The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is to collaborate with the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to set up a standing committee as a means to working together for the development of Nigeria’s capital market.
Announcing this when the President of the NBA, Augustine Alegeh (SAN) and some members of his executive paid a courtesy call on her in Abuja, Director General of the SEC, Arunma Oteh said the partnership is essential for the two organizations and the country in general to drive the present administration’s transformation agenda.
Oteh said Nigeria’s capital market has had big issues that have affected the integrity of the market, saying that the timing is perfect for the SEC and the NBA to look at ways of collaborating in the interest of investors and the country’s economic development.
“The timing is right for us to look at how we can strengthen the relationship due to the value of the legal profession in fostering the rule of law in the society and the markets and the value of the capital market in transforming our economy. We can’t have a country that has such great potentials, has men and women that are entrepreneurs and still have a market this small.
“Nigerians by nature are business men; the capital market, in collaboration with the legal profession, should help to promote such businesses so that there is integrity and these businesses can grow to their full potentials by leveraging on the capital market. One area that people are beginning to talk about is the value of wealth distribution and addressing income inequality. If a mechanism can be
instituted for creating wealth for anyone irrespective of his status or position in the society, then we would have democratized wealth creation and that is what the capital market does” Oteh said.
The DG commended the NBA for being partners in the development of the capital market in Nigeria adding that the Commission is committed to raising financially literate citizens in the country.
“We are aspiring to evolve to the point of world class, this market must be one that will be the first point of call for all investors and we will get there”.
Speaking earlier, the NBA President, Augustine Alegeh expressed the interest of the NBA in working with the SEC in several areas in a bid to improve the country’s economic development.
Already, he said the Association has set up a committee on legislative advocacy which offers services free of charge, to ensure that proper laws are in place no matter whose ox is gored.
He said the Association was willing to assist the Commission resolve some of its compliance issues, petitions in respect of what happens in the equity market and other legal assistance that may be required.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Nigeria was established in 1979 as the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market. It is a Federal Government statutory body supervised by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Its activities are currently governed by the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 2007. The SEC has the overarching mandate of investor protection, ensuring orderly and equitable dealings in securities, developing the market and shielding it from all forms of abuses.
In regulating the market, the Commission undertakes the following activities meant to protect investors, market operators and ensure market integrity: Registration of securities and market intermediaries
to ensure that only fit and proper persons/institutions are allowed to operate in the market; Surveillance over exchanges / capital trade points / trading systems to forestall breaches of market rules as well as deter and detect unfair manipulations and practices which may cause market disruption and; Investigate alleged breaches of the laws and regulations governing the capital market and enforce sanctions where appropriate.