SEC Extends Multiple Accounts Forbearance Window Till Dec. 2019

As part of efforts to ensure no investor is left out, the Capital Market Committee (CMC) led by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has, for the umpteenth time, announced another 12-month extension of the forbearance for shareholders with multiple accounts.
The forbearance window was initially planned to close on December 31, 2018 deadline.
The first step, according to the SEC, in a series of tweets on Thursday morning, “would involve engagement with and enlightenment of the Probate Registry with a view to providing solutions to the cumbersome process of transmitting shares. Secondly, Rules would be developed around the time frame for transmission shares and the fee structure.”
Poised to boost the electronic dividend mandate and Direct Cash Settlement initiatives, the commission said it would engage the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NBSS), “on behalf of the capital market community to facilitate identity validation and account validation in an effort to enhance market processes.”
This, it continued, is besides working with other major stakeholders in setting up a committee to proffer solutions to challenges of identity management in the nation’s capital market, besides collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to update regulations on margin lending.
It noted that the final report of the committee to issue guidelines and develop the rules for e-Initial Public Offerings (IPO) is expected to be submitted in two weeks.
The meeting also noted the significant acceptance of Electronic distribution of annual accounts initiative by public companies shareholders, it was reported that the shareholders who are now willingly providing their email addresses.
To grow the market for trading in securities on unlisted public companies, the commission said it is making concerted efforts in collaboration with CAC and other stakeholders to assist public companies that are yet to register their securities to do so without much difficulty.
Also, to enhance investors’ confidence in the market, SEC is stepping up efforts to ensure that public unlisted companies provide quarterly and annual performance reports. This would assist investors to make more informed investment decisions.
As part of efforts to eliminate underhand dealings, the Commission is set to take enforcement actions against any persons engaged in trading in the shares of public unlisted companies outside a recognised securities exchange as provided by the Rules.
Also at the meeting, participants expressed commitment to develop a vibrant Commodities eco-system, announcing implementation of measures to strengthen regulatory capacity by establishing a Commodities Division.
“An interesting development in the commodities sector is the innovative solution developed by AFEX and its partners regarding the use of Blockchain Technology to streamline the process of financing agriculture to Smallholder farmers and other players in the commodities markets.”
The SEC also inaugurated a committee to develop a Financial Technology (FinTech) roadmap for the capital market within the next three months, just as its Financial Literacy Committee, developed a webpage dedicated to providing relevant financial literacy material on the capital market and the financial sector for investors. It was also noted that a link had been created on the SEC’s website for the purpose.