The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has frowned at the resurgence of Ponzi schemes and illegal fund managers in Nigeria’s financial sector.
The Director-General of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, frowned at the development at an enlightenment workshop with the staff of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning on Wednesday in Abuja.
Yuguda said the unlawful schemes had continued to enjoy massive patronage of the populace and remained a source of concern for regulators in the financial sector.
According to him, the commission is poised to continue to apply measures and seek the cooperation of relevant stakeholders toward combating the activities of these Ponzi schemes.
He regretted that the upsurge of the schemes had undermined the reputation of the financial markets and dampened investors’ confidence, among other things.
“SEC firmly believes that the country’s capital market can attain its potential if market operators and participants contribute their respective quotas to the growth.
“SEC is committed to always ensuring and maintaining an environment that is enabled by the appropriate regulatory framework, timely and affordable access to market.
“The commission is also committed to zero tolerance for infractions, heightened investor confidence and awareness, innovative product development and good governance practices.
“There is the need to restore investor confidence and improve the participation of retail investors in the market.
“The demography of investors in the country’s capital market shows that our young population do not participate in the capital market, and only few Nigerians invest in the capital market.
“This situation creates a huge challenge to the growth of our market and the commission is striving to change the narrative by instilling a fair, transparent and orderly market,’’ he said.
Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, represented by Mr Stephen Okon, Director Home Finance, urged investors to take advantage of the various initiatives in the market.
Ahmed said the workshop was in line with the commission’s Capital Market Master Plan (CMMP).
She urged SEC to reflect and review the challenges faced by investors with a view of actualising the objectives of the plan.