1.1 Background of Study
The capital market is a highly specialized and organized financial market and indeed essential agent of economic growth and development because of its ability to facilitate and mobilize saving and investment. To a great extent, the positive relationship between capital accumulation and real economic growth has long been aimed in economic theories (Anyanwu, 1996). Success in capital accumulation and mobilization for development varies among nations, but it is largely dependent on domestic savings and inflows of foreign capital. Therefore, to arrest the menace of the current economic downturn, effort must be geared towards effective resource mobilization. It is in realization of this that consideration is given to measure for the development of capital market as an institution for the mobilization of finance from the surplus sectors to the deficit sectors.The development of capital market in Nigeria, as in other developing countries, has been induced and fostered by the government. Though, prior to the establishment of stock market in Nigeria, there existed some less formal market arrangements for the operation of capital market. It was not prominent until the visit of Mr. J. B. Lobynesion in 1959, on the invitation of the Federal government, to advice on the role the Central Bank could play in the development of local money and capital market. As a follow-up to this, the government commissioned and a set up the Barback Committee to study and make recommendations on the ways and means of establishing a stock market in Nigeria as a formal capital market.
Acting on the recommendation of the committee, the Lagos Stock Exchange (as it was called then) was set-up in March 1960, and in September 1961, it was incorporated under Section 2 cap 37, through the collaborative effort of Central Bank of Nigeria, the Business Community and Industrial Development Bank. With the establishment of the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1959 and the coming into existence of the Lagos Stock Exchange in 1961 and Subsequently, the Nigeria Stock Exchange by an Act in 1979, a sound foundation was laid for the operation of the Nigerian Capital Market for trading in securities of long term nature needed for the financing of the industrial sector and the economy at large. After the incorporation of the Lagos Stock Exchange, it was granted further protection under the law and its activities was placed under some sort of control by the government, hence the passing of the Lagos Stock Exchange Act. However, the Lagos Stock Exchange was only operational in Lagos. By the mid 70’s, the need for an efficient financial system for the whole nation was emphasized, and a review by the government of the operations of the Lagos Stock Exchange market was advocated.
The review was carried out to take care of the low capital formation, the huge amount of currency in circulation which were held outside the banking system, the unsatisfactory demarcation between the operation of Commercial Banks and the emerging class of the Merchant Banks, and the extremely shallow depth of the capital market. In response to the problems mentioned above, the government accepted the principle of decentralization but opted for a National Stock Exchange, which will have branches in different parts of the country. On December 2nd 1977, the memorandum and article of association creating the Lagos Stock Exchange was transformed into the Nigerian Stock Exchange, with branches in Lagos, Kaduna,Port-Harcourt and now in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja some other cities. The history of Nigeria Capital Market could be traced to 1946 when the British colonial administration floated a N600,000 local loan stock bearing interest at 3¼% for the financing of developmental projects under the Ten-Years Plan Local Ordinance. The loan stock, which had a maturity of 10-15 years, was oversubscribed by more than N1 million, yet local participation of the issued was terribly poor. Undoubtedly, potential invisible funds abound in Nigeria, but the overriding consideration in this project will be to examine the role of the capital market in harnessing and mobilizing these resources (invisible funds) to generate economic growth in the country and consequently, economic development.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There is abundant evidence that most Nigerian businesses lack long-term capital. The business sector has depended mainly on short term financing such as overdrafts to finance even long-term capital. Based on the maturity matching concept, such financing is risky. All such firms need to raise an appropriate mix of short- and long-term capital (Demirguc-Kunt and Levine 1996). Most recent literatures on the Nigeria capital market have recognised the tremendous performance the market has recorded in recent times. However, the vital role of the capital market in economic growth and development has not been empirically investigated thereby creating a research gap in this area. This study is undertaken to examine the contribution of the capital market in the Nigerian economic growth and development. Aside the social and institutional factors inhibiting the process of economic development in Nigeria, the bottleneck created by the dearth of finance to the economy constitutes a major setback to its development. As a result, it is necessary to evaluate the Nigerian capital market.