A financial expert, Mr Boniface Ekezie, on Monday called on the Federal Government to tackle the challenges facing manufacturers to grow the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) to enhance the economy and the capital market.

Ekezie, who is also the President of Shareholders Association of Nigeria (SAN), made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

According to him, manufacturers are the major drivers of economic growth, and if they can operate optimally, there will be employment opportunities and this will boost GDP, the economy and invariably the capital market.

“There is no magic that will strengthen the naira and ensure availability of dollars when the country has been import-dependent.

“The manufacturers are suffering from inability to source dollars for raw materials due to high exchange rate, epileptic power supply and economic instability among others.

“The way forward is for the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for the manufacturers to operate effectively,” he said.

The expert said an enabling environment and stable policy would encourage foreign investors to bring hard currencies into the economy and lower the exchange rate.

Meanwhile, an analysis of transactions in the capital market last week showed that a total of 1.533 billion shares worth N23.026 billion were traded by investors in 17,009 deals.

This was in contrast with a total of 968.947 million shares valued at N10.246 billion exchanged in 9,654 deals the previous week.

The Financial Services Industry (measured by turnover) led the week’s activity chart with 1.218 billion shares valued at N12.634 billion traded in 10,132 deals.

The Conglomerates Industry followed with 70.807 million shares worth N120.611 million in 803 deals.

The third place was occupied by Consumer Goods Industry with a turnover of 58.505 million shares worth N3.422 billion in 2,624 deals.

The All-Share Index during the period lost 577.72 points or 1.63 per cent to close at 34,848.45 against 35,426.17 posted in the preceding week.

Also, the market capitalisation which opened at N12.933 trillion shed N211 billion or 1.63 per cent to close at N12.722 trillion.

NAN reports that 34 equities depreciated in price, lower than 45 equities of the previous week.

IkejaHotel topped the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 18.64 per cent or 52k to close at N2.27 per share.

First Aluminium trailed with a loss of 15 per cent or 6k to close at 34k, while Glaxosmith shed 14.38 per cent or N2.20 to close at N13.10 per share.

Conversely, Portland Paints led the gainers’ table in percentage terms by 20.65 per cent or 15k to close at N2.98 per share.

AIICO Insurance followed with a gain of 17.14 per cent or 12k to close at 82k, while PZ Cussons appreciated by 14.94 per cent or N1.95 to close at N15 per share. (NAN)

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