The Securities and Exchange Commission says it is taking steps to reduce transaction costs in a bid to ensure that investors do not bear unnecessary costs.
The acting Director-General, SEC, Ms Mary Uduk, while speaking during a meeting with the Association of Corporate Trustees in Abuja on Wednesday, urged investors to participate in the market to grow it. She said the commission was committed to ensuring protection of investors in the capital market.
Uduk, who was represented by acting Executive Commissioner, Operations, SEC, Mr Isyaku Tilde, said it was the responsibility of SEC to ensure that investors were not short-changed in any transactions in the market.
She said, “We are doing a lot to boost investors’ confidence in our market; but I want to say that both local and foreign investors are very good for the market, especially foreign investors.
“Foreign investors trade their shares all of the time it leads to price discovery as against the local investors that just take a long-term view on their investments.
“Investors’ fears can be of two folds, firstly they could be afraid because they feel that capital market operators will mismanage their investments; secondly is looking at the volatility of the market that makes investors sceptical.”
Uduk said the commission had put in place various initiatives to boost investors’ confidence, such as the e-dividend mandate system and the direct cash settlement.
She added that there was an urgent need for investors to take ownership of their investments by monitoring them, attending annual general meetings and reading the annual reports sent out to them.
“Investors are also protected through the National Investors Protection Fund Risk-Based supervision that enables SEC to supervise the operators and ensure that they do not do what they are not supposed to do,” Uduk stated.
According to her, the complaints management framework enables investors to know where to lodge their complaints and how long it takes for such complaints to be resolved.
She advised retail investors to invest in collective investment schemes and mutual funds because they are managed independently by professionals and are diversified, which would reduce risks.
Uduk said, “We are committed to protecting investors in the work we do. We will keep working on our rules and the possibility of amending them when the need arises because we want more transparency in the market so that investors will feel comfortable and the market can be better.”
The President, Association of Corporate Trustees, Mrs Tokunboh Ajayi, said members of the association were committed to attracting investors to the market without encumbering them with costs.
She commended SEC on its efforts in transaction costs reduction, saying the market is dynamic, which created a need for continuous evolvement to make the market better.
Ajayi stated that the association would continue to render its best and ensure that members operate within the confines of the rules and regulations in the market.