By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Capital market operators on Tuesday advised Mr Lamido Yuguda nominated as the Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to prioritise investor protection and effective implementation of capital market master plan, if confirmed by the Senate.
In interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, the operators said Yuguda should pursue policies that would take the capital market to the next level.
Uche Uwaleke, a Professor of Finance and Capital Market at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, said Yuguda should ensure effective implementation of the master plan.
Uwaleke said that Yuguda should continue from where his predecessor stopped in the implementation of the master plan.
Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., said the appointment of a substantive director-general apex capital market regulator would boost investor confidence.
According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected stock markets.
Omordion advised Yuguda and SEC board members to solidify plans already put in place to drive transparency and effective regulatory agenda aimed at deepening the market.
He said Yuguda should increase participation of Nigerians in the market to reduce dependency on foreign investors that made the market unstable and volatile.
According to him, SEC should decentralise its investment education programme to attract new entrants to the market and educate those siting on the fence as a result of past experiences in the market.
Omordion commended Ms Mary Uduk, the Acting Director-General, for excellent performance, and urged Yuguda to continue from where she stopped by deepening the market to play its role in the economy.
Mr Moses Igbrude, the immediate past Publicity Secretary, Independent Sharesholders Association of Nigeria, said investor protection should be Yuguda’s priority.
Igbrude said he should be ready to work with all the stakeholders in the Nigerian capital market, by adopting a collaborative approach in handling investor-related matters.
“The SEC’s major role is to protect investors. That should be his focus, especially this period of the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
He added that Yuguda should make economic managers of the country to understand the importance of the capital market to the growth and development of the economy.
Igbrude said that proper understanding of the capital market would propel the Federal Government to formulate policies that would enhance the growth of the market.
“His strategies should be on how to assist companies to improve their performances.
“The capital market as of today is grossly under valued. One of his objectives should be how to reverse this trend,” he said.
Igburde also said the issue of unclaimed dividends in the capital market should be tackled vigorously by him.
“He should make sure the demutualisation of exchange is complete in a transparent way for the good of the market in particular and Nigerian economy in general.”
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari nominated Yuguda as the substantive SEC Director-General.
The development ended uncertainties around the leadership of SEC since the suspension of a former Director-General, Mr Mounir Gwarzo, by a former Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.
In a letter read at the Senate, Buhari requested the Senate to consider and approve the nomination of Yuguda as SEC Director-General in line with the requirements of the Investment and Securities Act.
Also to be confirmed are three nominees as full-time SEC commissioners.
They are Reginald C. Karawusa, Ibrahim D. Boyi and Mr Obisan T. Joseph.
The president’s request was contained in a letter read by the Senate President Ahmed Lawan during plenary in Abuja.
Yuguda obtained a B.Sc in Accounting in 1983 from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and an M.Sc in Money, Banking, and Finance in 1991, from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.
He also holds a certificate in Financial Asset Management and Engineering from the Swiss Finance Institute, Geneva, Switzerland.
Yuguda began his career with the Central Bank of Nigeria as Senior Supervisor, Foreign Operations Department in 1984, with responsibility for maintaining Nigeria’s external debt records.
He was redeployed to the Banking Supervision Department in 1985 to work on prudential regulation and bank licensing.
He was moved again in 1988 to the Debt Conversion Committee Secretariat, to join the pioneer staff tasked with managing the Nigerian Debt Conversion Programme. (NAN)