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The Federal Government on Monday inaugurated the reconstituted Board of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), changing the new members to provide effective leadership in the capital market.

Headed by Mr. Olufemi Lijadu, a commercial lawyer, as Chairman, the new Board is coming four years after President Muhammadu Buhari sacked the former SEC board headed by Mr. Peter Obi in 2015.

Speaking while inaugurating the board in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr Mahmoud Isa-Dutse said the event “signals another milestone in our efforts to emphasize the importance of the capital market in economic growth and development through the mobilization of long-term savings for investment as well as efficient pricing of financial instruments”.

He said the Nigerian Capital Market, in particular, “has provided platforms through which corporates and governments source for capital with which they expand their operations and provide amenities for the citizens”.

“The inauguration of the Board is critical as the existence and operation of a board are fundamental for an agency like the SEC to adequately and efficiently perform its regulatory and market development functions”, he added.

He said it was in recognition of this that the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 2007, requires that the Commission should have a Board and Section 4 of the Act specifically provides that the SEC Board shall be responsible for the general administration of the Commission.

The perm Sec said “Our capital market is growing and evolving. To sustain this growth and eventually transform to a world-class capital market, transparency and investor confidence is key. Investor confidence will accelerate the growth of our market and increase both domestic and foreign investor participation.

“Therefore, we must ensure that our market is transparent and listed companies imbibe good corporate governance and accountability. Like world-class capital markets, ours should be characterized by high levels of liquidity, depth, breadth and sophistication with a strong domestic investor base.

“It should be innovative, transparent due to robust disclosure regimes, and efficient both in price discovery and in the allocation of capital.

“We must have it in mind that world-class capital markets do far more than provide access to capital. They are enablers of socio-economic development because they hasten the rate of capital formation, foster a meritocracy and promote good corporate governance, innovation and entrepreneurship .

“Thus, our capital market should broaden access to economic prosperity by enabling the emergence of financially responsible citizens, accelerating wealth creation and wealth distribution, providing Capital to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), and catalyzing housing finance.

Speaking on behalf of the board members, the chairman said they will endeavor to rekindle public trust in the capital market.

Other members of the Board include Mr. Lamido Yuguda from Gombe State (Non-executive Commissioner); Mrs. Rekiya Ladi (Kaduna), Non-executive Commissioner; and Mr. Okokon Ekanem, representing the Ministry of Finance.

The rest are: Dr Alvan Ikoku, representing the Central Bank of Nigeria; Ms Mary Uduk, SEC’s Acting Director-General; and Mr. Henry Rowlands, SEC’s Acting Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services; Mr Isyaku Tilde, Acting Executive Commissioner (Operations); and Mr. Reginald Karawusa, SEC’s Acting Executive Commissioner (Legal & Enforcement).

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