NSE bars journalists from live coverage, Shuts press centre

Mon, OCTOBER 25, 2010 BY Moses EBOSELE


The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) press centre has been shut down indefinitely, allegedly on the order of the Sole Administrator, Mr. Emmanuel Ikazoboh.


Also, capital market ‘journalists’ would no longer be allowed to observe trading activities at the market while  those seeking clarifications  and interviews from relevant NSE staff are to apply through the ‘proper’ channels and wait for adequate clearance.


NSE’s head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Sola Oni, who confirmed the development, explained in an interview with The Guardian yesterday that it was a corporate decision aimed at raising the Nigerian market to world standards.By this development, journalists who file stories from the press centre would have to relocate to a business centre around the stock exchange from today.


According to Oni, there is no stock exchange in the world where the gallery is open to all members of the public including the media.He said: “The issue of press centre is no longer relevant. If we need you (journalists), we shall invite you. We (NSE) want to bring stricter checks. We must handle the market with standard. We must look at things from developmental practice.”      


Oni said journalists would be invited during important occasions such as when the president of the country is visiting or when a company is coming to the market for either “Facts behind the figures,” listing or any other occasion as the management of NSE may deem necessary.He advised journalists covering the NSE to access relevant information online instead of coming to the market.


However, a highly placed source who spoke with The Guardian yesterday claimed the sole administrator and some council members were not happy with the way journalists had recently allegedly focused their reporting on personalities “instead of issues”.


For instance, the source added that the NSE boss was not happy with the way internal transfers and redeployments found their way on to the pages of newspapers.Stressing that the NSE is a private initiative, the source said: “Former and present council members are embarrassed and worried by the way journalists reported the bonus issue. It was reported as if the council members stole the money. They did not.”


In the past few weeks, journalists have reported extensively how senior members of NSE and council members received N1.2 billion bonuses between 2006 and 2008.  



The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently directed the interim administrator of the NSE to recover the N1.2 billion. According to SEC, a former president of the council, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has returned the N40 million given to him. Other former council members and some former senior NSE staff are yet to return their share of the money. The highest amount of N238 million was collected by a former president of the council within the period.


Source: Guardian

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