Driving assessment

Driving the space for reforms at the SEC

As an essential component of the economy, the capital market has a great role to play in its development. And that is what the Managing Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently doing to make the capital market the engine of the Nigerian economy; BENJAMIN UMUTEME writes.

On July 6, 2020, when Lamido Yuguda took over as Director General of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), analysts saw it as another opportunity to take the Commission to the next level given the work of its former chief; Mary Uduk did this during her tenure as interim CEO.

A quick assessment of SEC Nigeria’s activities and contributions to the country’s GDP over the last two years of the era of the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent Russian-Ukrainian war showed that the Commission has exceeded forecasts. analysts in terms of investment inflows and other indices of regulatory performance.

The recent activities of the Investment Market Regulatory Commission under the executive leadership led by Yuguda clearly show that instead of bemoaning the country’s unfavorable economic climate, the SEC leadership not only set strategic goals, but also pursued, through innovative regulatory guidelines and collaboration with other relevant institutions, to expand the frontiers of investment space with subsequent implications for improving FDI locally and in the economy. The facts speak for it.

For example, on market-wide issues, the Commission drafted and presented an amendment to the ISA and the bill to the National Assembly as part of its efforts to improve the capital market regulatory framework. Nigerian. The bill will soon be adopted and promulgated.

The Capital Market Master Plan as the Pivot of Reform

Determined to position the capital market as the engine of the economy, the SEC Managing Director quickly got to work on the Capital Markets Master Plan (2015-2025). The objective of the master plan is to set out strategies for the improvement of the Nigerian capital market in key areas such as investor protection and education, professionalism and product innovation, and for the expansion of the role of the capital market in the economy.

The SEC CEO, unwilling to abandon the plans established with his management team, successfully reviewed the CCMP to realign initiatives/deliverables with prevailing market conditions and maintain the relevant document on the dynamic capital market in Fintech, sustainability and regional policy issues. the integration.

Corporate governance

The SEC, under the direction of Yuguda, issued guidance on the implementation of Sections 60 through 63 of the Investments and Securities Act of 2007 (ISA). At the same time, the Commission not only developed the SEC Corporate Governance Guidelines (SCGG), but also harmonized the reporting schedules of the SEC Corporate Governance Guidelines (SCGG) with that of the National Code of Corporate Governance (NCCG), it also went public in 2021 for comment on an amendment to Rules 42(2).

The Commission has also, as part of its regulatory interventions aimed at amicably resolving disputes between the board of directors and shareholders of listed companies, resolved disputes between Alhaji Muneer Alade Bankole (the Managing Director) and Sheikh Abdulmohsen A. Al-Thunayan (Chairman of the Board) of Medview Airlines, resolved those between the main shareholders of Ikeja Hotels Plc and brought the company back to profitability and also reached an agreement with Oando Plc in 2021 after having concluded the investigation into the corporate governance allegations against the company.

Money laundering / terrorist financing

On the contentious issue of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), following the GIABA Nigeria Mutual Evaluation, the Executive Directorate led by Yuguda made concerted efforts on the capital market to meet both the GIABA Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) and the FATF International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) requirements to avoid Nigeria being placed on the gray list public FATF during the Plenary when the grace period expires in October 2022.

Ponzi scheme

As part of its regulatory mandate, the Commission investigated investor complaints and of the 250 complaints filed during the period, 182 were resolved. Additionally, of the 58 complaints about Ponzi schemes received, 45 have been resolved. The Commission recovers 10,659,168 shares of various companies

shares as well as the sum of N1,384,255,526.73 recovered for investors during the period under review, sealing the premises of 4 illegal operators and prosecuting their promoters.

The good work Yuguda is doing at the SEC has not gone unnoticed, earning him the leadership of the West African Securities Regulators Association (WASRA).

As Yuguda continues to persevere despite post-Covid-19 challenges both globally and on the home front, according to economic observers, the Nigerian capital market would be better placed to compete with its peers globally.