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Shareholders set agenda for new SEC management

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10-yr master plan, investors’ protection rank high

By Nkiruka Nnorom

 SEC management

SHAREHOLDERS in the nation’s capital market have placed the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan, CMMP, on the front burner as agenda for the new management at the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, for speedy implementation.

They also stressed the need for the new management to pursue investor protection and strive to halt the current trend of delisting by quoted companies.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, last week, appointed Lamido Yuguda as substantive Director-General of the Commission almost three years after the ouster of Mounir Gwarzo in November 2017 and having a director general in acting capacity.

Moses Igbrude, President, Issuers and Investors Alternative Dispute Resolution Initiative, IIADRI, said there is the need for the new SEC boss to adopt ‘collaborative approach’ in handling investors’ related matters, arguing that SEC’s major role is to protect investors.

He also urged the new SEC boss to study the capital market master plan and see to its full implementation.

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Igbrude said: “The new SEC boss should project to those in authority and managers of our economy the importance of the capital market to the general well-being of Nigeria’s economy. That understanding will propel the government to formulate policies that will enhance the growth of the capital market.

“His strategies should be on how to assist companies to improve their performance in this hostile business environment. The capital market, as at today, is grossly under-valued; one of his objectives should be on how to reverse the situation as it is today. The issue of unclaimed dividend should be pursued vigorously to the benefit of the investing public.

“He should make sure that the demutualisation of exchange is completed in a transparent manner for the good of the market, in particular, and Nigerian economy in general. He should deploy his wealth of experience in deepening the market with a focus on making the capital market attractive to companies and also halt the on-going trend of delisting from the exchange by increasing the intrinsic value of listing over non-listing.”

Also speaking, Adebayo Adeleke of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, ISAN, said: “We expect him and his Board to position the capital market for greater impact on the economy. We expect him to protect investors’ interest from all manners of infractions by operators as well as shorten the time of intervention process and be less bureaucratic.

“He should ensure market integrity, deepen the market and also ensure capital market education and enlightenment. To deepen the market, we need to do more to attract companies to list as well as encourage government to privatise more national assets. Nigerians should be empowered to own more percentage of the market and not overtly rely on Foreign Portfolio Investors, FPIs.”

Patrick Ajudua, National Chairman, New Dimension Shareholders Association, emphasized the need to deepen the awareness and enlightenment on capital market activities as well as reposition the market to the new world order in line with global practices.
Ajudua said: “The new SEC director general should reduce the bureaucratic bottleneck in listing requirement and ensure adequate protection of minority shareholders in the event of exist of companies from the market. Also, the issue of unclaimed dividend must be addressed holistically taking into cognizance the need to checkmate registrars undermining the scheme.
“There is also the need to embrace transparency, consultation and fair hearing in the conduct of the affairs of the Commission. We must also not forget the need to carry all the stakeholders in the capital market along while formulating policies and rules in order to make them more effective.”

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