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SEC, Brokers, Shareholders Clash at Stock Market Probe

19 Apr 2012

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SEC boss, Ms. Arunma Oteh

By Onwuka Nzeshi

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Wednesday disagreed with the Association of Stock Brokering Houses of Nigeria and the Progressive Share-holders Association over the factors responsible for the  lingering recession in the capital  market.

At the second day of the public hearing on the near collapse of the market, the brokers association represented by Mr. Emeka Madueke, accused SEC of macro-managing the Nigeria Stock Exchange rather than regulating it.

In a similar attack on the regulatory agency, Chairman of the Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Boniface Okezie, alleged that the failure of SEC to effectively regulate the market was responsible for the downturn being experienced at  the stock  market.

But SEC dismissed these opinions describing them as malicious, untrue and a calculated attempt to portray  the regulatory agency in bad light.

In a statement issued by Mr Yakubu Olaleye, the regulatory agency faulted the testimony given by Okezie describing him as an agent of those who wrecked the stock market.

“Okezie is a prime example of the peculiar nuisance value that is causing trauma and frustrating investor confidence in the Nigerian capital market under the guise of shareholder activism. He typifies the regression that is stoking public companies’ desire to delist from the capital market. His brand of “protection of shareholder interest” is purely self-centred, characterised by blackmail and extortion of quoted companies to get them to succumb to parting with gratification

“There is rejection of governance and disinclination to undertake the preliminary responsibility of a shareholder which is to custody their investment by ensuring that their investments are properly managed,” Olaleye said.

SEC alleged that at company Annual General Meetings, the likes of Okezie usually formed cabals that shut out legitimate shareholders from participating in a meaningful examination of the fortunes of a company such that the outcomes of those AGMs are not only predetermined but  violate the popular interest.

According to the spokesman of SEC, the present leadership of the agency has been working hard to confront the challenges that had frustrated the emergence of a fair and transparent capital market in Nigeria.

Olaleye said the objective of elevating the market to a world class standard; with integrity, fairness and transparency,  will be achieved when the excesses of  some  self styled shareholder activists were effectively curbed. 

National Chairman of the Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Boniface Okezie, had argued that, though the melt down in the capital market was a global problem, most the countries that suffered the same recession had revamped their markets while Nigeria was far from recovery.

Okezie further suggested that the Assets Management Company of Nigeria,( AMCON) should be made to be responsible to the entire financial system of the country and no longer limited to banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Okezie also drew attention to the alleged violation of the rules guiding the appointment of the Director-General of SEC, noting that the law guiding the establishment stipulated that the DG must be a qualified stockbroker with 15 years cognate working experience in the capital market.

He alleged that the current SEC boss, Ms. Arunma Oteh, was neither a qualified stockbroker nor does she have the requisite cognate experience in the capital market.

Tags: Politics, Nigeria, Featured, AMCON, SEC

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