The management of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been commended on decisive steps taken in ensuring that it attains fiscal sustainability.
James Abiodun Faleke, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance who stated this at the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) interactive session with the House of Representatives Committee on Finance in Abuja Tuesday, expressed his pleasure at the various efforts the Commission has taken so far in shoring up its finances.
Faleke said, “Last year when you came here, we challenged you to look inwards and return the SEC to sustainability and I am happy you have done that and that you are living up to expectations. I want to commend you for your efforts thus far, while also admonishing you to work harder”.
Speaking earlier, Director General of the SEC, Lamido Yuguda stated that 2020 and 2021 were particularly difficult times for the Commission as the SEC was running a deficit.
According to him “When we came on board, it was very difficult but we assured the National Assembly that we were going to take certain actions to make this deficit a thing of the past and our story this year is that we have actually turned the corner.
“If you look at our 2021 and 2020, compare with the 2022 budget and the 6 months in 2022 you will see that there is an actual improvement in the way we manage the finances of the Commission. It shows our budget for 2022 and the actual out time for the first half of that year. You can see that we projected a deficit of N1.6 billion, but as at the end of the first half, we have a surplus of about N2.5billion”.
He stated that the presentation is a summary of the kind of efforts the current Management has made over the past few years to position the Commission on the path of fiscal sustainability.
Yuguda told the Members that the SEC has so far carried out its promise to reduce the top-heavy structure in the Commission by offering some top personnel a voluntary exit package.
He said, “Mr. Chairman we were top heavy and we said before this committee that we had a plan to offer a voluntarily early exit to some of our top personnel and I am happy to report that at the end of last year we offered this scheme and quite a number of our staff took the offer and we were able to substantially reduce our work force by almost 30percent.
The DG disclosed that although the Commission makes more money when the economy is buoyant, he also stated that due to the current shape of the economy, there was the need to cut cost to ensure
While admitting that the commission has been operating under very difficult circumstances since it is currently superintending over a market that was affected by the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic, he assured that steps are being taken to ensure that the fortunes of the SEC continue to improve.
He said: “If we go through the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework which we started last year, if we look at 2022 and 2023, you will see that we have worked on our expenditure and the deficit is now turning into a surplus. surplus. We therefore need the support of all to engineer the kind of transition we are thinking of at the SEC”.