As the Ad-hoc Committee of the House of Representatives on the Capital Market has set an April 17, 2012 date for resumption of its public hearing, a call has been made for the probe to be comprehensive instead of selective exercise since it is meant to draw lessons from the market’s past and make recommendations for a more sustainable capital market.
The call was made by a Lagos-based market analyst, Abiodun Hakeem who said that for the public hearing to be a comprehensive exercise; there is need for past leadership of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to be called upon to explain their stewardship and the crisis that rocked the capital market from 2008.
According to him, “it will be a selective process if the public hearing is limited only to the current leadership of the SEC and this can be interpreted in some quarters as a witch-hunt knowing full well that the current leadership of the capital market was not on the saddle when the near-collapse of the market occurred”.
The questions market operators and Nigerians are seeking answers to are: What happened to the market integrity issues that precipitated the fall? What of the issue of insider trading, wash sales, pump and dump?
What about the many recorded cases of fraud and market abuses which were prevalent at the time of the market collapse? These are questions the committee members should be seeking answers to and not focus on individuals.