The federal government has announced the appointment of a new acting director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He is Mr Bolaji Ibrahim Bello.
Coordinating minister for the economy and minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who announced the appointment in Abuja, yesterday, said Bello would resume office on Monday.
The minister also announced the dissolution of the current board of the SEC following the expiration of their tenure today, thus putting to rest speculation of tenure elongation by the affected commissioners and chairman of the board.
“From Monday, with the permission of Mr President, one of the senior directors, by name Bolaji Ibrahim Bello, has been appointed as acting director-general. He is presently the director in charge of Finance and Administration,” she said, adding: “In the meantime, the DG is on leave, though the exact duration is not expected to last very long. A timeline of three weeks has been given to the committee to complete its audit.”
LEADERSHIP checks reveal that the board has appointed Price Water Coupers, one of the leading audit firms in the country to conduct an independent investigation into the sources and utilisation of funds for the “Project 50” programme carried out by the commission. The auditors have four weeks to complete their work and submit their report.
“There would be absolutely no tenure elongation. The three Commissioners and the Chairman who are billed to leave tomorrow (today) are leaving on schedule.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank the board, the chairman, Senator Udo Udoma, for the service they have rendered. We look forward to constituting a new board and we also look forward to the report of the audit that the board has ordered,” she said.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP yesterday, a close source in the commission who did not want his name mentioned said the board members, who sat on Monday where the decision to ask Oteh to proceed on compulsory leave, would exit the board by today.
The SEC source said that out of the three most senior commissioners which include commissioner of operations, Ms. Daisy Ekineh commissioner, Legal and enforcement, C.A Udora; and commissioner of finance and admin, L. S. Stores, two of them have spent about 20 years within the system, just as they assumed office in June 2008 for a four-year tenure that expires today.
The board of SEC, at its 66th meeting held on June 11, 2012, had directed Oteh to proceed on compulsory leave to enable an independent investigation to be undertaken in respect of the “Project 50” programme which was carried out by the commission in 2011. The executive commissioner (Operations), Ms. Daisy Ekineh, was asked to act in her absence.
The decision of the board was arrived at after consideration of the report of its audit and finance committee which had been directed to investigate the sources and uses of funds for the “Project 50” event.