Amechi Ogbonna, Uche Usim and Chinwendu Obienyi
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday appointed Mr Lamido Yuguda, as substantive Director General of Nigerian capital market apex regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
In a letter read at the Senate plenary on Tuesday, Buhari requested the upper legislative chamber to consider and approve the nomination of Mr. Lamido Yuguda as SEC DG in line with the requirements of the Investment and Securities Act (ISA).
Yuguda’s appointment ends the uncertainties around the leadership of the Commission since the suspension of former Director General, Mr Mounir Gwarzo by former Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun in 2017.
It also brings to an end the tenure of Acting DG, Mary Uduk, who had held fort at the SEC since Gwarzo’s sack over alleged financial impropriety to ensure there was no vacuum in the leadership of one of Africa’s biggest bourses.
Buhari had equally requested the confirmation of three other nominees as full-time Commissioners for the Commission, including Reginald C. Karawusa, Ibrahim D. Boyi and Mr. Obisan T. Joseph.
Buhari’s letter reads in part: “Pursuant to Section 3 and 5(1) of the Investment and Securities Act 2007, I write to request for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of the following four nominees as Director General and Commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).”
The development shocked senior officials of the Finance Ministry in Abuja, as Daily Sun learnt that Mrs Zainab Ahmed actually recommended the confirmation of Uduk as the substantive boss of the SEC through a letter to the presidency.
A top Finance Ministry official said: “I’m shocked hearing that Ms Mary Uduk’s name was dropped. Obviously, whatever happened was not from this end. If it was, Uduk wouldn’t have been endorsed by the Minister in the first instance. There was no squabble between the two women. They worked harmoniously. Whatever happened was beyond here. It was not from here. Uduk has done well and anyone here wouldn’t block her confirmation. I’m just surprised”.
Findings revealed that while President Buhari snubbed the recommendation of the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, for the substantive appointment of the acting D-G of SEC, Mary Uduk, he however, approved the reappointment of Dr Marilyn Amobi, as the Managing Director of Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) who was also recommended by the Finance Minister. No reason was provided for denying Uduk’ substantive appointment.
Yuguda, the new SEC boss obtained a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1983 and a master’s in money, banking, and finance from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom in 1991. He also holds a certificate in financial asset management and engineering from the Swiss Finance Institute, Geneva, Switzerland.
He began his career with the CBN as senior supervisor, foreign operations department in 1984 with responsibility for maintaining Nigeria’s external debt records. Buhari’s request is coming two years and eight months after Mounir Gwarzo was suspended as the DG of SEC, by Nigeria’s former minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun following recommendations of probe panel set up to investigate allegations of financial misdeeds leveled against him, while he served as the Director General of the Commission.
In his reaction on the appointment, National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria – Mr Boniface Okezie said “I think this is proactive on the part of the president’s to beef up activities in the capital market which has remained on its lowest ebb for long. I do not know much about Lamido Yuguda, but the most important thing is to know the role one is coming to play in order to move SEC and capital market forward and that is what is expected of him.