Finally, SEC Gets New Board, Urged to Drive Corporate Governance Practices

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Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission, on Monday, June 24, got its board inaugurated by the Federal Government.

The inauguration is coming four years after the last board was dissolved by President Muhammdu Buhari.

The new board members are Olufemi Lijadu, Chairman; Mr. Lamido Yuguda non-executive Commissioner; Mrs Rekiya Ladi non-executive Commissioner; Mr. Okokon Ekanem Udo- Rep of Ministry of Finance; Mrs Angela Adewumi Sere-Ejembi- Rep CBN; and Ms. Mary Uduk Acting DG.

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Others are Mr. Henry Rowlands- Acting Executive Commissioner Corporate Services; Mr. Isyaku Tilde, Acting Executive Commissioner Operations, and Mr. Reginald Karawusa, Acting Executive Commissioner Legal and Enforcement.

At the inauguration, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, urged the newly appointed board members to play their part in ensuring revitalization of the market.

According to Isa-Dutse, the inauguration is coming at a time when many players in the market are displaying weak corporate governance practices that could potentially dampen investor confidence and undermine the steady gains achieved since the 2008 stock market crash.

He therefore urged the board members to act as crucial enablers in the industry towards advancing a common vision for the growth and revitalization of the market.

He also advised listed companies in the Capital market to imbibe good corporate governance and accountability in a bid to accelerate the growth of the market, and increase both domestic and foreign investor participation.

Isa-Dutse who was also overseeing the office of the Minister of Finance, at the inauguration in Abuja on Monday, explained that the Nigerian capital market is growing and evolving, adding that to sustain this growth and eventually transform to a world class capital market, transparency and investor confidence are key.

He said that like world class markets, Nigerian Capital market should be characterized by high levels of liquidity, depth, breath and sophistication with a strong domestic investor base.

“It should be innovative and transparent due to robust investor base, robust disclosure regimes, and efficient both in price discovery and in the allocation of capital. We must have it in mind that world-class capital markets do far more than provide access to capital. They are enablers of socio-economic development because they hasten the rate of capital formation, foster meritocracy and promote good corporate governance, innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Thus, our capital market should broaden access to economic prosperity by enabling the emergence of financially responsible citizens, accelerating wealth creation and wealth distribution, providing capital to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), and catalysing housing finance.

“The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to transparency and accountability in corporate governance. To this end, I must emphasize that the role of governing boards is to provide effective oversight and strategic adversary to management team. I would therefore like to advise all concerned to study and strictly adhere to laid down laws that have clearly defined the roles and responsibilities of the board members” he added.

In his remarks, Chairman of the SEC Board, Mr. Olufemi Lijadu emphasised that Capital markets are very important in the socio economic development of any nation as it plays a critical role in attracting investments.

He said, “As we all join hands together to build our country, we need investments and the capital market plays a critical role in that respect. We need to see how we can move forward to have a more orderly market, a market that is fair and transparent and can attract investments to build Nigeria. We need a market that is attractive to investors, both local and foreign

“We need a capital market where the rules are enforced and where the public who invests are all protected. We need to reinforce the public trust. I therefore enjoin everyone to help us towards building a capital market that this country deserves”.

In her remarks, Acting Director General of the SEC, Ms Mary Uduk expressed delight at the inauguration of the board which she said will assist in moving the capital market forward. She welcomed the new members and expressed optimism that they will bring their wealth of experience to bear in the running of the Commission and the market.