Share­hold­ers fault govt’s ap­point­ment of new SEC boss

CRUDE OIL PRICE UP­DATE Brent crude: $68.77 | WTI crude: $63.55 ‘Ac­tion will fur­ther erode in­vestors’ con­fi­dence’ FOREX MAR­KET UP­DATE In­ter­bank rate N305.60 | Par­al­lel mar­ket: N362

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - BUSINESS - By He­len Oji

CAP­I­TAL mar­ket share­hold­ers have faulted Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to ap­point­ment a new Di­rec­tor-gen­eral (DG) for the Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion (SEC), say­ing the de­ci­sion would fur­ther erode in­vestors’ con­fi­dence.

The share­hold­ers, who de­scribed the cri­sis of con­fi­dence that has be­sieged the mar­ket in the past few months as wor­ri­some, ar­gued that the ac­tion por­trays a bad sig­nal to the mar­ket.

Speak­ing in a tele­phone in­ter­view with The Guardian, the Pres­i­dent of Con­stance Share­hold­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, Mal­lam Shehu Mekail, said there are un­cer­tain­ties sur­round­ing the mar­ket presently, not­ing that the is­sue of trans­parency no longer takes cen­tre stage in the eq­ui­ties mar­ket.

He won­dered why the Act­ing D-G ap­pointed by the min­is­ter re­cently should be re­moved and re­placed, not­ing that with the reg­u­la­tor y in volve­ment in the cur­rent crises rock­ing the mar­ket, for­eign in­vestors would be scared to in­vest in the mar­ket.

“For­eign in vestors are now scared to play in the mar­ket be­cause they are not sure of the se­cu­rity of their in­vest­ment. When reg­u­la­tors are in volved in cri­sis, it is a recipe to erode con­fi­dence.

“The way they run the agen­cies of gov­ern­ment is poor. When was the for­mer D-G ap­pointed that they have al­ready an­nounced his re­moval. There are traces of ‘mafia’ in the sys­tem and this is dis­in­cen­tive to the mar­ket.

“The other day they an­nounced the lift­ing of sus­pen­sion on Oando shares and barely three hours af­ter, they told us that the lift­ing of sus­pen­sion has been re­versed. Which one do we be­lieve?

“For­eign in­vestors are watch­ing and all these are send­ing wrong sig­nals. It does not por­tray good busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment. If the gov­ern­ment is ac­tu­ally se­ri­ous in fight­ing cor­rup­tion, they should look into these is­sues be­dev­il­ing the cap­i­tal mar­ket,” he said.

The Pres­i­dent of Trustee Share­hold­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, Mukta Mukta, queried the min­is­ter’s abil­ity to ap­point in­de­pen­dent mem­bers that can man­age the af­fairs of the com­mis­sion.

“I do not be­lieve they can put any se­ri­ous per­son that can pro­pose a rad­i­cal agenda and con­tinue with it amid all these in­con­sis­ten­cies rock­ing the mar­ket, but if the new per­son can achieve this, good for the mar­ket but if not, it does not make any sense.

“The mar­ket presently re­quires peo­ple that would bring san­ity and con­fi­dence back. But they may have ap­pointed peo­ple they can con­trol. We watch and see what they have to of­fer. If she be­comes in­de­pen­dent and en­force reg­u­la­tions where nec­es­sary, we wish her the best. “

The Pub­lic­ity Sec­re­tary of In­de­pen­dent Share­hold­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, Moses Ig­brude, said ap­point­ing an act­ing D-G to re­place an­other Act­ing D-G by the min­is­ter is not so palat­able, as it makes the af­fairs of SEC to ap­pear in­con­sis­tent.

“The ac­tion makes the man­age­ment not to be sure of the next ac­tion of gov­ern­ment. No mat­ter what, the per­son will make some ad­just­ments and this will cre­ate room for pol­icy in­con­sis­tency,” he said.

How­ever, he urged the new Act­ing D-G to sus­tain the re­forms of the pre­de­ces­sors and re­view all out­dated laws im­ped­ing the growth of the mar­ket. “I im­plore the act­ing D-G to sus­tain some of the re­forms of past regime and im­ple­ment poli­cies that will im­prove the cap­i­tal mar­ket. All ob­nox­ious laws should be re­viewed to en­cour­age and at­tract in­vestors to the mar­ket. “All in­frac­tions should be in­ves­ti­gated and those found guilty should be pun­ished to serve as de­ter­rent to oth­ers,” he added.

For­mer Sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Com­mon­wealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku (left); Sokoto State Gover­nor, Al­haji Aminu Waziri Tam­buwal; Chair­man, Fidelity Bank Plc, Ernest Ebi; his wife, El­iz­a­beth Ngozi Ebi; for­mer Min­is­ter of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs, Ma­jor-gen­eral...

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