Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has commenced hearing in matters involving principal officers of banks and capital market operators who might have breached the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) and the SEC rules and regulations in the ongoing crisis in the banking industry.
Ms. Daisy Ekineh, acting director-general of the commission stated this at a luncheon with journalists in Lagos.
According to Ekineh, having completed the investigations, the commission APC had in November commenced hearing on the matters involving the bank’s principal officer and capital market operators who might have breached the ISA and the SEC rules and regulations.
She added that it is expected that the hearings would be concluded soon.
The acting director-general said the banking crisis of 2009 had impacted not only on the money market but on the financial system as a whole, remarking that it had among others, exposed weaknesses in corporate governance in some banks and capital market entities.
She said the findings had revealed the involvement of capital market operators and participants in the saga.
Ekineh said the commission in 2009 focused its priorities on monitoring and enforcement to ensure a safer more transparent and efficient capital market.
She said in order to achieve this, the commission intensified efforts to improve the efficiency of the market regulation and supervision as laws and rules are as efficient as their enforcement, adding that this included the adoption of zero tolerance on market infractions which has reduced new cases of infractions in the market, implying that operators now conform with the rules than they previously did.
The acting director-general said the commission suspended a number of operators and participants from market activities during the year while a few were referred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
She said in the last 20 months, various enforcement actions including suspension from participating in capital market activities were taken against over 77 operators.
Ekineh said the commission intensified its on and off site inspection of operators, adding that more inspections are now conducted than were previously carried out in order to closely monitor the health and operations of intermediaries.
She noted that following the inspection findings, all operators were directed to make full and immediate provision for their impaired capital to be reflected in the October 2009 management accounts to the commission.
The acting director-general said the operators had largely compiled with the directive which showed large negative shareholders’ funds in some cases.
Ekineh contended that given the findings the commission held a meeting with operators on the imperative of re-opening the recapitalisation and consolidation exercise which was suspended and to sensitise them on the imperative for it under the present circumstance.
The recapitalisation is to be backed by risk based capital adequacy standards and risk based supervision which the commission is migrating to.
Ekineh said the objective is to create stronger institutions which would effectively and efficiently intermediate in the capital market, adding that the World Bank is assisting the commission in the move to risk based supervision and capital standards.
The commission is also formulating rules on the use of custodian for the safe keep of the assets of collective investment schemes while the possibility of same for clients of stock brokers is being examined.
Redeployed Customs Officers Assume Office At New Posts
Redeployed Zonal coordinators and controllers affected by the recent swapping exercise in the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have since taken over their new posts.
Assistant Comptroller General and Comptrollers affected by the change of batons have gone into action in the respective Zones and Area Commands respectively.
As at Press time, ACG Bello Jibo, the new Coordinator, Zone A, has begun to hold forth at the Harvey Road Zonal Headquarters in Yaba, Lagos.
Comptroller Dera Nnadi, Jaiyeoba, and Shuaibu have resumed their duties as Customs Area Controllers of Tincan Island Port, Apapa and Idiroko Commands respectively.
Comptroller Timi Bomodi has also begun overseeing customs activities at Seme-Krake Border Command.
In an exclusive chat with The Tide, Chairman, Seme Chapter of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Clearing Agent (ANLCA), Chief Oyekachukwu Ojinma (aka Sule) described the outgoing Controller of the Command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, as a very hard-working and dedicated man, while welcoming the new Customs Area Controller to the border post.
The ANLCA Chairman expressed his wish for a successful tenure of office for Compt. Timi Bomodi.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
‘Electricity Act Will Transform Power Sector’
Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has stated that the recently signed Nigerian Electricity Act, 2023, will play a fundamental role in transforming the power sector.
According to him, it will unlock the potential of the energy mix and promote the integration of renewable energy technologies into the grid system.
Speaking at the ongoing Nigeria Energy Conference and exhibition in Lagos, Adelabu said the Act aims to create an environment that supports sustainable growth and investment in the power industry by focusing on accelerated private investment and the promotion of renewable energy sources.
“As a game-changer that reformed the NESI, the Electricity Act will, undoubtedly, engender increased access to electricity and regulatory oversight, clean energy transition, improved service delivery, and infrastructural developments.
“In particular, the act will stimulate economic growth by creating a conducive environment for investment and competition. It will generate job opportunities, encourage entrepreneurship, and attract foreign direct investments”, he said.
The Minister called on operators in the power sector to intensify their efforts towards improving communication with the general public, emphasising that the Nigerian masses have a lot of roles to play in safeguarding power infrastructure.
He said issues such as vandalism, passing of meters, and damage to TCN and DisCo infrastructure must be addressed holistically to make significant gains in the power sector.
Adelabu emphasised that the power sector is a cornerstone for economic growth in the country and that the gains made over the years in the power sector can only be consolidated by unlocking equity investments and funds for power development.
He said: “Of course, a lot of investment is required in the power sector. In three weeks, I’ve seen humongous investments that have come into this sector.
“But what are the steps that are required for those investment opportunities to reap the benefit of those investments, additional investments in the form of equity and capex need to come into this industry.
“The power sector is not an industry for short-term players to invest in less than two to three years and expect to make maximum benefits.
“The industry requires medium to long-term investments. Investors must understand that the moment we can break even, we will start making profits in the power sector.
Adelabu also urged operators in the NESI value chain to improve their service delivery, adding that Nigeria’s energy expansion plan of 60,000 Megawatts by 2060 is an achievable target.
He, therefore, called on gas companies, GenCos, TCN, and DIScO to showcase their success stories in generating and transmitting power to the last mile that pays for all the segments of operators in the value chain.
‘Nigeria Loses $1.5bn Annually To Malnutrition’
Minister for Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, has said Nigeria loses $1.5 billion of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually due to micronutrient deficiencies.
Bagudu therefore called for coordinated efforts to ensure a swift response with expected positive outcomes.
A statement released by the Ministry said the Minister disclosed this, last Tuesday, while speaking at the 53rd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria in Abuja.
In the statement, Bagudu noted that the government was determined to tackle malnutrition through the inclusion of nutrition in the National Development Plan, and the Nigeria Agenda 2050.
“It is also a commitment to achieving optimal nutrition status for all Nigerians with particular attention to the vulnerable group as highlighted in the National Multisectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition”, he said.
Bagudu, who urged experts in nutrition in the country to research and develop innovations that will boost nutrition, explained that doing this “would contribute towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ensuring Universal Health Coverage, and bringing about significant positive changes in the nutrition sector in Nigeria”.
He told members of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria “to prioritise innovation and research in the field of nutrition towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, Universal Health Coverage and transformation of the landscape of nutrition in Nigeria.
“Nigeria currently requires nutrition professionals who have extensive knowledge, good communication skills to address nutrition education, emotional intelligence as well and a good understanding of self-motivation and drive to address nutrition dynamics”.
The Minister urged the NSN to embrace technology, leverage digital solutions, and invest in research and development to find sustainable and scalable solutions to Nigeria’s nutrition challenges.
He assured members of the NSN that his ministry would strengthen coordination and provide the required leadership for the nutrition sector.
The Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, in his goodwill message, said the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) had identified areas of key commitments for the realisation of a healthier citizen and country, including increasing budgetary spending on nutrition and strengthening the nutrition profile.
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