We have not violated code of good governance – SEC

 Salamatu Ejembi, Lagos

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The Securities and Exchange Commission says contrary to reports that the Commission has defaulted in balancing its accounts, it has prepared and audited all accounts.

The Acting Director General SEC, Mrs Mary Uduk, said: “A report has been carried in respect of our annual report. You know that the SEC is in charge of Corporate Governance and there is no way that we would default and punish people who fail to comply with the rules or code of Corporate Governance. I will like to state here that all our accounts have been fully prepares and audited.”

According to her, the Commission has yet to publish the documents on their website because they haven’t been signed.

The Acting DG, who made this clarification during the post Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting press briefing at the SEC’s Lagos office on Friday, explained that “the annual report has to be signed by the (SEC) Chairman and at the moment, the Commission is without one.”

The quarterly CMC meeting aims to identity challenges affecting the capital market and formulate resolutions to move the sector forward.

Uduk said in the quarter under review, the Commission recorded some achievements in various segments of the capital market which she outlined.

They include: Aggressive use of Social Media Platforms to disseminate information and Renovation of Warehouses; conclusion of about 30 out of about 50 abandoned or prolonged court cases; commencement of tribunal court reports as well as increase in the number of shareholders who have regulated their accounts for e-dividends, among others.

She said during the last CMC meeting, stakeholders resolved that the use of technology should be embraced particularly in the area of information dissemination.

Acting Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services, Mr Henry Adekunle Roland, reported that in the quarter which ended in June, the Commission cut costs previously spent on printing annual reports, which usually gets to stakeholders late, by simply sending the reports to the stakeholders via mails.

These monies saved, were there being shared as dividends to stakeholders.

The Commission also embraced E-Dividends which was also one of the resolutions of the first CMC meeting.

Complaints

Stakeholders, however, complained in the just concluded meeting that there isn’t enough sensitisation and awareness about this switch to technology while others complained about the access to internet.

It was then agreed that companies must during their Annual General Meetings, dedicate time to enlighten stakeholders about the switch to technology and its advantages.

Acting Executive Commissioner, Operations, Isyaku Bala Tilde, explained the minimum operating standards put in place to improve the operation of the Commission.

Tilde said a committee was set up to come up with recommendations for these operational standards. He added that the Commission had about 2 years to implement these recommendations.

The Acting DG, then stressed the need for shareholders to regularize their accounts. She said many shares have been left dormant with no trading activities going on with them because a lot of people have yet to claim their shares and for those with multiple accounts, are yet to properly identify themselves and regularize their accounts.

Tilde said it would help to increase liquidity when trading activities begin on those shares. He said regularisation, also helped to balance unclaimed dividends.

The President, Association of Issuance Houses of Nigeria, AIHN, Sonnie Ayere, who encouraged companies to register on the capital market, explained that it was actually cheaper for them, esspecially in loan borrowing as the interest rates are less.

This, he said, would buttress the need for trade groups yet to register to do so on or before the 31st of December, 2018. This deadline also applies to shareholders accounts yet to be regularised.

Others present at the briefing were Acting Executive Commissioner, Legal and Enforcement, Mr Reginald Karawusa and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer NASD OTC Securities Exchange, Bola Ajomale.