Reps Quiz CBN, PenCom, DMO Over Alleged Capital Market Breaches

Following alleged breaches in the nation’s capital market, the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Institutions yesterday, quizzed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Pensions Commission (PenCom) and Debt Management Office (DMO) to determine their efforts in the protection of shareholders’ investments.Chairman of the House committee, Tajudeen Yusuf, said the exercise was in response to complaints of irregularities and reports indicating that “whilst some of the companies took advantage of investors naivety, others were involved in outright sleeze and scam.”

At the opening of a two-day hearing of the committee on bonds, securities and private placements between 2001 and 2016 and Bill for an Act to amend the Investments and Securities Act, 2007, Yusuf requested officials of the invited organizations to synergize towards restoring investors’ confidence in the capital market.

PenCom’s representative, Ibrahim Kangiya said the commission has instituted measures towards protecting pensions funds, assuring that, though there were still hitches, appreciable success was being expected soon.

Representative of DMO, Joe Ugoala, said its continued collaboration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), was yielding fruits in private placements and funds management.

To broaden the horizon for discourse, the committee requested all stakeholders to furnish it with additional documents that would reflect current measures of addressing the issues. The documents, the committee chairman said, should reach the committee secretariat on or before December 8, 2017.

He further promised to call in Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Association of Stockbrokers and relevant issuing houses to determine the status and viability of companies listed in the stock market.

On the amendment of the Investments and Securities Act, Yusuf expressed confidence that the reviews would help in the proper identification of officials of government expected to access the capital market.

Edward Pwajok (APC, Plateau) specifically identified sections 224, 226 and 273 of the act that require amendment.“The amendment of these sections, when carried out, would help deepen democracy. It will also provide for only elected officials, not caretakers to access funds in the capital market,” he said.

Acting Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dr. Abdul Zubair, restated the efforts of the Commission in instituting monitoring mechanisms for enthroning transparency in the market.

Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara lamented ugly developments in the sector. He said, “owing to sharp practices and professional misconduct by some practitioners and stakeholders during the wide scale public placement investment drive during the period under review, many Nigerians who participated in this exercise got their fingers burnt.

By Otei Oham

The Guardian Newspaper December 1st, 2017

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