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SEC Tasks Shareholders to Raise Relevant Observations at AGMs

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shareholders raise relevant observations

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Shareholders, especially those under registered groups, have been tasked by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to endeavour to raise relevant observations on key areas at the Annual General Meetings (AGMs) of companies listed on the stock exchanges.

The Director-General of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, said this could be achieved by carefully reviewing audited reports and accounts of listed organisations prior to such yearly shareholders’ gatherings, urging them to uphold high ethical standards and promote new strategies to strengthen accountability among market participants in the Nigerian capital market.

According to Mr Yuguda, in 2016, pursuant to Section 8(y) of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), the commission released a Code of Conduct for members of shareholders’ associations to guide their conduct during general meetings of public companies and their relationship with public companies outside the general meetings, and for other purposes connected therewith.

He said this code was still in force, noting that it is intended to ensure the highest standard of conduct amongst members and the companies with whom they interact as bona fide shareholders.

“The code is designed to ensure that association members uphold high ethical standards and make positive contributions in ensuring that the affairs of public companies are run in an ethical and transparent manner in compliance with the Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance and the SEC Corporate Governance Guidelines.

“I urge you to continue to abide by this Code of Conduct for Members of Shareholders’ Associations by being disciplined and ensuring good governance,” the SEC DG said at the 2022 edition of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) Triennial Delegates Conference held in Lagos recently.

“We, therefore, urge this association to continue to improve performance of the function of monitoring of companies to contribute to their growth by reviewing Audited Reports and Accounts prior to AGMs to raise germane observations on key areas,” he added.

Mr Yuguda also urged the shareholders to continue to promote their core activities which centre on minority shareholder protection, advancement of corporate governance and development of a deep and robust capital market.

He described the theme of the conference, which focuses on reforming the judicial system in order to stabilise and encourage the growth of the Nigerian economy, as very important and relevant to the growth and development of Nigeria.

The DG commended the shareholders for the excellent support the agency has received from the various shareholder associations in the country, especially ISAN.

“ISAN is one of the largest and foremost shareholders’ advocacy groups in the country. We are proud to be associated with your core activities which centre on minority shareholder protection, advancement of corporate governance and development of a deep and robust capital market,” he said.

“The judiciary has also been contributing to the development of the capital market through its role of adjudicating over matters involving stakeholders in the capital market. As the SEC continues its important regulatory work of protecting both foreign and domestic investors who invest their funds in the Nigerian capital market, we will continue to partner with and engage the judiciary and other relevant stakeholders,” Mr Yuguda noted.

He stated that in an increasingly competitive global environment for capital flows, foreign investors consider the strength and independence of a regulator in their investment decisions, stressing that it is, therefore, a matter of urgent national priority to continue to send the right signals to the investing world that the Nigerian capital market is indeed soundly regulated by a strong and independent SEC, devoid of conflicting interference from any arms of government.

“The SEC is happy to have, over the years, enjoyed the support of the Nation’s courts in the quest to build a vibrant capital market that can contribute to achieving our national objectives.

“The judiciary’s important work impacts market integrity, investor confidence, market development and market fairness. It is clear that without the fair, prompt and effective dispensation of justice, capital markets can never develop. Therefore, in our quest to develop a vibrant capital market in Nigeria, we cannot afford to overlook the central role of the Judiciary,” he said.

However, the SEC DG stated that there was room for reform in the judiciary, especially on issues around investor protection and dispute resolution mechanisms in the Nigerian capital market, adding that the commission supports this reform and is happy to play a role in it.

“As a regulator of this dynamic market, the commission is focused on facilitating capital raising for sustainable national development and transformation of Nigeria’s priority economic sectors, thereby effectively contributing to the national economy.

“Our focus has always centred on the creation of an ecosystem whereby issuers, whether government, entrepreneurs and other businesses, can access capital efficiently. The process of raising money through the capital market plays a vital role in our economy and will help bring nascent ideas to life,” he added.

Economy

CitiTrust Holdings Sells Commercial Paper for 22%

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Cititrust Financial Services Ikechukwu Peter

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

An opportunity has opened for commercial paper investors as CitiTrust Holdings Plc is offering the asset class at a coupon of 22.0 per cent per annum under its N50 billion commercial paper issuance programme.

According to details of the exercise obtained by Business Post, the company, in the financial services sector, is selling the debt instrument in four tenors of 90 days, 120 days, 180 days and 270 days.

The minimum subscription for prospective and potential investors is N5 million and can be purchased through any of the registered stockbrokers.

The 90-day instrument is going for 16.1 per cent, the 120-day paper is being sold for 17.5 per cent, the 180-day note is 19.1 per cent, and the 270-day instrument is going for 22.0 per cent.

