‘All ac­count state­ments ready for ap­proval’

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - FINANCE & ECONOMY -

er­nance stan­dard of listed com­pa­nies they reg­u­late, be­cause it is the func­tion of the en­tire board to mon­i­tor ac­tiv­i­ties of quoted or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to him, gov­ern­ment failed to re­alise that the econ­omy can­not grow with funds from the money mar­ket alone, be­cause they do not have guid­ance for the mar­ket. He said: “SEC is so un­for­tu­nate. How can a reg­u­la­tor of listed com­pa­nies op­er­ate with­out board for a long time and even now, with­out an ex­ec­u­tive man­age­ment. It is un­heard of and it is un­for­tu­nate. Since 1939, the United States’ SEC has not been with­out full board, but in Nige­ria, we treat things any­how.

“It is af­fect­ing the mar­ket be­cause they are there tem­po­rar­ily. So, there will be no full de­vo­tion. Look at Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria, the Mon­e­tary Pol­icy Com­mit­tee will do some­thing and it will work out with­out any bat­tle, but noth­ing is work­ing in SEC and we want to de­velop the mar­ket. The Min­is­ter of Fi­nance would have been in bet­ter po­si­tion to do so. “Lets pray for bet­ter things to hap­pen be­cause I am re­ally ashamed. The Com­pa­nies and Al­lied Mat­ters Act­com­pa­nies code of a coun­try, is cur­rently wait­ing for as­sent and may wait for an­other three years and UK gov­ern­ment re­views their code ev­ery six months.”

The Guardian in­ves­ti­ga­tions on the com­po­si­tion of the board showed that the In­vest­ment Se­cu­ri­ties Act (ISA) stip­u­lates that this shall in­clude a part-time chair­man, the di­rec­tor-gen­eral and chief ex­ec­u­tive, as ac­count­ing of­fi­cer. There is also a three full time com­mis­sion­ers, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Fed­eral Min­istry of Fi­nance, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria, and two part-time com­mis­sion­ers, one of whom shall be a le­gal prac­ti­tioner qual­i­fied to prac­tice in Nige­ria with 10 years post-call ex­pe­ri­ence. The ISA vested the board of SEC with the man­date for “gen­eral ad­min­is­tra­tion of the com­mis­sion”, which par­tic­u­larly, in­clude to for­mu­late poli­cies for the reg­u­la­tion and de­vel­op­ment of the cap­i­tal mar­ket and the achieve­ment and exercise of the func­tions of the com­mis­sion, ap­prove the au­dited and man­age­ment ac­counts of the com­mis­sion and ap­point au­di­tors for the com­mis­sion.

Also, the board is statu­to­rily re­spon­si­ble for con­sid­er­a­tion and ap­proval of the yearly bud­get of the com­mis­sion as may be pre­sented to it by the man­age­ment, es­tab­lish­ment of zonal of­fices of the com­mis­sion and sundry ac­tiv­i­ties, as nec­es­sary and ex­pe­di­ent for the pur­poses of achiev­ing the ob­jec­tives of the com­mis­sion.

Be­sides, the board is em­pow­ered, on the rec­om­men­da­tion of the di­rec­tor-gen­eral, to ap­prove the du­ties of the full time com­mis­sion­ers and the re­as­sign­ment of the full time com­mis­sion­ers.

The ten­ure of the board is four years, though the di­rec­tor-gen­eral and full-time com­mis­sion­ers may be reap­pointed for an­other se­cond and fi­nal term of four years. While the ISA pro­vides for ex­ten­sion of the ten­ure of the di­rec­tor- gen­eral and “any of the com­mis­sion­ers whose term of of­fice has ex­pired un­til a suc­ces­sor to such di­rec­tor-gen­eral or com­mis­sioner is appointed, the law does not make any ad­hoc pro­vi­sion for the board as a whole. An in­vest­ment an­a­lyst, Am­brose Omodion, ex­plained that the re­cent cri­sis of con­fi­dence that brewed in the mar­ket was due to ab­sence of a board to spear­head the ac­tiv­i­ties of the com­mis­sion. He won­dered why the gov­ern­ment treats cap­i­tal mar­ket is­sues with lack of se­ri­ous­ness, not­ing that the is­sue con­sti­tutes threat to ef­forts aimed at restor­ing in­vestors’ con­fi­dence. “If the fed­eral gov­ern­ment re­con­sti­tute a board for the SEC, it will not be easy for the min­istry to re­verse the de­ci­sion of the board. The CBN has a com­plete board and they have the high­est tech­nol­ogy to mon­i­tor any bank and ask ques­tions.

“The lack of con­fi­dence in the mar­ket is not only elec­tion risks, but also the way gov­ern­ment is han­dling is­sues of the cap­i­tal mar­ket. It is too ap­palling and SEC is sit­ting on the high­est posi-

Adeo­sun, Fi­nance min­is­ter

Uduk, Act­ing SEC DG

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