NSE’s substantive DG to emerge early next year, says Oteh




A Substantive Director-General of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), may emerge on or before the first quarter of next year, going by the recruitment agenda disclosed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in Lagos, yesterday.SEC’s director-general, Arunma Oteh, during an interview session on African Independent Television, also disclosed that two staffers of NSE have been suspended over alleged infractions.

Oteh described the process leading to the selection of new NSE’s director-general as rigorous, adding that at the end of the exercise, three names would be sent to SEC for due diligence and final approval.An Interim Administrator, Mr Emmanuel Ikazoboh, was recently appointed to oversee the affairs of NSE, following the removal of Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, as the organisation’s director-general.

Presently, 944 candidates have applied for the four positions vacant in NSE, including that of Chief Executive Officer of the Exchange. Out of the number, 131 applied for the post of the Chief Executive Officer and the rest applied for positions of Executive Director, Listings; Executive Director, IT and Market Operations; and Executive Director, Strategy and Business Developments.Oteh explained that the suspended NSE staffers were implicated in the infractions experienced in the capital market.

Already, she said an investigative team has been raised to ascertain the level of their involvement and apply appropriate sanctions where necessary.Oteh explained that the commission has assumed zero tolerance disposition to infractions in the Nigerian capital market.According to the SEC Director General, plans are under way to set up hotlines for SEC and other players for whistle blowers.

Oteh disclosed that the commission has approached the Ministry of Finance, seeking permission to withdraw the operating licences of some stockbrokers for allegedly defaulting in reporting requirements.Oteh recently said in an interview with The Guardian that the operating licences of 34 stockbrokers have been suspended for allegedly failing in reporting requirement.

According to the SEC boss, while some of the stockbrokers have paid the fine and complied with the statutory requirements, others have declined to comply, hence the need to withdraw their licences.Also between  January and April, this year, SEC penalised 92 capital market operators for allegedly violating the money laundry act.

The 92 capital market operators were apprehended during an on-site inspection carried out on selected operators in February, this year while 390 others were to be penalised for some other offences.Out of the 390 alleged violators, 221 failed to submit their yearly accounts, while 169 others submitted late.Oteh maintained yesterday that plans are under way by SEC to establish special fund, aimed at protecting future investors who lose money to fraudulent investors, adding that there is no going back in the prosecution of those who contributed to the infractions experienced in the capital market recently.

SEC recently appointed a law firm- Aluko & Oyebode and an accounting firm- KPMG, to investigate the allegations of financial mismanagement at the NSE. The independent investigators commenced work on Thursday 5th August 2010, by securing data and document sources.

SEC said: ”Given the broad allegations, the independent investigators have gathered a multi-disciplinary team of lawyers, accountants, auditors, stockbrokers and investigators. They will be documenting the allegations with respect to three broad areas that relate to governance, management, and malfeasance.”





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