SEC Resolves Stock exchange Crisis – Removes Ndi Okereke & Dangote



August 4, 2010

The Investment and Securities Act 2007 vests the unalloyed responsibility for safeguarding the interest of the public and protecting the investor on the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Commission has closely followed the developments in the Nigeria Stock Exchange, particularly with respect to inadequate oversight of the Exchange, ongoing litigation, allegations of financial mismanagement, governance challenges, and the inordinate delays in the implementation of the succession plan for the Exchange.

In following the developments, the Commission has at all times carefully deliberated on the implications and ramifications of a direct intervention in the affairs of the Exchange. In this deliberation, the Commission weighed the consequences on the market of a direct intervention set against the broader goal of safeguarding the interest of the public and protecting the investor.

The Commission has decided that it is in the interest of the public and necessary to protect the investor to issue the following directives. That the:

*       Council Member, elected as President of the Exchange, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, in defiance of the      Court order cease acting as the President pending the outcome of the ongoing litigation;

*       Council Members elected in defiance of the Court order cease acting as members of the Council pending the outcome of the ongoing litigation;

*       current Director-General of the Exchange, Professor Ndi Okereke-Onyuike, be removed from the office of Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the NSE;

*       affairs of the Exchange are managed by an Interim Administrator appointed by the Commission pending the selection of a new Director General.

The Commission will announce the interim arrangements before the markets open tomorrow. Given the gravity of the allegations around financial mismanagement of the Exchange, the Commission has also directed the conduct of an independent investigation into the allegations.

These actions by the Commission reinforce the integrity of our markets and demonstrate commitment to accountability, particularly given the importance of ensuring adequate oversight at all times and demonstrating that when there are shortcomings, as the apex regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission will step in decisively to address these issues in the public interest and to protect the investors.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

4th August, 2010; 11.16pm


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