The new director-general of the Nigerian Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh, yesterday promised to direct all her energies towards realising the commission’s mission statement of developing a capital market that is fair, transparent and efficient and that is comparatively the best in Africa and the world.
Oteh, who resumed office yesterday at SEC headquarters in Abuja, spoke at her first meeting with the senior management staff of the commission. She said her envisaged reforms in SEC would be anchored on the five pillars of integrity, restoration of confidence in the market, building institutional capacity, broadening and deepening the market, as well as instituting transparent regulations.
While observing that absence of transparency undermines the market and soils reputation, Arunma said she is committed to eliminating all incidences of sharp practices in the market. “We must continue to send the right signals about the critical importance of integrity and transparency. We have to set high standards in regulatory enforcement and deepen the market in terms of new products and in relation to the equity and fixed income markets, as vehicles of resource mobilisation for development”, Oteh whose appointment was recently confirmed by the Senate said.
Oteh explained that the capital market is critical vehicle for nation’s development, saying that she will also focus on building a functional, dynamic and vibrant capital market towards advancing the seven-point agenda of President Umaru Yar’Adua.
As a way forward for SEC, Oteh who until recently was vice-president (corporate services) at the African Development Bank (AfDB) told senior management to brace up for the far-reaching reforms of the market, be innovative, as well as upscale capacity to restore the much needed confidence in the market.
“We owe it to all investors-Nigerians and foreigners- that the markets are first class. We will focus on the immediate challenges, the margin transactions, the Asset Management Company (AMC), investor protection and enforcement,” Oteh assured, urging senior management to remain steadfast to make 2010 a great year for SEC and Nigeria.
The SEC DG commended the management under the acting director-general, Daisy Ekineh, for holding the fort during a most troubling and challenging period in the life of the commission. Welcoming the new DG, Diasy Ekineh admitted the challenging period the commission went through especially last year, but acknowledged the valuable lessons learnt during the period.
She said fundamental structures had been put in place and what is important in moving forward is ensuring they are solidified to avert the mistakes of the past.