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Securities commission, EFCC seal deal on effective policing of capital market

Securities and Exchange Commission

Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to strengthen existing collaboration between the agencies on effective policing of the nation’s capital market.

The MoU among others aims at promoting the efficient investigation and conclusions of all cases reported by either institution to each other as well as boost the integrity, efficiency and soundness of the Nigerian capital market and the economy.

This is because the Nigerian capital market is often suspected of unethical dealings through a wide range of illegal activities by stockbrokers, brokerage firms, and a host of others geared towards deceiving investors or manipulating the financial market for their own gains.

Such manipulations have been cited as parts of the reason for the continued eroding of confidence in the market and its poor performance when compared to its peers globally.

As a result, the MoU seeks to promote collaboration in the areas of training and secondment of middle cadre officers between the market regulator and the anti-graft agency, or in the alternative, the establishment of a liaison desk in both Institutions as well as promoting collaboration in other areas of mutual benefits.

Under the terms, the Institutions shall provide each other with an utmost mutual assistance in any matter falling within the competence of the institutions, including in the secondment of middle cadre officers, training for enhanced investigative skills and capacity for their respective personnel.

This is expected to increase the general output and performance of the Institutions and facilitate better understanding of each other’s functions through capacity building programmes and human capital development in the areas of investigation of fraud in the capital market.

“Both institutions will also collaborate in the areas of exchange of information to assist the performance of the Institutions’ respective functions, reporting, investigation and prosecution of fraudulent/manipulative practices in the Nigerian Capital Market and any other activity as agreed between the Institutions from time to time.

“The MoU serves as a basis of cooperation between the institutions and does not create any binding legal obligation, nor does it modify or supersede any laws, regulations or regulatory requirements in force or applying to the institutions.”

However, the MoU does not create any rights enforceable by third institutions nor does it affect any arrangement under other MoUs.

The Director General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo, commended the close relationship between both organisations, adding that the Commission cannot discharge its responsibility effectively without collaborating with the anti-graft agency.

Gwarzo remarked that the collaboration with the EFCC has been of tremendous benefit to the SEC especially in the areas of investigation and enforcement, adding that effective policing of the market is one of the ways of reviving investor confidence.

The Acting Chairman, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, expressed delight that the collaboration between both agencies has yielded enormous benefits for the growth of the capital market, adding that his agency will continue to provide assistance where required.

Magu stressed the need for both agencies to pool resources together in dealing with the menace of Ponzi schemes, noting that many Nigerians have fallen victims to many of such scams.

Ponzi schemes are built on the belief in the success of a non-existent enterprise is fostered by the payment of quick returns to the first investors from money invested by later investors. The MMM scheme readily comes to mind, and even though the scheme is back on the market as they promised by the promoters, investors are still wary about the sincerity of their claims.



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