Stockbrokers Call for Suspension of Planned Increase in Share Capital

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By Goddy Egene

The President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers ( CIS), Mr. Olatunde Amolegbe, has called on regulators to halt all plans to increase the minimum share capital requirement for capital market operators (CMO), saying the current operating environment would not support such a move.

Amolegbe made this call on behalf of other stockbrokers, shortly after his investiture as the 11th president of CIS in Lagos.

“We will continue to work in close partnership and cooperation with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) and all the registered securities trading platforms in the country and may I at this juncture make a strong plea that any plans to increase minimum share capital requirement for CMOs be suspended for now. It will simply not be right in the face of the gargantuan operational and revenue challenges currently facing the industry,” he said.
Amolegbe, explained that the essential need of the Nigerian capital market, especially the stock trading at this moment, is access to trading liquidity.

“It was liquidity that enabled our stock market to grow in quantum leaps during the historic bull market run of 2005 – 2007, and that in turn galvanised the primary market where several companies and governments at various levels were able to raise massive capital for expansion and development projects. We will work assiduously to return the market to that level, albeit with a more effective, stronger and coordinated regulatory mechanism,” he said.

According to him, the Nigerian capital market has proved its resilience and world class structures by carrying on its major day to day operational activities unhindered since the pandemic started.

“It is an easily verifiable fact that many investors have received dividend income and earned capital gain even during the lockdown period. My team will ensure that CIS queues in maximally on the new world defined by high technology and enlarged business horizons.

“The covid-19 pandemic has worsened an already bad operating environment for Stockbrokers and Securities Dealing Firms, and that is the reason why we shall redouble our efforts in the area of advocacy; to get government and key players in the economy to accept the fact that the capital market holds the key to the long term economic sustenance of Nigeria as a country; to understand that this capital market has to be given maximum attention and topmost priority to play its natural role of mobilising the necessary financing to close the country’s huge infrastructural development gap and galvanise private sector participation in our economic development,” he said.