The stock market is a common feature of a modern market economy and it is reputed to perform necessary functions, which promote the growth and development of an economy. This study examined whether the capital market reforms so far carried out in Nigeria have impacted significantly on the performance of the Nigerian Capital Market. To achieve this objective, ordinary least square regression (OLS) was employed using the data of capital market activities from 1988 to 2007. The result indicated that there is a significant difference in the performance of the capital market before and after the reform. This was achieved using the performance indicators which included the market capitalization, volume of stocks traded, value of stocks and the share index. The result showed that the indicators used increased faster in the post reform period than the pre reform period. The result of the study which established positive impact suggest that; government and stakeholders should strengthen the regulation and transparency in all the deals in the market as this will boast and attract more private participation in the market with its overall growth of both the market and the economy. And also, the NSE should find means of cutting down cost of raising fund on the exchange so as to allow more companies the opportunity of accessing fund from the exchange.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Mobilization of resources for national development has long been the central focus of economic development. For sustainable growth and development, funds must be effectively mobilized and optimally allocated to enable business and the national economies to harness their resources both human and material for optimal output (Tokunbo, 2002).
The capital market is an economic institution which promotes efficiency in resource allocation and capital formation. It enables both corporate organizations and governments to raise long term funds for financing new projects, as well as for project expansion and modernization (Onosode, 1990).
According to Alabede (2004) the role played by the stock market in the economic growth and development of a nation is recognized the world over. Through that role long term funds are not only mobilized but channeled for productive investments.
The stock market provides the fulcrum for capital market activities and it is often cited as a barometer of business direction. According to Obadan (1998), an active stock market may be relied upon to indicate changes in general economic activities as mirrored by the stock market index.
The indispensable nature of the capital market in any economy arises from the two major functions it performs: – mobilizing and channeling of long term investible funds from the surplus sector to the deficit sector of the economy, Usman, (1998).
As a result of this role, governments place due emphasis on the regulation and control of the capital market in general and the stock market in particular. In recent times, there has been growing concern over the role of the stock market in economic growth; hence the market has been the focus of economists and policy makers.
According to Anyanwu (1993), the financial market is a complex mechanism made up of procedures, instruments and institutions through which deficit economic units and the surplus economic unit are brought together to transact business with one another. In his own contribution; Ibenta (2000), defined the financial market as a network of institutional arrangements through which financial resources accumulated by savers of funds are transferred to ultimate users who may be individuals or households, corporate bodies or governments for investment in economic activities, which include both the production and distribution of goods and services.
Ever since government policy began shifting in the direction of limiting the role of the public sector in business activity, the need for reform of the capital market became a critical requirement for creating a viable private sector. The need for promoting balanced financial intermediation in a system significantly short of long term funds has been a strong signal that the domestic capital market in Nigeria was overripe for a major change (Uzor, 2007).