BY NKIRUKA NNOROM
In a bid to curtail increasing rate of frauds in the stock market, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, has disclosed plans to launch a whistle blowing scheme before the end of 2013.
This came even as the Exchange said that the compliance level of stockbrokers to existing rules has risen to 93 percent from the initial 65 percent when it began publication of names of errant member firms in January this year.
Making the disclosure at the X-Compliance and Brokers Trak training for capital market correspondents at the NSE, Abimbola Babalola, Head, Market Surveillance Department, said that the NSE will ensure full protection of anybody that would assist it with information that would help in tracking perpetrators of unwholesome practices in the market, especially strange movement on share prices of quoted companies.
To this end, Babalola said that the whistle blowing portal, which would be developed for the purpose of tracking abuses on share prices, would be created in such a way that whistle blower’s detail like phone number and email addresses will not be requested before they are allowed to register their complaint.
“As at now, we are not concerned about reward for whistle blowers; what we are interested in is how to protect them so that they are not harmed. In a place like Nigeria, if you make known the identity of whistle blower, I tell you, the person will not last the next 24 hours.
“So, what we are doing is that we want to design the portal in such a way that whistle blower can give us information without identifying either his email address or telephone number. This is to protect the whistle blower,” he said.
He said that the NSE would partner financial journalists in the area of information gathering as soon as the portal is launched.
On the compliance level of stockbrokers, Olufemi Shobanjo, Head, Broker Dealer Regulation, said that the knowledge that delinquent stockbrokers would be named and shamed has put members on their toes, while also increasing competition among them.
He further stated that Brokers Trak has equally put stockbrokers under pressure to ensure timely submission of their audited financial statement in order to stay ahead of others and beat competition.