SEC Threatens Stiff Sanctions for Unethical Conduct

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By Dipo Olowookere

Capital market operators have been tasked to maintain professionalism and good ethical conduct in the discharge of their duties or risk being severely dealt with as unethical conduct would not be tolerated.

The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, while speaking during a meeting with the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) in Abuja on Wednesday, said the agency will do everything to make investors have strong confidence in the Nigerian capital market.

He noted that a transparent market will attract more investors into the landscape, soliciting the support of the CIS to improve professionalism and good conduct in the capital market.

Mr Yuguda said capital market operators are the face of the market and they interact daily with investors, adding that it is, therefore, important that they prioritise the interest of investors over their own and be seen to demonstrate the highest level of integrity and transparency in conducting their activities.

According to him, “Poor conduct dissuades investors from our market and therefore counters our 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 programs 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 a real impact towards growing the market.”

Speaking further, he said, “CIS has supported the SEC in our various initiatives in the past and we hope that this support will continue with the various initiatives we plan to roll out this year.

“We, therefore, urge the CIS to encourage its members to uphold the Code of Ethics of the profession and as contained in the Rules and regulations of the commission.”

The SEC DG stated the importance of a harmonious working relationship between the regulator and the Self-Regulatory Organisations, adding that it would translate into a more vibrant capital market.

According to him, “It is very important for us to work harmoniously we want a harmonious capital market where the regulators and the Self-Regulatory Organisations complement each other. We want a harmonious capital market where the forces complement and rein-enforce each other and not fight. With all the initiatives we are bringing out in place, we are all heading towards a more robust and vibrant market”.

In his remarks, the President of CIS, Mr Olatunde Amolegbe, commended the SEC on the various initiatives is has been carrying out in a bid to deepen and develop the market and added that the CIS would continue to provide the necessary support in areas where it is required.

Also speaking, the past president of CIS, Mr Ariyo Olushekun, said the CIS is committed to working with the SEC to ensure professionalism in the capital market, improve ethical standards and weed out bad eggs in the market.

This, according to him, will strengthen confidence and lead to more investors coming back to the market so that the market can play the role it is supposed to play in the economy of the country.

He, therefore, pledged the commitment of the CIS to always work with the SEC to develop the market and also to police the market.

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