US investment in Nigeria hits $5bn –Hawkins

The United States says its investment in the Nigerian economy this year is more than $5bn.

The US Consul General, Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins, said this in Lagos on Monday during a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Hawkins, who held talks with officials of the NSE during the visit, told stockbrokers on the floor of the Exchange that Nigeria was a growing economy and the US government was willing to help the country boost its economic growth.

The consul general, while stressing that it was difficult for a country to progress without investment in the capital market, said in line with the US’ plans to support the country, it was building a strong trade framework with the Federal Government.

He, however, praised the economic reforms currently being implemented in the country, stressing that they were aimed at ensuring that the financial system was healthy.

He said, “Over the last two years, Nigeria has had a good economic approach and the regulators like the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Securities and Exchange Commission have ensured a healthy financial system.”

Although Hawkins praised the Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, “for his advocacy on the rule of law and transparency,” he urged the NSE not to relent in its effort to ensure that the Nigerian capital market was transparent in order to attract investors.

In his remarks, Onyema gave an assurance to the consul general that the Nigerian Stock Exchange would support economic activities and diplomatic ties between both countries.

He added that the Exchange would encourage friendly portfolio investors from the deepest markets in the world, particularly the New York Stock Exchange, to access the emerging market, which is the highest returning market in the world.

A stockbroker, Mr. Sam Ndata, called on Hawkins to encourage US investors to invest in the Nigerian capital market.

He explained that with the regulatory reforms in the capital market as well as its growth over the years, it was primed to guarantee them strong returns on their investment.

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