Some capital market operators on Tuesday described the compulsory leave served on Arunma Oteh, the Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as long overdue.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the decision of the board of SEC was the right thing to do in the face of the near collapse of the capital market.
NAN reports that the commission on Monday directed Oteh to proceed on compulsory leave on June 11 to facilitate an independent investigation into “Project 50”, a programme she embarked on in 2011.
The commission said that the decision was also to allow Audit and Finance Committee of SEC to investigate the use of funds for the project.
Mr Emeka Madubuike, the Chairman, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria, said that the move would correct the impression of disharmony in the board.
Madubuike said that the capital market and SEC would come out stronger at the end of the exercise, adding that the action would rekindle investors’ confidence in the market.
Mr Okechukwu Unegbu, the Managing Director of Maxifund Investments and Securities, said that the decision would not affect the market as investors needed what would rebound the market.
“I don’t see it as a negative factor that will lead to further loss of confidence in the market.
“This is because SEC is just a regulator and its major duty is to issue rules and regulations,” Unegbu said.
Unegbu said that SEC board should not be exonerated because they worked in tandem with the embattled director-general.
He said that the board closed their eyes on a lot of issues in the market like the controversial appointment of Oteh as the director-general.
Mr Boniface Okezie, President of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, said that the decision was long overdue considering the revelations at the public hearing on Nigerian capital market.
Okezie said that the market would regain its lost confidence as a result of this development, adding that a new hand should take over as the director-general of the commission.
NAN reports that Ms. Daisy Ekineh, the Executive Commissioner (Operations), has been asked to act as the director general. (NAN)