By Nkiruka Nnorom
The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has commenced restructuring of its organisational structure with major focus on trimming down its workforce and reducing the number of its zonal offices.
The commission in a public notice on its website said that already, 43 very senior staff retired as at the end of July, following a voluntary retirement scheme approved by the Board to incentivize top-level staff above the age of 45 who had served the commission for more than 10 years and are nearing their retirement.
The SEC stated that some of the top management staff that voluntarily retired had served the commission for more than 20 years and had stagnated for up to 11 years on the same position due to the non-availability of vacancies.
In the same vein, the commission also announced the reduction of its zonal offices to three from initial seven. “As at January 2015, there were over 30 deputy directors, more than 40 assistant directors and upward of 80 senior managers. This issue had direct effect on staff morale as well as motivation because it inhibited career progression,” it noted.
According to the commission, the restructuring is aimed at boosting staff morale and improving service delivery to all stakeholders.
On reduction of its zonal offices, the commission explained that under the previous organizational structure, it operated with a head office in Abuja and seven zonal offices in Kaduna, Kano, Ibadan, Lagos, Maiduguri, Onitsha and Port Harcourt. “In the new arrangement, SEC has decided to close down four of its zonal offices in Kaduna, Ibadan, Maiduguri and Onitsha in order to allocate both human and material resources to strengthen the remaining three in Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt.
“This decision became necessary after a careful review of the operations and performances of all the zonal offices. With the three zonal offices to be maintained, SEC will still enjoy a balanced geopolitical spread as the Lagos zonal office covers the entire southwest geopolitical zone, the Port Harcourt office will service the south-south and southeast zone while the office in Kano will cater to investors across the northern region.
“In essence, by closing the four zonal offices and strengthening the remaining three, SEC can do more at a lower cost, this will free up resources to be allocated to critical areas of the commission’s mandate like investor protection and investor education,” it added.
The commission added that it is also embarking on the process of auditing the industry information technology infrastructure. This is to enable it ascertain the current status of automation in the market, articulate the appropriate level required, and invest in the required resources that will aid market automation.