By Peter Egwuatu
In its bid to control frauds and infractions in the nation’s capital market, the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has directed investors to make use of the whistleblowing window it has opened.
The Acting Director-General of SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, speaking yesterday at the two-day international capital market conference, organized by the Commission, in collaboration with the Department of Finance, University of Lagos, lamented that the private placement bubble happened with the connivance of many market operators who encouraged issuers to take advantage of loopholes in the relevant investment laws at the time.
Uduk recalled several efforts and appeals to such issuers to list the shares without success, disclosing that, “market operators encouraged private placements knowing that the law did not allow the SEC to regulate private companies.”
She stated: “Insider trading is what we have to prove. A lot of us are in the market and we have a whistleblowing mechanism. It is the operators who will be in a better position to know and report such infractions. For those that have been reported to us, we have been carrying out investigations and once we have evidence we will invite them and also refer them to the relevant authorities
“With the whistleblowing provision, we have always asked operators in the market to come to our aid if they find any unwholesome activity going on. It is our market and so we all have to do our bit. The market should not be left to us alone; you need to provide information for us to take the necessary actions.
“Anyone that is caught engaging in any activity that is against the laid down rules, be rest assured that such an operator will be made to face the full wrath of the law”.