By Ginika Okoye
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has expressed optimism that the Investment and Securities Bill (ISB) will be passed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari before May 29.
Mr Lamido Yuguda, the Director-General of SEC, expressed the optimism at a news conference held on the first quarter post-Capital Market Meeting (CMC), on Thursday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ISB 2023 scaled through the final hurdle of the National Assembly when the Senate passed it on March 29.
The bill, which is expected to aid the functioning of the capital market and facilitate the ongoing economic diversification in the country, had been passed by the House of Representatives in December.
It is only awaiting presidential assent to become a law.
Yuguda said that the President would sign the ISB before leaving office in May.
He noted that the new law was long overdue.
He listed some of the provisions of the ISB as stiffer punishment for operators of Ponzi schemes, expansion of the categories of issuers of securities, and better coverage of some new products among others.
Yuguda added that the ISB has provisions for regulation of commodities exchanges and other operators in the commodities trading ecosystem.
“This is a significant development for the Nigerian capital market.
“I am optimistic that the President will sign the Bill into law before his tenure ends on May 29,” he said.
He also commended the President for his support in the nation’s capital market since 2015.
The director-general said that the market, over the years, had recorded tremendous growth and development, especially in the commodities ecosystem.
Speaking on annual renewal of registration of the Capital Market Operators (CMOs) conducted between Jan. 1 and 31, he said that 627 CMOs renewed their registration status.
“At the end of the exercise, 627 CMOs representing over half of the total number of CMOs on the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) portal renewed their registration status.
“The Commission is carefully reviewing the report, and a position would be taken on those market operators that failed to renew their registration,” he said.
Yuguda disclosed that another important issue at the CMC meeting was the approval of rules on the revised National Investors Protection Fund.
He listed other issues discussed at the meeting was the registration of five new Fintech companies as full-fledged market operators.
Yuguda said that these include two crowdfunding intermediaries, two digital sub-brokers and one robo-adviser.
He, however, expressed optimism about the growth potential of the Nigerian capital market and reaffirmed the Commission’s commitment to building and maintaining a vibrant, fair, and transparent market for investors and issuers.
He expressed optimism that President Muhammadu Buhari will sign the Investors and Securities Bill, (ISB) into law before leaving office in May, noting that it was long overdue.
“The meeting was officially informed about the passage of the Investments and Securities Bill (ISB) 2023 by the Senate.
”Some of the provisions in the ISB include stiffer punishment for operators of Ponzi schemes, expansion of the categories of issuers of securities, and better coverage of some new products among others.
“The ISB also has provisions for regulation of commodities exchanges and other operators in the commodities trading ecosystem,” he said. (NAN)
Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa