Capital market shareholders have faulted Federal Government’s decision to appointment a new Director-General (D-G) for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), saying the decision would further erode investors’ confidence.The shareholders, who described the crisis of confidence that has besieged the market in the past few months as worrisome, argued that the action portrays a bad signal to the market.
Speaking in a telephone interview with The Guardian, the President of Constance Shareholders Association, Mallam Shehu Mekail, said there are uncertainties surrounding the market presently, noting that the issue of transparency no longer takes centre stage in the equities market.
He wondered why the Acting D-G appointed by the minister recently should be removed and replaced, noting that with the regulatory involvement in the current crises rocking the market, foreign investors would be scared to invest in the market.
“Foreign investors are now scared to play in the market because they are not sure of the security of their investment. When regulators are involved in crisis, it is a recipe to erode confidence.
“The way they run the agencies of government is poor. When was the former D-G appointed that they have already announced his removal. There are traces of ‘mafia’ in the system and this is disincentive to the market.“The other day they announced the lifting of suspension on Oando shares and barely three hours after, they told us that the lifting of suspension has been reversed. Which one do we believe?
“Foreign investors are watching and all these are sending wrong signals. It does not portray good business environment. If the government is actually serious in fighting corruption, they should look into these issues bedeviling the capital market,” he said.The President of Trustee Shareholders Association, Mukta Mukta, queried the minister’s ability to appoint independent members that can manage the affairs of the commission.
“I do not believe they can put any serious person that can propose a radical agenda and continue with it amid all these inconsistencies rocking the market, but if the new person can achieve this, good for the market but if not, it does not make any sense.“The market presently requires people that would bring sanity and confidence back. But they may have appointed people they can control. We watch and see what they have to offer. If she becomes independent and enforce regulations where necessary, we wish her the best. “
The Publicity Secretary of Independent Shareholders Association, Moses Igbrude, said appointing an acting D-G to replace another Acting D-G by the minister is not so palatable, as it makes the affairs of SEC to appear inconsistent.“The action makes the management not to be sure of the next action of government. No matter what, the person will make some adjustments and this will create room for policy inconsistency,” he said.
However, he urged the new Acting D-G to sustain the reforms of the predecessors and review all outdated laws impeding the growth of the market. “I implore the acting D-G to sustain some of the reforms of past regime and implement policies that will improve the capital market. All obnoxious laws should be reviewed to encourage and attract investors to the market.“All infractions should be investigated and those found guilty should be punished to serve as deterrent to others,” he added.
By Roseline Okere
The Guardian Newspaper April 17th, 2018