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Leasing as a means of financing investments in tangible assets has made a significant contribution to capital formation in the Nigerian economy but the industry as a whole, seeks growth in conformity with the levels obtainable in developed economies. In spite of theoretical expositions on capital structure extensively acknowledging the nature and use of finance leasing in corporate entities, in Nigeria, financing is largely biased towards Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises (MSMEs) giving cause for inference that leasing may not be predominant in the corporate sector inclusive of listed non-financial firms having access to institutions in the capital and money markets. The study sought to examine in those entities found to be leasing, what firm attributes influence their use given the limited number of empirical studies in Nigeria and the inconsistencies in findings of foreign researches. A sample of 14 listed non-financial firms on the Nigerian Stock Exchange over the period 2007-2015 was studied to determine the significance of profitability, growth opportunities, information asymmetry, financial distress, agency cost and leverage in accounting for finance leasing. Consideration was given to the possibility of past lease use influencing the present decision to lease, as well as the effect on reported values in the financial statements by the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Running a Bootstrap-based Fixed-effects regression, the study found leasing to be significantly and negatively influenced by leverage confirming the lease-debt substitutability proposition in the literature. It is recommended that leasing businesses become innovative in raising awareness and developing competitive leasing arrangements for the listed non-financial firms in Nigeria.
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