exchange, and partnership forging to shape the future of the region’s capital markets.

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