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Proliferation of illegal operators remains major concern to capital market

The Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) has stated that the persisted proliferation of operators running illegal investment schemes in the country continues to be a major critical concern to the capital market.

Director-general of SEC, Mr. Lamido Yuguda stated this in a New Year Message in Abuja. He assured of a renewed onslaught against promoters of such schemes.

Yuguda said, last year alone, the commission sealed off  offices of four illegal operators that had defrauded innocent citizens of billions of naira and assured that the commission will continue its enforcement actions to ensure that such illegal entities are not allowed to operate.

According to him, “SEC has been fighting a serious war against Ponzi schemes, we have been alerting people. We have said that investors should only deal with registered operators that have the registration of the commission, we have their list on the SEC website and we have always said that, if you go to an operator or when an operator approaches you, you must confirm that he is a licensed operator with the SEC.”

The DG expressed confidence that, as the results of the various initiatives the commission is implementing begin to gradually manifest in 2023, the commission and indeed the capital market, will witness uncommon development in securities issuance businesses, especially, as it affects digital assets, commodities trading ecosystem, custodianship of assets, and Fintech among others.

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“With the implementation of the Revised Capital Market Master Plan, the market will also witness renewed confidence expected to attract fresh investments from domestic and foreign investors.

“Although 2023 is an election year and market activities may typically slow down before and during the general elections, we are hopeful that the improved awareness and positive electioneering campaigns will lead to peaceful elections and a quick return to the pre-election levels of investment activities,” he said.

On Fintech, the DG stated that the commission will pursue various initiatives, including sensitisation programmes on Crowdfunding, adding that, to further strengthen and encourage developments in the Fintech space, the commission resuscitated the Regulatory Incubation programme during the year.

Giving an update on the Investments and Securities Bill (ISB) review, the SEC DG said, the commission presented ISB to the National Assembly for its legislative consideration and a public hearing was successfully organised on September 20, 2022.

Yuguda assured that the commission will continue to provide extra support to the registered commodities trading platforms to complement government’s renewed diversification efforts in agriculture.

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