Mr Banji Fehintola, the President, CFA Society Nigeria, has stressed the need for stakeholders in the capital market to continuously ensure integrity, trust and ethical practice to boost investors ‘confidence.
Fehintola said this during the CFA Society Nigeria Ethics Challenge on Friday in Lagos.
He said that strong ethics and high standards of professional conduct played a vital role in the integrity, competitiveness and ongoing success of the investment industry.
According to him, breach of trust and unethical practices led to the 2008 global financial crisis that affected the financial industry and even plunged some economies into recession.
“In the past years, Nigeria’s capital market was very buoyant till people realised that the market was not operating the way it should with issues of manipulations, personal gains to few people, these made the market to plunge and many people lost money.
“Till today, the market has not fully recovered because some people believe that the market is rigged against them, so they stayed away from the market.
“So the market is suffering today, all the companies that ought to raise capital through the equities market are unable to because people are not investing in the capital market due to lack of trust,” he said.
Fehintola said that players in the industry would have to measure up in terms of professionalism, integrity, trust, ethics, conduct and competence to attract local and foreign investors into the market.
According to him, Nigeria has the potential to be the largest capital market in Africa and can double its current market size easily if integrity of the investment profession and professional practice is upheld.
Fehintola said the Ethics challenge gave university undergraduates the opportunity to learn and apply the principles of the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct while competing against their peers.
He said that the competition promotes ethical awareness and equipped students with tools to manage and resolve ethical dilemmas they could face when they entered the financial industry.
Mrs Adeola Asabia, Member, Board of Trustees, Samuel Asabia Chair, Business Ethics, University of Lagos said that ethical breaches and violations were concerns to stakeholders in the financial industry.
She emphasised that entrenching ethics would improve transparency and instil confidence in local and foreign investors on the viability of the capital market.
Asabia said that regulators had decided that it was important to ensure that investors’ confidence was boosted on the assurance of a level playing ground and secured investment environment.
She said that the Samuel Asabia Chair for Business Ethics, was a FirstBank Endowment Programme to promote fair play, honesty, responsible and ethical practice in the financial institution.
The reports state that 16 universities are competing for the national championship in the Ethics challenge with the competition being held simultaneously in Lagos and Abuja.
Some of the competing universities are Covenant University, Babcock University, University of Lagos, Bayero University, University of Nsukka, Ahmadu Bello University, University of Maiduguri, among others.