By Peter Egwuatu
THE Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE has called on shareholders to query directors of their companies whenever they discover any impropriety in their financial statements.
The Chief Executive Officer, NSE , Mr. Oscar Onyema, assured shareholders that the Exchange will continue to protect their interest by ensuring that companies complied with the rules of the stock market.
Reacting to a question on the issue involving the defunct Skye Bank Plc with respect to investors’ protection during his media briefing at the Exchange in Lagos, he said: “One of the things that we actually pride ourselves at the Exchange is protection of investors. I know that when something goes wrong the first person you want to shoot is the Exchange and possibly the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC because we are in the frontline. If I take Syke Bank specifically, the Exchange has done a lot to protect the interest of shareholders but let understand we are operating in the market place where shareholders themselves have responsibility.
“When we force companies to disclose they put up their financials, you go to Annual General Meeting, AGM, you have right to ask questions, if the management is doing something you have to hold them accountable. You don’t have to wait until something goes wrong and you start blaming Stock Exchange. We operate within legal boundary. The primary regulator for banks is the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. Their own dealing is different from ours and so we cannot say we are going to stop the Central Bank from taking regulatory action against a bank.’’