SEC urges shareholders to uphold high ethical standards

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has implored shareholders to continue to uphold high ethical standards and promote new strategies to enhance the accountability of market participants in the Nigerian capital market.

The advice was given by SEC Chief Executive Lamido Yuguda at the 2022 edition of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) Triennial Delegates Conference held recently.

Yuguda said that in 2016, pursuant to Section 8(y) of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), the commission issued a code of conduct for members of shareholder associations to guide their conduct at general meetings of public companies and their dealings with limited companies outside general meetings, and for other purposes relating thereto.

According to him, the code is still in force and is intended to ensure the highest standard of conduct among members and the companies with which they interact as shareholders in good faith.

He said, “The code is designed to ensure that members of the association uphold high ethical standards and make positive contributions by ensuring that the affairs of public companies are conducted in an ethical and transparent manner in accordance with the Nigerian code. Corporate Governance and SEC Corporate Law. governance guidelines.

“I urge you to continue to uphold this code of conduct for members of shareholder associations by exercising discipline and ensuring good governance.

“We therefore urge this association to continue to improve the monitoring function of companies in order to contribute to their growth by reviewing reports and audited accounts before general meetings in order to raise relevant observations on key areas.”

The SEC CEO urged shareholders to continue promoting their core businesses, which focus on protecting minority shareholders, advancing corporate governance and developing a deep and robust capital market.

He described the theme of the conference which was on reforming the judiciary to stabilize and encourage the growth of the Nigerian economy, as very important and relevant to the growth and development of Nigeria.

Yuguda commended the shareholders for the excellent support the commission has received from the various shareholder associations in the country, especially ISAN.

“ISAN is one of the largest and most important shareholder advocacy groups in the country. We are proud to be associated with your core businesses which focus on protecting minority shareholders, advancing corporate governance and developing a deep and robust capital market.

“The judiciary has also contributed to the development of the capital market through its adjudicative role on issues involving capital market stakeholders. As the SEC continues its important regulatory work to protect foreign and domestic investors who invest their funds in the Nigerian capital market, we will continue to partner with and engage the judiciary and other relevant stakeholders.”

Yuguda said that in an increasingly competitive global environment for capital flows, foreign investors consider the strength and independence of a regulator in their investment decisions.

He stressed that it is therefore an urgent national priority to continue to send the right signals to the world of investors that the Nigerian capital market is indeed well regulated by a strong and independent SEC, devoid of confrontational interference from the any branch of government.

“The SEC is pleased to have, over the years, enjoyed the support of the nation’s courts in its quest to build a vibrant capital market that can help achieve our national goals.

“The important work of the judiciary impacts market integrity, investor confidence, market development and market fairness. It is clear that without fair, rapid and effective justice, capital markets will never be able to develop. Therefore, in our quest to develop a vibrant capital market in Nigeria, we cannot afford to neglect the central role of the judiciary,” Yuguda said.

The CEO of the SEC noted that there is room for reform of the judiciary, particularly on issues relating to investor protection and dispute resolution mechanisms in the Nigerian capital market, adding that the commission supports this reform and is happy to play a part in it.

“As the regulator of this vibrant market, the commission is focused on facilitating the raising of capital for sustainable national development and the transformation of Nigeria’s priority economic sectors, thereby effectively contributing to the national economy.

“We have always been focused on creating an ecosystem through which issuers, whether governments, entrepreneurs or other businesses, can efficiently access capital. The process of raising funds through the capital market plays a vital role in our economy and will help bring budding ideas to life,” Yuguda added.

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