Uche Usim, Abuja
In its strategic effort to deepen financial literacy and investor education, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on Thursday engaged the armed forces, police, paramilitary and other agencies on various product offerings of the capital market and how to protect their investments from scammers.
The Acting Director-General of SEC, Ms Mary Uduk while speaking at the investment forum organized by SEC in Abuja explained that the purpose of the engagement was to expose and further enlighten them about its services as a regulator, that of the capital market and how they affect them as investors.
According to her, “Investor education in the capital market is one of our key strategies to foster investor engagement on financial planning and decision-making. It also creates awareness about Ponzi schemes and other sharp practices, which we want them to avoid.
“While some of us will invest for today, most I believe will take the benefits deep into their retirement years when the energy to work is lost but the benefits of investments will continue to trickle in, to ensure relative financial security even at old age.
“This is the very first time that we are engaging with the security forces – military, paramilitary, the Police and others. We feel that they too should also know the kind of investment opportunities in the capital market.
“We also have other initiatives arising from our ten year capital market masterplan which protects investors and also bring confidence to the capital market, such as the e-Dividend mandate.
“When people invest in the Capital Market, they expect returns, they expect to make money. One of it is to be able to protect your dividend and get your dividend as at when “Others are the multiple subscriptions and in the past, people subscribe for shares and bonds in many different names; some as many as six different names.
“Because of that they are not able to get the benefit of investing in the Capital Market. For instance, a bank account has only one name with only one BVN. So if you have different names that are not your real name, and your share certificate does not carry those names, and the bank the does not recognise those names, you are not able to get the dividends of investing in the market.
“Therefore, we have given the market a window of opportunity for people that engage in multiple subscriptions to come and regularise those holdings that they have and consolidate them to be able to get the benefits of investing in the Capital Market.”
“We also have the National Investor Protection Fund (NIPF) that protects investors arising from problems that Capital Market operators go through other than those of them that are brokers, because brokers own are covered by that of the NSA.
“We also have come up with a complaint management framework that will enable investors know where to take their complaints.
“Hitherto, before this framework people complain to many sources – EFCC, Police, even thugs, to help them get back their investments.
“It wasn’t really yielding fruits and it was dragging the regulator on many fronts. Therefore, our current complaint management framework guides investors to know who to go to first if they have issues in the capital market.
“We also now very closely, supervise the capital market operators to ensure that investments of investors are not violated, misused or mismanaged in any way. Therefore, we have put up a framework where we monitor them regularly,” she said.
The Director of Market Development of the SEC, Mr. Edward Okolo in his remarks explained that one of the things that keeps others away from the capital market is basically the lack of understanding and the opportunities to acquire the needed knowledge to help in making informed decisions about their financial wellbeing and growth.