SEC Begins Close Monitoring, Supervision of Capital Market Operators

Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has begun a close monitoring and supervision of capital market operators in a bid  to ensure that investors’ interests are not violated, misused or mismanaged in any form.

It has also enjoined investors to make use of the commission’s Complaints Management Framework (CMF) in expressing their reservations, if any, in the capital market.

In an interview in Abuja at the weekend, the SEC acting Director General,  Ms. Mary Uduk said the aim of the CMF was to address the complaints of market investors.

The  initiative, she stated, is not only to help investors lay their complaints through the right channel but also assist the regulator in addressing  issues in the shortest time possible.

She said: “Before this framework people complained to many offices, some go to EFCC, some go to the police, some go to any person that they think even thugs, to come and get their investment back but then, it was not yielding fruit  and it was dragging the regulator on many fronts, we therefore saw the need to change our strategy and come up with a more robust framework.

“Our current complaints management framework will guide investors and ultimately protect their investments in the market. If you have question about the capital market, you know where to go to.”

Uduk said as a step further, the SEC also now closely monitors and supervises the capital market operators so that the investment of investors are not violated, misused or mismanaged in any way.

“We have now set up a framework where we now monitor them more regularly. We also have other initiatives arising from our 10-year master plan, which is to protect investors and bring confidence in the market such as the e-dividend

‘When people invest in the capital market they expect returns, they expect to make money. So one of it is to be able to protect your dividend and get your dividend as at when due,” Uduk added.

She also listed the multiple subscriptions, National Investors Protection Fund that protect investors arising from problems that capital market Operators go through other than those of them that are brokers, as brokers are covered by the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE).

“In the past, people subscribe for shares and bond in many different names. Some as many as five, six different names and because of that they are not able to get the benefit of investing in the Capital Market. For instance if you have a bank account, a bank account recognises only one name with only one BVN and therefore.

 “If you have different names they are not your real names and your share certificate does not carry those names and the banks does not recognise those names, you are not able to get the dividend of investing the market.

“Therefore, we have given the stakeholders, the market a window of opportunity for people that engaged in multiple subscriptions to come and regularise those holdings that they have and consolidate them to be able to get the benefit of investing in the capital market,” the SEC DG said.

Uduk disclosed that many investors have taken advantage of the window leading to the regularisation of 3.4 billion so far, urging investors to take relevant steps to regularise their multiple accounts.

The commission had earlier required CMOs to register with their relevant trade groups, to ensure compliance to these directives.

 SEC also requires proof of registration with these trade groups as a perquisite for operators to carry out transactions or make any submission at the commission.

According to Uduk, all these steps are geared towards protecting investors in the market and making the Capital Market more attractive to would be investors.

In doing all these, she advised retail investors to invest in Collective Investment Schemes and Mutual Funds because those are managed independently by professionals and they are diversified thereby reducing risks.

“We also implore investors to take ownership of their investments. They have to be able to monitor their investments, attend annual general meetings as well as read the annual reports sent out to them.

“The SEC is committed to protecting investors in the work we do. We will keep working on our rules and the possibility of amending them when the need arises, we want more transparency in the market so that investors will feel comfortable and the market can be better”

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