Nigeria Business & Finance Updates

We will investigate suspicious transactions – SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has assured investors of the Commission’s commitment to ensure suspicious transactions are not allowed in the capital market.

To this end, the acting director-general of SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, urged market operators to make use of the Commission’s whistle blowing policy and report any such infractions for immediate actions.

Uduk, who was reacting to questions during the two-day international capital market conference, organised by the commission, in collaboration with the Department of Finance, University of Lagos, lamented that the private placement bubble happened with the connivance of many market operators who encouraged issuers to take advantage of loopholes in the relevant investment laws at the time.

Uduk recalled several efforts and appeals to such issuers, to list their shares without success, stressing that “Market operators’ encouraged private placements knowing that the law did not allow the SEC to regulate private companies.”

She lamented a situation where many private companies took advantage of gaps in Nigerian laws, especially between 2007 and 2008 to defraud many investors, by embarking on private placements, with promises to list the shares for trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), when in reality they had no such intention.

She urged operators to cooperate with the commission for the good of the market and the economy, realising that “It is our market, please let us join hands and revive this market. Let us come together and sanitise this market.”

Uduk said the SEC has been doing its best to ensure that offenders are not left off the hook, hence the Commission is collaborating with EFCC and office of attorney general to be able to do much.

The acting DG said the Commission also has the complaints management framework that enables investors to know where to complain to and how long it takes for such complaints to be resolved and for those of the investors that are averse to risks, they are advised to get their financial advisers to tell them where to invest.

“In doing all these, we advise retail investors to invest in Collective Investment Schemes and Mutual Funds because those are managed independently by professionals and they are diversified thereby reducing risks.

also implore investors to take ownership of their investments. They have to be able to monitor their investments, attend annual general meetings as well as read the annual reports sent out to them.

“We are committed to protecting investors in the work we do. We will keep working on our rules and the possibility of amending them when the need arises, we want more transparency in the market so that investors will feel comfortable and the market can be better,” she added.

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