The Chairman, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Patrick Ezeagu, has explained that the new status conferred on ASHON, as a trade group by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), would enhance the association’s credibility as a recognised professional group in the nation’s bourse.
Ezeagu, who described ASHON’s new status as a long-awaited milestone, commended SEC for the endorsement, noting that “every achievement entails some responsibility to sustain it.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered ASHON as a trade group in line with its mandate that requires all capital market operators to register with their respective trade group or face penalty.
According to Ezaegu, the registration has strengthened ASHON’s legitimacy to operate effectively in the capital market.
“The registration of ASHON as a trade group has provided synergy to improve our activities. It is a more formal recongnition of our existence as capital market operators by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“The registration has conferred higher level of legitimacy on what we are doing. It will further reinforce all members under one umbrella.
“This is a dream come true. We have been on it over the years. We are fulfilled. We know that the new development has imposed additional responsibilities on our members. We must be more conscious of our duties. We must comply with all the rules and regulations guiding our profession.
“There is no hiding place for lukewarm members any longer. Sanctions await any member that runs foul of the laws. Every member must ensure that it receives annual certificate of currency.
The trade group status shall strengthen ASHON’S complaint management framework” Ezeagu said.
ASHON’S First Vice President and Chief Executive-designate of Lagos Commodity and Futures Exchange (LCFE), Akin Akeredolu-Ale, explained that one of the first expectations from the new status of ASHON would be to drive compliance and enforcement.
Ale noted that SEC in approving trade groups has displayed high level of confidence in the ability of trade groups to uphold the tenets of conflict resolution and framework for resolving infractions as they affect the members in any group.
“SEC believes that every trade group owes it a duty to regulate its members. It is not every bit of infraction that must be taken to the commission, only issues beyond the scope of ASHON can be escalated to the regulators- the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and thereafter, SEC.
“The new registration will give more meaning to stakeholders’ mapping. It will give more voice to ASHON as capital market operator. Under the post demutualisation of the NSE, activities of shareholders shall be more prominent.
“But this cannot rule out the functions of trade groups as the members possess the skills and competencies to handle operational issues. Trade groups like ASHON shall continue to play advocacy roles”, Akeredolu-Ale said.
Meanwhile, ASHON’S General Secretary, Sam Onuokwe, has appealed to all dealing members’ firms that have not registered or updated their membership to do so on or before the end of September this year.
He explained that a comprehensive list of ASHON members will be forwarded to SEC at the beginning of October, adding that any dealing member that fails to meet the deadline may face SEC enforcement action.
By Helen Oji
The Guardian Newspaper July 2nd, 2018