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Shareholders, operators urge SEC DG to be focus

By Peter Egwuatu

… Pass vote of confidence

SHAREHOLDERS and capital market operators have advised Director General -designate of the Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC), Arunma Oteh to be focus in moving the market forward, just as they pass vote of confidence in her ability to lead the Commission.

They also urged the Director General-designate to learn from the mistake of her predecessor, Mr. Musa Al- Faki and be courageous in the area of instituting discipline and apply the experience garnered from her job at the African Development Bank (ADB).
Speaking exclusively with Vanguard, Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Mr. Boniface Okezie commended the appointment of Oteh as the new SEC DG.

According to him, “ Her experience in the international finance institution may have attracted the Federal Government to shortlist her. Though she had worked with Centre Point Investment Limited in the past, but she may not be vast with the current realities of the Nigerian market. So a lot of challenges await her which she must drastically address. She should be independently minded and be  capable of carry out reforms in the market. She must not be a  rubber stamp leader and should not associate herself  with politics.”Continuing, he said, “ We expect her to bring the vast knowledge garnered  to bear. She will be new when she assume office in Nigeria. So she must partner with operators and shareholders to reawaken the market. Many Nigerian women has excel in their different capacity to move the economy forward. So we expect her to follow suit.”

Okezie advised her to hold the principle of good corporate governance in high esteem as practiced in the advanced economies.
According to him, “ She should be able to carry shareholders and other stakeholders in the capital market along in the execution of rules making and market development. There should be improved surveillance in our market to avert unnecessary price manipulation and other form of mal practices.”
Meanwhile stockbrokers have passed a vote of confidence on the ability of Oteh to steer the affairs of the apex capital market regulatory authority (SEC).

Also speaking  exclusively with Vanguard, Chairman Consolidated Shareholders Association of Nigeria Barr. Raymond Anyiwo said, “ If it is true that the Federal Government has decided  to appoint Oteh as the new SEC DG then a lot is expected of her to move the market forward. She must learn from the mistake of the last Director General, Al- Faki by being focus and not be distracted by any body be it in the government or private sector. She must be courageous to initiate policies that will bring growth and development of the market.’

Continuing he said, “ Her appointment comes with a lot of challenges which she must overcome. She must handle the issue of market regulation and enforcement very strongly. We expect drastic changes especially market discipline. She should not compromise issues that bother on integrity and must be ready to hold the bulls by the horns. A lot would depend on her ability to make the market attractive to both local and foreign investors.

She must be bold and courageous to deal with any person that flout the rules of the market. She must not procrastinate and be very proactive in taking appropriate action that will move the market forward”
Furthermore, he advised the newly DG designate to carry the stakeholders along in running the affairs of the Commission. We expect her to continue organizing workshops and seminars in order to keep enlightening majority of Nigerians both in the rural and urban areas of the viability of the market.

Speaking in separate interviews , brokers were of the opinion that going by her profile and rise to top management position in an international organisation, she is capable of handling issues at SEC and the capital market in general.

Mr. Sunday Ojo, a stockbroker, noted that it is not proper to judge Oteh on the surface of her long absence from the Nigerian economic scene, noting that she should be given a chance to prove herself, before drawing conclusions on her capability or otherwise.

He said, “Going through the profile of Oteh, I must say that she is well capable of handling the job at SEC, especially as reports stated that she came tops among the people interviewed for the job. It is too early to start saying she would not be able to cope if given the job, only time will tell. If the government thinks she is the most qualified, they should give her the job and watch if she can perform well or not.”

Another stockbroker who spoke on the condition of anonymity, disclosed that Oteh, going by her credential is capable of performing well in SEC, especially with regards to her performance in the African Development Bank which saw her rising to the top.

It should be noted that Oteh has been the Vice President of ADB since 2006 and group’s treasurer managing a large and varies portfolio of financial assets and liabilities for the ADB.
Oteh is on the Board of several organisations including the advisory Board of the Africa Investor, International Financing Facility of Immunization etc.


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