The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) have restated their resolve to collaborate in combating crime in the capital market.
In a statement by the Head of Corporate Communication of the Commission, Mrs. Efe Ebelo, in Abuja, on Wednesday, the Acting Drector-General of SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, said the visit was aimed at leveraging the expertise and mandate of the ICPC in tackling corrupt practices, especially fraud, which has been prevalent in the market and which is a major obstacle to the actualisation of the objectives of the commission.
“The objective of regulating the capital market is to protect investors, maintain fair, efficient and transparent market by ensuring integrity in the market place and by preventing fraudulent practices. This shared goal has necessitated a collaboration with relevant anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies to ensure that the market is fair to all investors.
“We are aware that your agency was established to curb corruption in the public sector, but as an agency of government we owe investors the duty to protect their investments, hence the need for this collaboration,” Uduk said.
This naturally translates to sustainable growth and development of the economy which impacts the lives of every citizen and resident.
“We are confident that creating awareness within the Commission, on relevant laws and regulations administered by the ICPC, would project the Commission as a law-abiding institution, aid our fight against market abuse, and further boost investor confidence in the regulator and the market.
“Given that technology and globalization has made it easy for assets to be dissipated or to disappear without a trace, swift and effective ways of safeguarding and tracing assets has become even more relevant. The Commission therefore seeks to leverage on your intelligence network in other countries, for the tracing and recovery of assets belonging to innocent and hardworking investors in the Nigerian Capital Market.
In his remarks, ICPC Chairman, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye said the capital market is very important to any economy that wants to grow, stating that the ICPC is ready to partner with the SEC in order for the nation to reap the benefits of a vibrant capital market.
“I understand the need to protect investors because the capital market has been so badly affected by the activities of fraudulent individuals and organisations. We are happy to collaborate with SEC to look at those who are giving the investment climate a bad name by collecting investors’ funds and disappearing. We have powers to trace such people and seize their assets”.