From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos
The Securities &Exchange Commission has assured its resolve to spare some companies out of the 24 listed quoted firms earlier slated for delistment on ground of irregularities.
The commission took decision following responses gotten from the companies regarding the delisting notice.
Besides, the Commission also submitted that the December 31st deadline for capitalization of capital market operators will not be extended.
Briefing the media immediately after the third quarter Capital Market Committee (CMC) retreat held in yesterday in Lagos, the Director-General of SEC, Ms Arunma Oteh, explained that the delisting was because of their failure to file quarterly and annual financial statements as required under the listing rules and failure to regularise their listing status after being given time to do so.
According to her, the regulatory action was necessary was aimed protecting the investing public from trading in the securities of entities with no current information regarding their financial status.
” A number of them have engaged the Nigerian Stock Exchange. They have fulfilled certain requirements and they have started doing the right thing. We would continue to maintain zero tolerance to infractions,
ensuring that our machinery become tough enough for people to see the signal and do the right thing. We first request the parties to provide information to see if it can be immediately resolved. We are vigorous in investigating and we give fair hearing.
“That is why we initiated the complaint management framework so that everybody in the market will know the procedure to make complaint.
On the capitalization exercise, Oteh said,” We have done all that is necessary and we are caring in waiting for this initiative to come to fruition.
” We started by engaging them and listening to them on the issue. We will expect that every operator will meet the minimum requirement on 31st of December.” she said.
Speaking on capital market literacy, the Chairman of the Committee on capital market literacy, Ariyo Olusekun noted that capital market literacy in the country still remain low.
According to him, research has shown that the level of capital market literacy in Nigeria stood at 16 per cent which showed that there is still a lot of work to be done.
He added that the committee has reviewed the capital market literacy looking at what is obtainable in the developed market.
According to him, capital market literacy in Nigeria cannot be said to be new because it is as old as the institution of Capital Market, saying “However, capital market literacy programs in the country currently lacks strategic direction and proper coordination.”
“There should be an increase in public awareness as the Committee has suggested that capital market literacy programs to be included in curriculum of professional bodies, schools and Universities. Others
are exhibitions, road shows and annual public lectures and so on.”
The chairman of capital market master plan committee, Dotun Suleman noted that the capital market contribution to GDP is low, adding that its active participation in the key sector of the economy is considered inadequate.
“To make sure we are objective in our assessment we benchmark Nigeria with Brazil, South Africa and Malasia and come to a conclusion that Nigerian capital market is underdeveloped and needs to be much more robot if it is going to play significant role in the national aspiration, to be a top 20 economy by the year 2020,” he said.
He stated, ” the whole objective is for us to have a capital market that will participate adequately in the emergence of Nigeria’s global top 20 economic.”