SEC reads riot law to businesses and registrars


The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned listed companies and capital market registers to refrain from selective payments and distribution of dividends.

SEC Chief Executive Officer Lamido Yuguda said at the Institute of Capital Market Registrar’s (ICMR) 10th Annual Conference on “Reinventing the Nigerian Capital Market for Growth: The Approach of digital technology ”, held in Lagos on Saturday.

Yuguda who said some registrars are unwilling to release unclaimed dividends in their custody and used several antics to prevent shareholders from enjoying the benefits of the E-DMMS platform, urged ICMR to encourage its members to respect the code of ethics of the profession and as contained in the rules and regulations of the Commission.

He said: “Capital market operators have a duty to maintain the integrity of the capital market to foster investor confidence, as investors are the greatest asset in any capital market. The Commission would therefore not hesitate to sanction any operator at fault with regard to unclaimed dividends or any other problem.

DG SEC also underlined the need for optimal regulation of digital technology in the capital market in order to prevent likely disruptions that could threaten investor confidence.

Even though digital technology is useful for capital market growth, he said, disruptions could threaten investor confidence in the market if digital technology is unregulated.

Yuguda said the Commission has recognized that if the application of digital technology to financial market practices is not properly regulated, it could lead to results that would threaten investor confidence in our market.

Yuguda noted that in line with the IOSCO position, the commission has been sensitive to the regulatory challenges of a changing technological environment and sought to balance the benefits of encouraging innovation and the use of new technologies with the need to protect investors and maintain order in the markets.

Yuguda, while noting that the Commission’s priorities are to ensure investor confidence as well as fair, orderly, transparent and efficient markets, said the Commission has published rules to regulate several technology-focused activities on the market. capital market such as crowdfunding, robo-consulting and digital sub-brokerage.

“To make this happen, we have taken a three-pronged approach to regulate digital innovation, which is security, market deepening and providing a solution to problems,” he said.

He assured, however, that the SEC would continue to ensure that intermediaries harness digital technology in a way that best meets the needs of investors in all aspects of the capital market and will also continue to engage with all stakeholders on new developments in the digital technology space. .

“I think we all have a common interest in seeing these opportunities exploited, but also in mitigating the risks so that we can all reap the benefits,” he said.

Earlier in his welcoming speech, ICMR Chairman / Board Chairman Mr. Seyi Owuturo said the Institute felt the deliberation bodes well at a time when the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a digital transformation in the way companies across industries and regions do business.

Owoturo said the Institute expects the digital technology approach to generate positive results by streamlining processes, leveraging data and shaping whole new ways of doing business.

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