Nigeria’s apex capital market regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the anti-corruption agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are considering a new collaborative investigation and enforcement framework that will enhance investors’ protection and the integrity of the capital market.
The two Federal Government agencies are already working on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will encapsulate the framework expected to step up the collaboration between the agencies and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of capital market investigations and enforcements.
SEC Director-General, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo and acting chairman EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, met in Abuja over the weekend in furtherance of the collaboration.
Gwarzo noted that the Investment and Securities Act (ISA), which guides SEC operations, does not give the Commission powers on criminal cases, thus the need to work with a frontline agency such as the EFCC in order to effectively discharge its responsibility of investors’ protection.
“We are by provision of our law mandated to protect investors on developing the market, but the way our law is structured, we have limitations over criminal cases. That is why in the last 10 years, there has been a very great collaboration between both agencies. We hope that when this MoU becomes fully operational, it will assist in reducing market infractions to the barest minimum,” Gwarzo said.
He said there has been a close relationship between the SEC and the EFCC, noting that the collaboration with the EFCC has been of tremendous benefit to the SEC, especially in areas of investigation and enforcement.
According to him, effective policing of the market is one of the ways of restoring investors’ confidence.
“One of our agenda is to bring back the retail investors to the market and there is no way they will agree to return if they are not sure of the safety of their investments,” Gwarzo said.
Magu expressed delight that the collaboration between both agencies has yielded enormous benefit for the growth of the capital market, adding that the EFCC will continue to provide assistance where required.
He noted that the EFCC has been instrumental in the investigation of several cases of fraud in the capital market and recovered funds which were returned to investors.
He assured that the EFCC will continue to support the SEC in its efforts to protect investors and ensure the safety of investments in the Nigerian capital market.
Source: <Nigeria Today>