Covid-19: SEC Urges Full Disclosure by Capital Market Operators

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By Ndubuisi Francis

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reminded regulated entities in the capital market to continue to make adequate disclosures on the impact of Covid-19 on their businesses

This was contained in a circular the Commission issued on Monday to provide an update to stakeholders in the capital market.

The circular read: “While we continue to monitor the evolvement of the pandemic and its impact on the capital market, all regulated entities are reminded to make adequate disclosures and report on how the pandemic is impacting operations and discharge of services to investors and other stakeholders.

“We also wish to assure investors that while efforts are on-going to ensure that capital market services remain accessible, the Commission’s priority is the protection of investors. Kindly contact us through sec@sec.gov.ng for complaints and enquiries.”

The SEC also stated that following the federal government’s partial easing of the lockdown measures introduced to curb the the spread of Covid-19 across Nigeria, the Commission has reopened its head office in Abuja.

In compliance with the various guidelines issued by relevant authorities, SEC said its office is open to members of the public between 10a.m. and 1p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

However, due to the need to protect its stakeholders and members of staff, the Commission said it had issued some guidelines among which is that stakeholders are strongly advised to use its various e-channels to communicate and interact with it and that physical visits should only be considered as a last resort.

Other guidelines are that all meetings and events will be convened electronically until further notice, while all filings shall continue to be received electronically.

It noted that all visitors will be subjected to temperature checks and hand sanitisation before gaining access to the Commission’s building, adding that such visitors are expected to wear facemasks and abide by social distancing rules while present in the Commission’s facility.

The Commission stated that personal visits are not allowed at this time, adding that visitors would be expected to state their purpose and identify themselves at the entrance.

The SEC also strongly recommended that appointments should be booked in advance of physical visits even as it advised all capital market stakeholders to continue to adhere to the safety guidelines issued by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other relevant agencies on Covid -19.