Kudos, knocks trail Oteh’s exit as SEC DG

STAKEHOLDERS in the Nigerian capital market have expressed divergent views on the contributions of the immediate past Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh, to the growth of the market, even as they urged the acting DG, Mounir Gwarzo to ensure government introduces sustainable policies that would make the market become more competitive when compared with other emerging markets.

For instance, the President, PEARL Award Nigeria, Tayo Orekoya said that Oteh has made modest contributions to the stability of the Nigerian  capital market especially  after the 2008 & 2009 recession. 

“She came in at a time when the capital markets were in dire straits globally and particularly in Nigeria . Give it to her, she was focused in repositioning the market, particularly the Nigerian Stock Exchange for effective performance, by restructuring and transforming the leadership of the Exchange.

“She surely could have done better in terms of promoting management team spirit at the apex regulatory authority but internationally she was able to project a great level of leadership and service.  However, the controversy she entered into with National Assembly legislators was unwarranted and had negative impact on market funding and prospects. “Incidentally, at the time of her exit, the market is still struggling to maintain its stability, while market capitalisation and investors confidence seem to be at the lowest ebb in years. One can appreciate her modest contributions and wish her success in future endeavors. 

“The incoming DG needs to rally market stakeholders to chart the path of recovery, stability and sustainable growth for the market. Investors’ confidence need a boost through mass enlightenment programmes while the management of SEC and its Board must work together to formulate reforms policies aimed at deepening the market and positioning it for growth and deserved leadership position among African capital markets.’ He added.

The Managing Director of Highcap Securities, David Adonri said; “Oteh’s tenure had many positive attributes except the policy of recapitalization which met stiff opposition from Market Operators. The Acting DG should reactivate the primary market as it affects Offer for subscription.”

The President, Renaissance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Ambassador Timothy Olufemi  said: “We shareholders are putting up action ask for extension of her tenure.10 years masterplan must be completed by her. The acting DG maintains the status quo in the Commission.” 

Another stock broker who craved anonymity said: “Well, we will let history judge her and her elitist tenure that did not come down to the level of the Nigerian capital market, an emerging market that was being hoodwinked and equated with advanced market.    

“There’s really nothing wrong with that but markets, especially emerging ones with their tenets must be grown at a level that is commensurate with sustainable peer standards. Not world class without the basics. Anyway she has gone with history. Goodluck to her in her future endevour. 

“ For Munir Gwazor who takes over as acting DG of SEC,a lot is expected from him particularly bearing in mind the fact that he has a superlative training advantage of both an operator and also having worked at several levels as a regulator as well. A lot needs to be done by him in order to cover lost grounds. As a seasoned technocrat, he does not need the services of consultants from outside SEC, in place of well trained SEC commissioners, directors, deputy directors and other myriad of profesionals available for strategy and operation by any DG of SEC, “ he advised.

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