SEC Boasts of Robust Rule-Making Process for Investors Protection

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By Dipo Olowookere

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has expressed high confidence in its rule-making process, boasting that it is very robust to protect the interests of investors in the Nigerian capital market.

While speaking recently during the visit of a delegation of the Securities and Exchange Commission Zimbabwe in Abuja, the Executive Commission Operations of the SEC, Mr Dayo Obisan, informed the guests that the agency gives top priority to the protection of investors because they are the engine of the capital market.

According to Mr Obisan, SEC Nigeria has a dual mandate to regulate and develop the capital market in Nigeria, stating that both roles are very delicate in a bid to ensure that the market is attractive to investors.

“They are both delicate roles because if you focus more on regulation, development suffers, and if development suffers growth is stifled. And if growth is stifled it is just a matter of time and the market will be at the receiving end.

“If you focus more on development, on the other hand, things have the potential of going haywire and you could just be running a market that is not co-ordinated and price transparency and investor protection will suffer. Those are the things we have sworn to do by the provision of the law that created us,” he stated.

The SEC Executive Commission disclosed that the National Assembly is currently in the process of amending the Investments and Securities Act 2007 to make it in tune with current realities.

“We are in the process of amending our enabling law and it has reached an advanced stage in the National Assembly. There is a need to review the law because a lot has happened since the law came into effect in 2007.

“The essence is to capture all new developments that have taken place in the market within the period. Since the last review in 2007, a lot has happened like Covid-19, and technology has taken a bolder stand.

“Even within the market, there are a lot of other innovative instruments that have come which the law at that time did not envisage. Again, there is nothing cast in stone and we have to keep evolving to ensure we are adequately backed by the relevant sections of the law to enable us to carry out our functions.

“The issue of transfer of assets was not as aggressive as it is now, we did not even have so many Automated Teller Machines at the time, but that is not the case today. A lot of things are now being done digitally and the plan did not envisage all of those. There are some other activities and laws that impact the capital market and we need to keep looking at our regulations to avoid a disconnect. We need to constantly evolve,” he stated.

In his remarks, the Head of Corporate Finance Zimbabwe SEC, Mr Kundai Msemburi, said the delegation decided to visit SEC Nigeria in a bid to exchange ideas and boost regulatory efforts.

“We are here to interact with SEC Nigeria to find out how the Commission deals with issues of regulation. In Zimbabwe, we have had issues with some crypto exchanges collapsing and we are here to interact in a bid to make our markets better.

“We are keen to see how the bigger markets operate and see how best to get a grip on the regulation of our market. We know that investor education is very important in any market,” he stated.

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