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2019: Shareholders task SEC, NSE on minority investors’ protection

Shareholders have urged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to introduce policies that will enhance minority shareholders’ protection in 2019.

The shareholders, who gave the advice in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), yesterday in Lagos, said that would strengthen investors’ confidence. Mr Boniface Okezie, the National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), said the minority shareholders had lost their investments due to unfavourable government policies and forceful takeover of quoted companies.

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Okezie said SEC and NSE needed to map out strategies, aimed at protecting minority shareholders, to foster confidence and boost liquidity.

“There is need for SEC and NSE to pay more attention to issues concerning investors, especially as it affects minority shareholders, who always suffer due to unfavourable governments’ policies,” he said.

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Okezie said issues pertaining to unclaimed dividends and alleged theft of dividends should also be addressed by SEC.

In his comments, Mr Moses Igbrude, the Publicity Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), said SEC and NSE should focus on how to make the market attractive for enlistment of more companies. Igbrude said both capital market regulators should be concerned on ways to address the incessant delisting of companies from the nation’s bourse.

According to him, reduction in transaction costs and unnecessary penalties should be pursued to minimise delisting of companies. Igbrude also said that SEC and NSE should engage the Federal Government on tax incentives to encourage listing of more companies as well as multinationals.

He said companies, having challenges in the market, should be engaged and encouraged with various strategies to discourage delisting. Igbrude, however, called on the governments and politicians to be mindful of their utterances to avoid further dampening of investors’ confidence.

Also, Malam Shehu Mikail, National President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, said government must ensure free and fair elections to boost both local and foreign investors’ confidence.

Mikail said the outcome of the forthcoming general elections would determine the direction of the stock market, as well as the economy in general.

According to him, the potentials in the nation’s bourse are huge and can only be harnessed with friendly policies and good governance aimed at addressing infrastructure deficit and security challenges.

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