By Peter Egwuatu
PROGRESSIVE Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN) has called on regulators in the Nigerian capital market to improve on surveillance and monitoring of operatorsâ€™ activities.
Speaking at a press conference to review the performance of the capital market and projection for 2010, Chairman of PSAN, Mr. Boniface Okezie said, â€œ The regulators in the Nigerian capital market should wake from their slumber and improve on their surveillance and monitoring responsibilities in order to enhance confidence in the market. This is not the time for our regulators to go and sit down in their offices. They should enhance both on and off the site monitoring of operatorâ€™s activities.â€
According to him, â€œ Observing activities at companies Annual General Meetings( AGMs) is not enough, regulators should find time to visit companies they regulate especially those that have not held AGM for two years and above.â€
Commenting on the dilapidated infrastructure in the country, PSAN boss said, â€œ Unless Government begins to tackle the problem of infrastructure, we cannot expect any meaningful growth in the Nigeria capital market and the economy at large. When adequate infrastructure is put in place, the economy grows, quoted companies would record improved performance, declare profit which would impact positively on the market.
Okezie, while reviewing market performance in 2009 submitted that even the bullish rally recorded in the market at the beginning of the year 2010 cannot be sustained if issue of infrastructure is not addressed.
Speaking further, he stressed that regulatory authorities in the capital market should come up with new laws and positive pronouncements that would help move the market forward.
PSAN boss emphasised that the market would not grow if the regulators fail to carry all stakeholders along in their decision making.
He faulted the approach taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the on-going sanitisation exercise of banking sector saying, â€œThe approach adopted by Sanusi was not in the interest of the entire economy. Where was CBN when the manipulation was going on . Were they not approving the results of these banks.Â So the CBN Governor should have extended the reform to its staff and ensure a more holistic approach, rather than limiting it to the banks.
According to him , â€œFor the capital market to move forward, the drivers of the economy must put things right.Â If you do not develop infrastructure, you can not anticipate growth in the economy and this is having a multiplier effect on the market.
â€œIt is not yet huru for the capital market.Â The regulators should sit up and do the right thing.Â We have not seen any meaningful thing coming out from CBN reform.Â The banks are not lending.Â The approach is bad and it is affecting other sectors.â€
Commenting on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Director General, Professor Ndi Okereke Onyuikeâ€™sÂ intention to retire from office by the end of the year, Okezie described it as a decision in the right direction but however stressed the need to choose a successor among the executives of the NSE.
â€œMr. Lance Elakama is qualified to assume the position of Director General since he still have four more years to serve on the Exchange. The DG should not look for someone else to succeed her. There must be continuity.
The Assistant DG should be able to take over the post of DG when Onyiuke retires. Elekama is experienced and qualified to be able to assume the position of DG. So the Council of the Exchange should not go outside to look for someone elseâ€ he opined.