- As SEC reiterates disapproval of ponzi schemes
By Omobayo Azeez
The Senate Committee on Capital Markets has expressed its commitment to further give legislative support in a bid to ensuring safety of investment in the capital market.
Senator Ibikunle Amosun, chairman of the committee, expressed this during a meeting on Wednesday, with the management of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Abuja.
Amosun stated that the Nigerian economy was in dire need of investments from both local and international investors, adding that there was a need to support SEC in that direction.
He said, “We are here today to meet with the management of the commission to know their areas of difficulties and explore ways we can introduce new laws or amend old ones to ensure that Nigeria becomes investors’ destination of choice.
“We are aware that some of the enabling laws were made many years ago and probably no longer meet the present day realities. The capital market can help to fund a lot of our infrastructure deficit and that is why we are here.”
Amosun said for any nation to develop, the capital market had to be taken seriously.
“If the regulators are not very active, there would be issues because this market thrives on integrity and confidence. If people don’t have confidence in the market, they will not bring their money,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mary Uduk, acting director-general of SEC, said the commission was responsible for overseeing the affairs of the capital market.
She said, “We oversee a lot of enforcement issues such as Ponzi scheme. Presently, we are going to expand our enforcement activities around Ponzi schemes to sensitise Nigerians to the dangers of investing in them.
“We already do a lot of enlightenment in that regard; but we are going to do more by translating these initiatives into Nigerian languages and Pidgin English and produce short videos for illustration.
“These initiatives are contained in the 10-year capital market master plan and we are going a step further to focus on commodities in a bid to diversify our economy.”
Uduk recalled as part of the efforts by the commission to deepen the market and attract more investors, it recently held an international conference on commodities market where some recommendations were proffered on ways to have a vibrant commodities trading ecosystem in Nigeria.
According to her, while it is clear that Nigeria is endowed with agricultural resources and energy commodities, its potential in these areas have not been fully harnessed.
She said, “The good news, however, is that the capital market can be used as an avenue to unlock the potential and diversify the nation’s economy, while providing jobs, creating values and contributing to governments’ revenue.
“We believe that if we can develop and institutionalise a vibrant commodities trading ecosystem in Nigeria, we can substantially address problems such as lack of storage facilities, poor pricing, non-standardisation as well as low foreign exchange earnings affecting our agriculture and other commodities subsectors.”