The Debt Management Office, on Thursday, took its Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Securities Issuance Awareness Programme to Asaba, the Delta State capital.
The programme, which is a collaborative effort of the DMO and CSL Securities Limited, the stockbroking firm for the FG, witnessed a large turnout of industry stakeholders and prospective investors.
Patience Oniha, Director-General of the DMO, said the programme was designed to educate Nigerians about safe investment opportunities in FGN securities.
According to Oniha, who was represented by Mr Makaizu Nwankwo, Director, Debt Recovery and Settlement Department at the DMO, investing in FGN securities is the safest place for Nigerians to grow their investments.
“The safest place to grow your investment is through the FGN securities. They help to fastrack national development, ” she said.
She said that the various FGN security instruments, which constituted the local component of country’s public debt, also contributed to developing the local financial market and deepening financial inclusion.
She listed the various investment platforms to include FGN bond, FGN savings bond, treasury bills, the green bond, and the Sukuk bond.
She said that the FGN savings bond was specifically designed for the retail investors to benefit, while supporting government to raise funds and also supporting development of the financial market.
“One function of these FGN securities is to raise capital to finance deficits in the budget, and also to raise funds to execute critical infrastructure projects.
“FGN securities also contribute to the development of the domestic capital market, and they serve as a benchmark for other private institutions to issue their own securities.
“They are backed by full faith and credit of the Federal Government of Nigeria, and are default risk-free,” she said.
Oniha said the objective was to ensure that many more Nigerians became aware of the huge investment opportunities so they could take advantage of them.
“The purpose of this gathering is to introduce DMO to the people. Some might have read one or two things about us in the newspapers, but the Nigerian people are a very important set of stakeholders we must engage.
“Also, we have to educate the general public about the various products that we offer. We are talking of investment products similar to shares, but this is the other side of shares.
“The needs of government are growing and becoming different, so, we need to get more stakeholders involved in what we are doing,” she said.
She said that the idea of getting more Nigerians to invest in government securities was to also promote and encourage financial inclusion.
“We do not want anybody outside of the banking system as much as possible. We want to encourage financial inclusion.
“It is good to keep bank accounts, but it is also good to get actively involved in the financial market, either by buying shares or bonds,” she said.
According to her, the various FGN securities constitute the local component of government borrowings which go into providing some critical needs of the citizens.
“As you know, government does borrow to execute projects. One of our objectives is to prove our ability to raise the funds that government will use to fund these projects that will benefit all of us.
“We will like you to support us by subscribing to our products so that we can transfer the funds to the government, ” she said.
According to Mr Abiodun Fagbulu, Managing Director, CSL Stockbrokers Limited, the stockbroking firm for the Federal Government, FGN securities are financial instruments issued by the DMO on behalf of the government.
Fagbulu, who was represented by Mr Richard Akinmoladun from CSL, said that FGN securities were designed to accommodate all categories of Nigerian investors.
He said that government securities also enhanced the saving and investment opportunities of the populace.
“They are mostly fixed-income securities under which the government is obliged to make payments of a fixed amount on a fixed schedule, once or twice a year, and repay the principal amount on maturity.
“Investors in fixed-income securities are, therefore, guaranteed a constant and secure return on their investments,” he said.
Fagbulu said that it had become increasingly necessary to create awareness about government securities among retail investors.
He said that ordinary Nigerians also deserved the opportunity to invest and benefit from the huge opportunities in FGN securities.
“FGN securities serve as a benchmark for other private institutions to be able to issue their own debt securities,” he said.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Source: News Agency of Nigeria