Proshare has just flown a kite - one hopes it is a kite - that there is a proposed appointment of five persons to the Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange .
The appointments would be in addition to the renewed appointment of Balama Manu and Emmanuel Ikazobor to the Council, bringing to seven the number of persons that would be appointed to the Council at the instance of SEC.
The proposed Ccouncil members have been dubbed "public interest members" by SEC, according to Proshare.
There is now a basis to seriously consider the intentions of SEC at the NSE, if there never was a reason. The proposed appointment is unabashedly partisan - with nominees that represent narrow business interests being presented as public interest interest entities. Is "public interest" such an omnibus concept that justifies every conceivable act of SEC?
None of those persons mentioned in the Proshare report can pass as "non-affiliate" or "independent" as SEC would make the public believe.
In fact, it would be interesting reading what qualifies the nominees for classification as public interest persons in the context of their current enagagement with the market and their proposed role. But for a start, if the Association of Capital Market Lawyers is worthy of representation on the Council of the NSE, why is the Chartered Instiutute of Stockbrokers (CIS) not worthy of consideration - even though the leadership of the institute appears to have sold their souls for a mess of porridge?
It is curious that at a time that a substantive CEO is settling into office at the NSE, SEC is busy entrenching its ad hoc arrangement for managing the Exchange. How can the new CEO function? It is also curious that the current Council of the Exchange has a "1st Vice President" in Reginald Abbey-Hart and a "Deputy Interim President" in Emmanuel Ikazobor. What is the pecking order here? Can we be so cavalier about the Council (board of directors) of the NSE?
It all looks so convoluted and does not inspire confidence, explaining in significant part why the market direction remains unclear! The foreign investors we are looking up to for investment in our market cannot miss such governance details in their due diligence of our market.