By Peter Egwuatu, who was in Uganda & Michael Eboh
LAGOSâ€”SECURITIES and Exchange Commission, SEC, has concluded arrangements with the Federal Government to deploy policemen to strengthen its enforcement role in the nationâ€™s capital market.
Director General of the Commission, Ms. Arunma Oteh, revealed this to Vanguard, weekend, after delivering a key note address at a dinner organized by the apex regulatory capital market body, Capital Market Authority, CMC, Uganda for the eighth Kikoyongo capital markets awards ceremony.
Oteh said: â€œThe SEC will deploy policemen in its enforcement units to ensure that operators obey the rules of the market and serve as a deterrence to others. We have made new rules and would enforce them to the best of our ability.â€
While delivering the key note address, Oteh charged the CMC to provide the needed policies and infrastructure that will attract Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs, and bring value to the economy.
Stressing that no economy can strive without the development of SMEs, Oteh said theÂ Â SMEs varied depending on the region/country and the threshold that was used.
She charged the Uganda capital market authority to continue to provide regulations and rules that would attract the SMEs to the capital market, adding: â€œEconomic activity is crucial to fostering economic and social progress on the continent.
Looking at a specific country in 2003, Uganda was ranked the most entrepreneurial country in the world amongst the Global Entrepeneurship Monitor Countries with a Total Entrepreneurial Activity, TEA index, of 29.2 signifying that 29 out of 100 Ugandans – almost every third Ugandan was engaged in some kind of entrepreneurial activity.â€
Also speaking at the award ceremony, Board Chairman, CMC Uganda, Mr. Hajji Twaha Kaawaase commended Nigeria for her role in the IOSCO and in promoting integration of Africans.
He said: â€œThis yearâ€™s award ceremony comes at a time when the markets are emerging from down turn arising from the secondary effects of the global financial crisis. We are beginning to see a surge in share prices and trading volumes at the Uganda Securities Exchange which is a sign that investor confidence is returning to the capital markets.â€
SEC to sanction 35 stockbroking firms
Meantime, the commission is set to sanction 35 capital market operators for various forms of market infractions.
Vanguard learnt that the commission was also planning to impose stricter sanctions on companies and operators that fail to render timely, complete and accurate information to the authorities.
Speaking at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group Policy Dialogue on the Nigerian capital market, Director-General of SEC, Ms. Arunma Oteh expressed shock over the increasing violation of capital market rules and regulations by operators and quoted companies.
Oteh said that SEC had alerted the operators on the breach of market rules and would impose sanctions, such as revocation of trading licences, if the operators failed to provide satisfactory reasons for their actions.
For companies that failed to release their quarterly, monthly or yearly reports on time to the commission, the director general said that SEC would suspend the trading of the shares of the defaulting companies.
She said: â€œI saw a report that stated that SEC is sanctioning 100 capital market operators for various forms of market infringements, but the true issue is that, today, (yesterday), I signed letters for 35 broker dealers with respect to their failure to render their returns as stipulated by the laws guiding their operations.
â€œThe licences of these operators might be revoked if we fail to get satisfactory responses from them. Also, we hope to release the outcome of the investigations of the joint task force between the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and SEC on happenings in the capital market over the last months.”