Heads of Nigeria’s SEC and Stock Exchange summoned to Senate Committee

The Nigerian Senate’s Capital Market Committee summoned the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (www.sec.gov.ng) Arunma Oteh and the Interim Administrator of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE – www.nigerianstockexchange.com) Emmanuel Ikazoboh to appear at hearings on 29 November. According to a news story in the Daily Independent (www.independentngonline.com) newspaper, they felt they had not received sufficient responses to inquiries and wanted a report on activities.
The Senate has been sending queries since the 4 August dismissal of NSE Director General Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke. They also feel that the SEC acts as if it is independent of supervision, especially by the Senate. One example was that the audit of the NSE, dated October 8, was only received by the Committee a month later, unsigned by KPMG the auditor. When other queries were also not answered, the Capital Markets Committee returned the audit and the SEC reportedly said it was the best they could do.
Last week the House of Representatives Capital Market Committee summoned the two to a public hearing to discuss amendments to the Investment and Securities Act to ensure the autonomy of the SEC. There have been reactions, according to the report: The SEC has only submitted its financials to its supervisor, the Finance Ministry. This, the House reportedly said, makes it unable to effectively perform its oversight functions in the interest of national good. The last published account by the SEC is believed to be that of 1991/92.
The committee was apparently concerned “that the provisions and expenditure for board member allowances were quite significant and alarming for a public sector agency.” House Capital Market Committee Chairman, Umar Jubril, reportedly disclosed that the SEC generated N16 billion (US$106 million at current exchange rates) in 2006, N13 bn (2007), N8 bn (2008), and N3 bn (2009).
However, a market source reportedly told Daily Independent that the total figure should be about N68.5 bn, judging from computations from publicly available data, including fees from private placements approved by the SEC, mergers and acquisitions, and recovery costs of proceedings.
The House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets has also directed the SEC to reverse its decision sacking Prof Okereke-Onyiuke, according to news reports last week. The committee asked the SEC to look into her letter of voluntary retirement (16 June, to be effective 15 Dec) and allow her to proceed on her terminal leave as stated in her notice. NSE has also been ordered to forward its audited 2009 report and both first and second quarter 2010 reports to SEC for onward transmission to the National Assembly.


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