Stakeholders in the stock market have backed a bill to repeal the Investments and Securities Act (2007) and enact the Investments and Securities (2022) and related matters Act.
The stakeholders gave their support at a public hearing on the bill organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Institutions on Tuesday in Abuja.
The stakeholders also considered a bill to repeal the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers Act (2004) and provide for the establishment of Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (2022) and Related Matters Act.
In his remarks, the Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, said efficient capital market was indispensable to the functioning of a modern economy.
According to him, no economy can achieve any meaningful advancement without the role of the capital market in supplying medium to long term finance.
“There is no doubt that Nigeria needs and, in fact, deserves an internationally competitive and well-functioning capital market to facilitate the on-going economic diversification.
“The passage and enactment of the Investments and Securities Bill 2022 will be a pivotal step in this direction.
“The commission, therefore, enjoins and appeals for the buy-in of key stakeholders to make this aspiration a reality,” he said.
Yuguda said having operated the current enabling Act since July 2007; the commission had observed areas requiring review in order to strengthen existing provisions.
He said there was need to remove ambiguities, introduce new provisions that would enhance the international competitiveness of the Nigerian capital market and reposition the market to catalyse economic transformation.
The SEC boss said given the market’s evolution since 2007, it was the consensus of the major stakeholders in the capital market community to have a complete overhaul of the Act.
He said this was necessary in order to achieve the objective of consolidating the efficiency, transparency and viability of the market.
“The highlights of the major innovations and changes in the bill include, establishment, objectives, functions and powers of the SEC.
“Inclusion of the National Pension Commission on the Board of the commission and its membership and registration/regulation of Exchanges and Financial Market Infrastructures.
“Management of Systemic Risk, Public Offers, sale of securities and invitations to the public, mergers, take-overs and corporate restructurings.
“Collective investment schemes, Investor Protection Fund (IPF), Issuance of Securities by Federal, State, and Local Governments and their agencies, Securities Tribunal, among others,” he said.
In his remarks, Mr Tonyi Adenuga, Head of Rules and Adjudication, Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) Regulations Ltd., commended the National Assembly for the giant strides made towards the development of the capital market.
He said the NGX group participated in the process leading to the drafting of the bill and was in full support of the bill as it was geared towards effective positioning of Nigeria’s capital market.
Adenuga said the process was open and receptive to comments and contributions of all stakeholders, saying that the NGX group commended the process and was in support of the passage of the bill.
However, the Chairman of Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) Mr Sam Onukwe, observed that members of the board should not be ten but 11 in case of a tie.
He said that the bill recommended 10 members, saying that it should either be increased to 11 or reduced to nine, and should allow more private sector involvement in the composition.
Onukwe said in the composition of the board, the bill placed enormous powers on the supervising minister, saying that the clasue be expunged to ensure the independence of SEC.
He suggested there should be only one regulatory body in the market to ensure proper coordination, simplicity and clarity. (NAN)