• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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SEC strengthens enforcement, compliance mechanism for capital market

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday re-launched its Administrative Proceedings Committee (APC), an in-house mechanism that would help drive a stronger enforcement and compliance regime in the Nigerian capital market. The committee could as well further strengthen confidence and integrity the market.

SEC APC is a quasi-judicial body that would resolve disputes in the capital market by giving opportunity for fair hearing to capital market operators and other institutions perceived to have violated, or actually violated or even threatened to violate the provisions of the Investments and Securities Act and SEC rules and regulations.

The committee is a fact-finding one and would conduct further inquiries into the substance of alleged violations of securities law, acting in the public interest, having regard to the protection of investors thereby maintaining a fair and orderly market.

At the inauguration of the committee in Abuja, Suleyman Ndanusa, chairman, SEC board, said the SEC APC had been in existence but was only being re-launched, after being fine-tuned and restructured for greater effectiveness and efficiency.

He said the committee would deal with major grievances by market participants, resolve serious disputes and issues bordering on civil violation of the securities law and the rules of the commission.

“We all know that the principle of fair hearing is vital to any system of justice and the right of the populace. This is what the SEC APC seeks to achieve, among others, giving a fair hearing to a participant suspected of any violation”, he stressed.

The committee which is guided by its rules of procedure contained in Schedule V111 of the SEC rules and regulations is empowered to impose sanctions where infractions of the securities laws and rules and regulations have been found.

But it would not deliberate on criminal violations which are under the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agencies and the office of the attorney a general of the federation. Ndanusa clarified that such suspected criminal violations would be referred by the commission to the appropriate authorities for necessary action.

The re-launched APC would be chaired by Aruma Oteh, director general, SEC, and has a retired judge, an academician and a capital market expert as members.

Ndanusa said their inclusion is to boost the quality of the conduct of APC. Members of the committee are also expected to adhere to the highest level of confidentiality, ethics and professionalism in their conduct and are therefore expected to sign up to a code of ethics for APC members.

At the inauguration, Aruma Oteh noted that APC is an important machinery for strengthening and reinforcing the commission’s enforcement machinery.

She said the committee would serve as the first ‘port of call’ where capital issues can be looked at and if not satisfied they can then be taken to the Investment and Securities Tribunal for judicial proceedings.

Oteh was confident that the committee would provide a more efficient resolution of capital market issues especially as it comprises professionals in the market.

IHEANYI NWACHUKWU &

ONYINYE NWACHUKWU, Abuja