By Philomina Attah
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has restated its determination to ensure adequate protection of investments in the capital market.
A statement by the commission said its Acting Director-General, Ms Mary Uduk, gave the assurance at a meeting with the Association of Corporate Trustees (ACT) in Abuja on Wednesday.
Uduk, who was represented by the Acting Commissioner of Operations of SEC, Mr Isyaku Tilde, said SEC would not renege on its responsibility of ensuring that investors were not shortchanged.
To this end, she said the commission was taking steps to reduce transaction costs as part of efforts to ensure that investors did not bear unnecessary costs.
She said: “We are doing a lot to boost investors’ confidence in our market, and I must say that both local and foreign investors are good for the market.
“For instance, the frequent trading of shares by foreign investors leads to price discovery as against the local investors who just take a long-term view on their investments.
“Investors’ fears can be of two folds; first, it could be because they feel that capital market operators will mismanage their investments.
“Secondly, they look at the volatility of the market that makes investors skeptical.
“For the first scenario, we have a number of initiatives that we have put in place to boost investors’ confidence.
“We have the E-Dividend mandate system, the Direct Cash Settlement as well as multiple subscription in place.
“For the second category, investors have to take ownership of their investments, and be able to monitor them, attend Annual General Meetings as well as read the annual reports sent to them.”
The Acting DG said investors were also protected through the National Investors Protection Fund (NIPF) Risk-Based supervision that enables SEC to closely monitor the operators.
According to her, SEC also has another protection mechanism called the Complaints Management Framework that guides investors on how to file complaints and get them resolved.
Uduk advised investors who were averse to risk to get their financial advisers to guide them properly on where to invest.
“We also advise retail investors to invest in the Collective Investment Schemes and Mutual Funds because those are managed independently by professionals and they are diversified thereby reducing risks.
“We are committed to protecting investors in the work we do. We will keep working on our rules and efforts to amend them when the need arises.
“We want more transparency in the market so that investors will feel comfortable and the market can be better,” Uduk added.
In her remarks, the President of ACT, Mrs Tokunboh Ajayi, said members of the association were committed to attracting investors to the market without burdening them with costs.
Ajayi commended SEC on its efforts in transaction costs reduction.
“This market is dynamic and that is why as a group we keep on evolving and devising ways to make the market better.
“We will continue to render our best and ensure our members operate within the confines of the rules and regulations in the market,” she said.(NAN)