By MICHAEL EBOH
The Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, has emphasized the need for shareholders to play active and critical roles at the annual general meetings of their companies, so as to ascertain the true position of things and also promote good corporate governance in the companies.
Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, represented by Mr Kayode Ogun, Manager, NSE, Ibadan Branch,. at the 2012 investors summit organised by the Proactive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, PROSAN, in Ibadan, Oyo State, said shareholders should always act to put the management of their companies in check.
According to Onyema, investors should take advantage of the annual event to ascertain the financial state of the firms and ask relevant questions that will help curb the excesses of the management and Board.
He further stated that the NSE is working on a number of initiatives to promote the integrity of firms in the market, while various reforms are being implemented as part of measures to boost investors’ confidence. He also advised investors to seek clarification on any issue in the capital market, especially when they are in doubt.
Also speaking, Mr. Uzor Ikebudu, a US-based financial institutions regulation consultant, said weak legal and regulatory framework is the bane of the Nigerian capital market.
According to Ikebudu, the present legal structure of the market makes it convenient for infractions to take place without adequate provisions for sanction.
He blamed the crisis in the Nigerian market on wrong regulatory and legal framework coupled with alleged fraud.
Ikebudu further called on the Federal Government to facilitate the prosecution of individuals who allegedly contributed to the near collapse of the Nigerian market, while calling on investors to complain when cheated.
According to him, people should protest peacefully when incidence of alleged infractions is identified, come together, share information and sue when necessary. “Sanction is the only way to attract more investors to the market and ensure sustained growth,” He noted.
In his own view, Mr Samuel Maduka Onyishi, Chairman, Peace Capital Market, said there is need to encourage regulators to maintain high level of integrity on a regular basis. He explained that integrity is the only way to encourage more people to invest in the capital market.
He described the conference as timely, adding that it offered members of PROSAN an opportunity to interact.
Mr Taiwo Oderinde, Chairman, PROSAN, said members of the group meet on a regular basis to share information aimed at capacity building.