The introduction of the Alternative Securities Market (ASeM) by the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) has been described as the engine room that will propel the growth of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises which are usually the bedrock of any economic development.
Speaking at the launch of the new product in Lagos today, Honourable Chris Azubogu, Deputy Chairman, House of Representative’s Committee on Capital Market, noted that ASeM is what is needed to jumpstart the industrial growth the nation desire.
According to him, ASeM will help drive economic growth, create employment and cause businesses that take advantage of the offer to compete with global brands in the no distant future.
Hon. Azubogu noted that in the past government policies have always focused on attracting foreign investment rather than creating platforms that will encourage local investors to invest in local enterprises with potentials to generate returns on their investments. He assured entrepreneurs that the National Assembly is willing to legislate on laws that will enhance the economic development of the nation.
Reacting to complaints by some SME operators on the negative impact of multiple taxes and levies being charged by various levels of government in the country, he said, many entrepreneurs are ignorant of the windows of tax holidays available to them. He however assured entrepreneurs of the readiness of the National Assembly to look into tax laws that are inimical to their growth, stressing that they are there to make laws that are acceptable to Nigerians. Pointing out that where the Executive arm of the government needs to intervene, the National Assembly will advice them to do so.
ASeM is a specialized board of the NSE for the listing of emerging businesses (small & mid-sized companies with high growth potential). The platform was official launched in Lagos today. According to Oscar Onyema, CEO, NSE, the ASeM is part of the Exchange’s initiatives to develop entrepreneurship and provide a platform for emerging businesses in Nigeria to access the capital market
He stated that the concept of an alternative market was first conceived and developed on April 30, 1985 as the Second-tier Securities Market (SSM). The SSM according to him was created to cater for the requirements of small and medium scale enterprises, to encourage them to be listed on the Exchange. However, the ASeM is an enhance package which comes with a lot of support initiatives to help intending enterprises meet the listing requirements of the NSE.