Shareholders task SEC new acting boss on market integrity

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Shareholders on the Nigerian capital market on Wednesday urged the newly appointed Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dr Abdul Zubair to step up measures aimed at safeguarding market integrity.

The shareholders said in Lagos that safeguarding the integrity of the capital market space should be the director-general’s priority to boost investor confidence.

Mr Bayo Adeleke, the immediate past Zonal Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), said the commission’s boss should pursue policies aimed at strengthening investors’ confidence.

“SEC as a regulatory institution should continue its regulatory functions of safeguarding the integrity of the capital market space’’, Adeleke said.

He said the director-general should continue its push for electronic dividend and ensure unbiased regulation of the market.

Adeleke urged Zubair to ensure quick completion of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) demutualisationprogramme to strength market growth and development.

The President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Boniface Okezie, said all pending cases awaiting the commission’s attention should be treated without delay.

Okezie said the director-general should ensure quick conclusion of some capital market fraud cases which had been pending with the commission in the past 10 months without any pronouncement.

The shareholder activist also said there was the need for the director-general to remain focus in order to succeed in his new task.

The Federal Government on December3, announced the appointment of Zubair as the acting SEC Director-General.

Mrs Efe Ebelo of the commission’s Corporate Communications Unit, said the appointment was with immediate effect. Ebelo stated that the appointment followed the suspension of Mr Mounir Gwarzo, the commission’s boss for alleged corruption.

She assured the investors and other stakeholders, both local and international, of the commission’s commitment to ensuring uninterrupted and orderly operation of the market and regulation.

Until his appointment, Zubair was the Director in charge of External Relations in the commission.Ebelo stated that the SEC would continue to ensure the stability of the Nigerian capital market as well as sustain the all-time high level of investors’ confidence.

She added that recent developments in the commission would not be allowed to disrupt its regulatory effectiveness and efficiency as statutory regulator of the capital market.

According to her, the market will run smoothly in spite of the development. Ebelo said the commission patiently awaited the outcome of the assignment of the Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up by the Minister of Finance to investigate the allegations against the former boss.

She said at no point would the management allow the operational independence of the commission to be compromised.

“This is strictly in line with the objectives and principles of securities regulations as set out by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), to which Nigeria is a signatory,’’ she said.

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