By Providence Obuh
T he Senate penultimate week, confirmed the appointment of the Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Muniru Gwarzo, in this interview, Shareholders commended the move but however urged him on more reforms in the Nigerian capital market space.
Mr. Segun Owolabi, Western ICON Shareholders Association of Nigeria:
We commend the appointment of Gwarzo as the Director General of the SEC . We believe he is experienced and qualified for the position given his records. The incoming government has to embark on major reforms, that are based on due process in the capital market. There should be discipline among the stockbrokers and the process of recapitalisation must be carried out among the stockbrokers.
Is not the number of stockbrokers that matters but how strong and competitive they are is what matters given that some stock broking houses will collect money from clients and do not buy the shares. We see a lot of manipulations, therefore that area of recapitalisation of stock broking firms must be carried out; we want the government to apply moral suasion to companies that are not quoted on the NSE to seek listing on the exchnage.
For example MTN, who is doing good business in Nigeria, we need it to come to the market so as to increase the tempo of the market. There are international companies that have made their mark and benefited from Nigeria in a way. Other telecommunication companies like Glo, Etisalat and Airtel should come and list their shares on the market. So SEC should look into how to convince them and make them understand the benefit of the market.
In the area of shareholders activism, we have a code of conduct and that code of conduct must be seriously complied with though is a voluntary code of conduct. But at the same time there must be persuasion to all the shareholders, we are having series of mushroom shareholders association,, proliferation of shareholders association, however, the code of conduct that we agreed to observe must be strictly adhered to.
For audit committee, some people are there and they don’t want to give chance to other experienced people to contribute their quota, this must change.
Comrade Oguntoye Lawrence of Distinct Shareholders Association of Nigeria:
I have known Gwarzo for a long time even when he was Executive Commissioner of Operations in SEC. With over 30 years experience in capital market, am glad that he has been confirmed by the Senate and being a man of intelligence and experience I believe he is going to transform the capital market beyond reasonable doubt. He has experience both in private and public sectors.
Part of his agenda which I look forward to is the participation of shareholders in the audit committee, most of the companies do not want to welcome shareholders as members of audit committee, they like to have their staff as cover ups. There are some rules on audit committee that the commission wants to amend. If he can move further by penetrating into the business of these companies; I believe he will sanitise the market. He should mandate most of the unquoted companies to get quoted because most of them floated private placement to defraud shareholders.