Following the sustainable bearish run in the nation’s capital market, shareholders under the aegis of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria have called on the federal government to review the reform policies of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the market.
The shareholders said government’s second look at the SEC’s reform in the equity market has become necessary since the likely collapse of the market which the regulator had been seeking to check in the last nine months was still staring investors in the face.
President of the association, Mr. Boniface Okezie, made this disclosure while addressing newsmen in Lagos at the weekend on the state of the capital market.
Okezie said the association’s review of the activities in the equities market since August when SEC intervened in the market wherein the former director-general, Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke was removed from office, has shown that there is a clear danger that the only safety-net that exists for the multitrillion naira investment market is about to be destroyed.
He said events of the past few months, “especially since August last year have shown that the capital market regulator has failed woefully in its intervention bid at the NSE.
“The actions of SEC have failed to lead to any improvement in the state of affairs and activities of the Stock Exchange. Worse still, the interests of the investors that the Commission claimed to be safeguarding are indeed, in real jeopardy,” he said.
The association said that what has happened at the NSE within the nine months period in the market showed that the Commission’s intervention in the market was unlawful, reckless and hasty and was adversely affecting the stock market.
“The Nigerian Stock Exchange today and, indeed the capital market, is now trending a major upheaval with serious economic and financial crisis for the Nigerian government, the people and more importantly local and foreign investors,” he said.
Okezie noted that the Exchange had been inundated with the sack of 76 competent hands even as there has been a systematic sacking and or redeployment of the critical personnel of the Stock Exchange operations.
“The workforce of all branches of the Stock Exchange across Nigeria has been drastically cut down; their managers withdrawn and redeployed to either Lagos headquarters or forced to resign. All the NSE branches, 13 of them, are now mere ‘shops’. All the investments made into these branches by the NSE and the various State governments are going down the drain.
“Today, the Stock Exchange has lost untold millions of naira and foreign currencies as well as precious lifetimes including management man hours not to talk of all the motivations (monetary and otherwise) in just nine months of Ikhazoboh’s reign of wealth of experience and knowledge,” he said.
“The NSE has hired more than 60 new staff through “the back door’ to the Stock Exchange as Call Centre operators as well as drivers, receptionists, Secretaries’, he further disclosed.