The Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Munir Gwazo, has called on the National Assembly to quickly remove some identified impediments on the way of implementing capital market master-plan through legislation to fast-track the implementation of the plan.
Speaking at the just-concluded stakeholders’ forum on realising the potentials of the Nigerian economy through proactive capital market legislation co-hosted by the capital market committees of both the Senate and House of Representatives, Gwazo said the action had become imperative because of the critical role the legislation would play in tackling identified legal impediments to the master-plan.
Gwarzo identified some of the impediments to include jurisdictional conflict between the Investments and Securities Tribunal and the Federal High Courts.
To address these impediments to the actualisation of the master-plan, Gwarzo appealed to the National Assembly to include the IST under Section 6 (5) of the Constitution and draft “legislation to prescribe the adoption of “reasonableness test” in conducting judicial review in contrast to the “correctness test” as well as make the IST a special division of the Federal High Court.
Besides, the National Assembly was urged to amend the relevant sections of the Land Use Act to resolve property/land title allocation and transfer issues to facilitate securitisation because “various sections of the Land Use Act inhibit, the development of the capital market. Particularly, Sections 21 and 22 negatively impact transfer of possession and foreclosures, which by implication inhibit the take-off of mortgage-backed securities.”
The SEC is also demanding for an amendment of Section 22 of Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) to innovatively allow crowd funding of private companies.
According to the SEC director-general: “Section 22 of CAMA on crowd funding limits members of a private company to 50 while also restricting its transfer of shares.
Gwarzo stated that “a robust legal and regulatory frame-work is a necessary condition for the actualisation of our master-plan aspirations.”
In his speech, Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market and Institutions, Isiaka Adeleke, said the National Assembly is keenly aware of the dwindling fortunes of the capital market and by extension, the economy but that as a parliament, they “strongly believe that the downward slide in Nigeria’s economy provides the best opportunity for major stakeholders to begin to return the economy to vibrancy.”
The two chambers of the National Assembly, he said, have come to the jolting realisation that the Nigerian economy cannot fully develop without making the capital market the hub or pivot of its developmental strides.
According to him: “This market has long been neglected and denied its rightful and strategic role in our march towards economic recovery. The capital market is a veritable institution for mobilisation, allocation and utilisation of long-term funds, not just by the federal but also for states and local councils.”
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