Capital market hearing: Reps are pursuing own goals – Shareholders
On March 28, 2012 · In Business

BY MICHAEL EBOH

Investors in the capital market, have flayed the National Assembly and the Securities and Exchange Commission over the shady conduct of the public hearing on the near collapse of the Nigerian capital market, saying both parties deviated from the core issues to focus on irrelevancies.

According to the shareholders, the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and other Institutions, and SEC, instead of concentrating on issues that led to the near collapse of the capital market, decided to pursue personal and political agenda at the detriment of investors in the market.

Mr. Timothy Adesiyan, President, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association, NSSA, a coalition of shareholders’ group across the country, said the Committee deviated from what is expected from the public hearing, saying that their actions amounted to probing the under garments  of the Director General of SEC, Ms. Arunmah Oteh.

According to him, if the law makers have any issue to settle with Oteh, they should do that outside the capital market, which is the pivot and hope for majority of the shareholders’ survival.

He said, “We do not want a situation, whereby one or two people, out of their political ambition and personal misunderstanding, rubbish shareholders’ investment in the capital market.

“They started the investigations from the wrong angle. It is like climbing a tree from the top of the tree. Do they want to probe the capital market collapse or Oteh’s under garments? What they just did amounted to probing Oteh’s under garments and not the market, they should concentrate on probing issues that led to the near collapse of the market and which led to investors losing significant part of their investment.”

Adesiyan said shareholders have been rubbished over the years and because of the pivotal role played by shareholders in the market, the first individuals the Committee should have invited should have been shareholders.

According to him, this is because, without shareholders, there will be no stockbrokers, regulators and even there will be no capital market.

“From recent developments, we have seen clearly that the probe is an attempt by some people to pursue their personal goal and we can see that they are hell-bent on rubbishing shareholders because of their avariciousness,” he added.

Also, Sir Sunny Nwosu, National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, ISAN, said focusing on Oteh is an attempt by the Committee to divert attention from the major issues.

He said, “Focusing on Oteh has distracted the committee’s work. It will also have effect on SEC. And that diversion is not good for us because we really want to go in depth to know what happened at the capital market, so that the regulatory authorities can also learn that when you are given the power of supervisory function, it is not all and all.

He further called for a continuation of the probe, adding that the skirmishes recorded, if not addressed, will lead to a further depression and erosion of confidence level in the market.

Also speaking, Mr. Taiwo Oderinde, National Coordinator, Proactive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, PROSAN, said, “It is a shame. It will interest you to know that corruption is the root cause of our capital market crisis.”

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