By Michael Eboh
The Federal Government has indicted regulatory authorities in the financial sector for non-compliance with strict corporate governance principles.
Speaking at the Nigerian Economic Summit Groupâ€™ s (NESG) forum on the capital market, last week, with the theme: â€œStrategy for Building a World Class Capital Marketâ€ the Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Remi Babalola, disclosed that the level of corporate governance in the financial sector, not only among operators, but also among the regulatory authorities, have been a source of concern for the federal government.
He stated that the federal government will continually strive to ensure that there is an entrenchment of the highest standard of ethical practices in the sector, adding that the government is concerned about investorsâ€™ protection and deepening of the market.
He blamed the meltdown recorded in the capital market to the non-implementation of certain ideas and solutions propounded by experts in addressing the situation.
He said, â€œThe country has achieved so little from the capital market, compared to the enormous opportunities and potentials inherent in the sector.
â€œThe crisis recorded in the market over the last couple of months is not caused as a result of lack of ideas, but lack of implementation of ideas propounded by experts on to turn around the fortunes of the market.
Speaking in the same vein, Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh expressed the committed of the commission in enforcing and promoting good corporate governance practices in public companies and intermediary firms.
According to her, the country can not afford to be weak on corporate governance as this would not only affect the quality and integrity of the institutions and market, but also the perception of the international community and capital flows into the country.
Oteh hinted that the commission will continually churn out corporate governance codes and monitor compliance very closely. In addition, she noted that SEC will take necessary regulatory actions on poor corporate governance practices and may encourage the development of a corporate governance index to rate public companies in this regard.
He noted that SEC will not relent in sanctioning the authorities of the countries exchanges, if they fail to enforce their own rules, prevent situation that will lead to the occurrence of conflict of interest and for failure to enshrine accountability, transparency and professionalism.