Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has pledged to intensify monitoring and surveillance of the capital market in order to curb unethical conducts.
The Director-General, SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda in a statement issued after the Annual Stockbrokers Conference of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers held on Oct 28 and 29 in Lagos disclosed that stiffer sanctions would be met on operators who engage in unethical conduct.
The theme of the hybrid conference was: “Capital Market as a Catalyst for Economic Development and Sustainable Growth.”
He noted that capital market operators were the face of the market as they interact daily with investors.
Yuguda said it was necessary that they prioritise interest of investors over their own, demonstrate integrity and transparency in conducting their activities.
According to him, poor conduct dissuades investors from our market and counters collective objective of broadening and deepening the market.
“We also expect that the institute will continue to make it mandatory for its members to undertake annual professional development programmes that address emerging issues.
“I believe that this will go a long way in ensuring that the practitioners in the market are highly skilled and are equipped to make real impact towards growing the market.
“SEC has led several initiatives to reposition the Nigerian capital market to better support sustainable economic growth and development.
“Through the articulation of responsive and adaptable rules to support innovation and access to capital for small and medium enterprises, promotion of good corporate governance, an improved registration process, an adequate and transparent disclosure regime, enhanced enforcement machinery and dispute resolution mechanisms.
“Most of our more recent efforts at developing our market are targeted at contributing to the growth of the national economy,” he said.
Yuguda explained that the core objective of the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan was to position the capital market for an accelerated development of the national economy.
“Some level of success has been recorded from its implementation so far and efforts are currently ongoing to re-launch it for better impact during the remaining period of its implementation.
“As stakeholders, it is important to have a common understanding of the role the capital market plays not just as a catalyst of economic development but the trend, drivers and preconditions for a robust and viable capital market.
“The World Bank acknowledges that there are many areas of this relationship where research has been found thin.
“It is equally important for investors to perceive the capital market and capital market intermediaries as working for them and not against them.
“I, therefore, use this opportunity to implore the institute to identify some specific areas that could be used as a stimulus to improve the current state of the market,” he added.
Yuguda called for diversification of investment products; promotion of investor education and financial literacy; strengthening corporate governance and listing standards.
He assured that SEC would continue to take steps that empower trade groups and professional associations for more effective market regulation, restoring investor confidence, preserve market integrity and reduce systemic risk.
Meanwhile, while addressing participants at the conference, President of CIS, Mr Babatunde Amolegbe, said the institute was committed to focusing on the economy and capital market advocacy with the intention of achieving inclusive and efficient capital market as an essential tool for economic development.
Amolegbe noted: “The capital market is still a virgin territory with so much opportunities available, so as stock brokers you are only limited by your own imaginations.
“This conference is unique as it delivers in the area of new economic issues to ensure that the capita market contributes to economic growth,” he said.