Ms. Arunma Oteh
The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh, has commended the Federal Government on the N22.6 billion forbearance package for 84 stockbroking firms, saying the move would assist in boosting the market recovery.
Speaking last week in Abuja, Oteh noted while the forbearance would improve the balance sheet of stockbroking firms and make them participate actively in trading activities, the tax incentives would also attract more investors and new listings to market.
The forbearance package, along with the tax incentives, was announced by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, early this month based on the recommendation of the committee set up on the issue.
An excited Oteh said: “The capital market community wants to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for this kind gesture to support the brokers so that some of the can return to the market. The tax waivers we recently gotten are a major boost the market needs,” she said.
Before last week, stockbrokers had hailed the government over the package. The chief executive officers of stockbroking firms under the aegis of Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) unanimously agreed to embrace the N22.6 billion forbearance package as part of efforts to revitalise the capital market.
The Chairman of ASHON, Chairman of the ASHON, Mr. Emeka Madubuike, said the association has, over the last three years, has solicited for the forbearance on the margin accounts of some of its members with banks now taken over by AMCON.
According to him, the margin accounts came about from the fact that bank failed to exercise the margin calls as required by the arrangement in the face of falling share prices.
Madubuike therefore, commended President Jonathan, Okonjo-Iweala and all those who made the package a reality.
“This singular act by the Federal Government gives us in the capital market a lot of hope that the market will begin to play its pivotal role as the engine room for the transformation of our nation’s economy. We trust the government will continue to look for other ways to resuscitate the capital Market to enable it compliment the various reform programmes of government and to become an integral component for the growth and development of the economy,” Madubuike said.
He said that going forward, ASHON will work along with other stakeholders in the capital market, and “continue to initiate and pursue processes, procedures and policies in the areas of risk management , investors’ protection, corporate governance and professional conduct, to ensure there will be no reoccurrence of the situation that led us to this position.”