The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday said it would soon come out with fresh rules that would guide the conduct of Annual General Meetings.
The Director-General, SEC, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, disclosed this in Abuja during the inauguration of a study team on ‘Voice and voting power: What role for the retail shareholders in the Nigerian capital market?’
The broad mandate of the study team is to develop additional policies for strengthening the corporate governance framework with a view to creating greater awareness on the rights and responsibilities of the shareholders.
It is also aimed at increasing the voice and voting power of retail shareholders for a robust capital market
The SEC DG said the commission would be coming up with the fresh guidelines in order to ensure that shareholders, particularly the retail investors, were given adequate representation in terms of participation during AGMs.
Findings revealed that in most of the AGMs, only members of shareholders’ unions were usually given opportunities to contribute during discussions, while those who do not belong to any union were usually ignored.
Gwarzo said apart from the review of the conduct of AGMs, the commission would also be carrying out a review of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.
He said, “This study is coming at a time when we are working towards restoring investors’ confidence in the capital market. This study is not only good but timely, because before the end of this week, SEC has set up a team that will review the Companies and Allied Matters Act.
“As at today, we have started working on rules that will guide the conduct of AGMs and so the timing is right and we need to move very fast, because I believe that some of your recommendations will be part of these laws that are being reviewed.”
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, who gave the keynote address at the inauguration, urged the study group to work towards ensuring the return of minority shareholders and retail investors who fled the market following the declines of 2008.
In this regard, she said the National Investor Protection Fund set up by SEC should assist towards boosting confidence of such investors to not only return to the market, but also become more active in the affairs of their companies.
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