The offer commenced on November 23, 2022, and is expected to close on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, with the net proceeds to be used for the company’s general corporate purposes and working capital.

CitiTrust said investors would be paid their interests from the operating cash flows of the organisation, with purchases to be settled via direct debit, electronic funds transfers, NIBBS Instant Payment (NIP), NIBBS Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) or Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS).

CitiTrust is a leading pan-African financial and investment conglomerate owned by reputable institutional and private investors. The company has a focus on high-end financial products and services for its targeted sectors of the economy, with operations in commercial banking, investment banking, wealth management, pension management, insurance and alternative investment.

The firm is a foremost financial solutions provider and has been an intricate part of the Nigerian economy since 2007. It has grown and evolved over the years into an award-winning market leader in the financial sub-sector of the Nigerian economy, establishing its footprints in 12 African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Botswana, Liberia, Benin Republic, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and the UK.

In 2019, the organisation upgraded its operations into a reputable financial services provider to align with the strategic vision of its shareholders to build an enduring institution that delivers cross-functional services to its clientele.

The company’s deep knowledge of the market, dexterity, smooth and reliable processes driven largely by technology and the high quality of its personnel puts it on the cutting edge of strategic Importance with its clientele.

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Economy

No Individual Should Operate Domiciliary Account in Nigeria—Tope Fasua

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domiciliary account in Nigeria

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

An economist and former presidential candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) in the 2019 general elections, Mr Tope Fasua, has kicked against the opening of a domiciliary account in Nigeria for an individual, calling it an abnormality.

Speaking on a Channels Television’s Saturday breakfast show, he said only corporate organisations involved in international trades should be allowed to operate a dorm account.

As individuals who need foreign exchange to transact any business transaction, they should be given a credit card or prepaid card, which would be loaded with the value of Dollars they require instead of giving them cash.

According to him, this would limit the demand for FX and strengthen the Naira in the forex market segments.

Mr Fasua made these submissions while reacting to the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.

“Personal dorm accounts are mostly unnecessary; only companies that are doing international trade transactions or financial market companies should be able to hold dorm accounts because they have a reason to,” the renowned analyst said on the programme monitored by Business Post.

“When I travelled abroad recently, GTBank loaded by card with Dollars, and when I need to spend where I am going, I just use my card,” he added, stressing that, “If you are an exporter, you have export proceeds coming in, you can have a dorm account.

“If you are an importer and you need to pay your customer once in a while, you can have a dorm account as a company, but if every Tom, Dick and Harry can speculate against their own currency, you will never get it out of crises.”

According to him, “The ease at which people move against their currency in this country is too much; it should not be that easy.”

Tope Fasua

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Economy

LIBIZFAIR Will Boost Business Opportunities in Lagos

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business opportunities

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Chairman of Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has disclosed that the Lagos Island Business Fair (LIBIZFAIR) will improve business opportunities in the state and also attract more investments.

The former federal lawmaker said this at the opening ceremony of the fair organised by the Lagos Island Connect, in conjunction with the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives.

At the programme held at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Onikan, Lagos, Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, represented by the Head of the Lagos Annex of the agency, Mr Oladipo Odebowale, commended the state government for the initiative.

She noted that the platform provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses, saying, “This will boost investment and business opportunities in the state.”

The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Lola Akande, in her remarks, described the empowerment of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as critical to the empowerment of youths.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the minister, Mrs Adetutu Ososanya, she noted that building the capacity of youth-oriented enterprises, with the goal of providing opportunities for growth, will lead to an increase in prosperity among Lagos Island youths.

“I believe this platform can leverage socio-economic networking and Information Communication & Technology to provide more interactive opportunities for the teeming youth of Lagos Island and its environs from diverse cultural, religious, social and educational backgrounds to grow their businesses and services, as well as the State’s economy,” she said.

The Commissioner explained that the fair aligns with the policy of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, widening access to the market and encouraging networking and collaboration among entrepreneurs.

Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the governor on Sustainable Development Goals & Investment (SDG&I), Mrs Solape Hammond, stressed that the programme was geared towards supporting businesses to thrive at the local government level.

“The study discovered that the youths of Lagos Island are versatile, technologically enabled, driven and willing to be positively engaged, particularly in personal and communal development.

“Though most of them are faced with different challenges yet, there is an enormous zeal to be gainfully engaged rather than being idle, which could contribute to community nuisance.

“Young people in Lagos Island have a brighter vision for the future, and all stakeholders must join together to support them to deliver it,” the governor’s aide said in her presentation on the Lagos Island Youth Needs Assessment Survey.

The co-founder of the Lagos Island Connect, Mrs Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, while addressing participants, noted that the LIBIZFAIR 2022 was geared towards taking businesses in Lagos Island from a local to a global level by investing in the youths and preventing their massive migration to foreign lands.

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