One year after the Director-General (DG) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mary Uduk, had spearheaded its affairs in an acting capacity, the Senate yesterday, received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari for the confirmation of Lamido Yuguda, as new Director-General of Commission.
Also to be screened and confirmed are three nominees as full-time commissioners.
The request comes three years after the apex capital market regulator has been operating without a substantive head, following the suspension of the former DG, Mournir Gwarzo, in 2017, on allegations of financial misconduct, unlawful carting away of sensitive documents, and unsatisfactory response to queries served on him.
Gwarzo, was alleged to have requested and received the sum of N104million as severance package when he became DG in 2015. The money was reportedly for his previous position as executive commissioner.
Upon the board inauguration in 2019, four years after the last board was dissolved, capital market operators have continued to clamour for the appointment of a substantive head for the Commission.
Stockbrokers insisted that it is contrary to the ethics of corporate governance for the DG to continue to serve in an acting capacity after more than a year.
Reacting on the appointment, a Professor of Finance and capital markets at the Nasarawa State University Keffi, and former Commissioner for Finance Imo State, Uche Uwaleke, said the new SEC management team are all eminently qualified, especially the DG nominee, having retired from the CBN as a Director.
According to him, Yuguda’s CBN background will rub off positively on the market, especially in the area of forging closer ties between SEC and the CBN in the overall interest of the nation’s financial market.
He recalled that since the administration of Arunma Oteh to Gwarzo, the major agenda for SEC has been implementation of the Capital Market Master Plan, and charged the new team to pursue this vigorously
He also advised Yuguda to carry the board along by working closely with the Chairman, Olufemi Lijadu, to improve the welfare of the Commission’s staff as well as advance the interest of the capital market.
He said: “There is no doubt that Mary Uduk did very well as Acting DG. I expect him to continue from where she is signing off. So Yuguda already has his job well cut out for him.
“All he needs do is to pick up the document, revise and update it, and then hit the ground running with the remaining outstanding initiatives in the Master Plan. The retention of Reginald Karawusa, who has been functioning in an acting capacity, as full time Executive Commissioner will help the new management team settle-in timeously.”
The President, New Dimension Shareholders Association, Patrick Ajudua, said: “I want to congratulate the new DG designate of SEC and wish him a successful approval of nomination. No doubt, capital market is very pivotal to the success of any economy. As a shareholder I have a higher expectation.
“Top on the agenda is the reposition of the capital market in line with global best practices. The need to deepen the awareness and enlightenment of capital market activities is paramount.
“More so, there is need to reduce the bureaucratic bottleneck in listing requirement and ensure adequate protection of minority shareholders in the event of exit of listed firms from the market.
“The issue of investors’ protection must be addressed to boost the listings. The issue of unclaimed dividend must be addressed holistically taking cognizance of the need to checkmate the activities of registrars.
“There is also need to carry stakeholders in the capital market along in decision making. Shareholders engagement & relationship with the Commission is at the lowest ebb leading to several litigation and lack of trust. The new DG must quickly address all these to restore investors’ confidence in the market,” he said.