In line with its financial literacy and investor education initiatives, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on Thursday at its Abuja head office organised a one-day enlightenment outreach for officers of the Armed Forces, Police, and other Para-military, among others, on opportunities in, and protection of Capital Market investments.
Addressing participants at the event tagged “A Day With Investors,” Acting Director-General of the commission, Ms. Mary Uduk said the engagement was in the bid to enlighten them about the Capital Market and some of the initiatives being undertaken, particularly, those that affect them as investors.
According to her, education on the capital market is a major strategy that will help foster investor engagement on financial planning and decision-making, besides creating “awareness about Ponzi schemes and other sharp practices, which we want them to ovoid.
“While some of us will invest for today, most I believe will take the benefits deep into their retirement years when the energy to work is lost but the benefits of investments will continue to trickle in, to ensure relative financial security even at old age,” she added.
SEC, as a regulator of the capital market, she assured, will continue to introduce new ideas and policies towards developing and regulating a capital market that is dynamic, fair, transparent and efficient, to contribute to the nation’s economic development.
According to Uduk, the commission is making efforts at addressing financial literacy and empowerment gaps within the society, adding that this is expressed in the various financial inclusion and literacy initiatives it is currently undertaking in collaboration with other stakeholders.
“I wish to commend your interest to learn how to build wealth in a secured and protected environment. While some of us will invest for today, most I believe will take the benefits deep into their retirement years when the energy to work is lost but the benefits of investments will continue to trickle in, to ensure relative financial security even at old age.
“We also have other initiatives arising from our ten year Capital Market Master Plan which protects investors and also bring confidence to the Capital Market, such as the e-Dividend mandate.
“When people invest in the Capital Market, they expect returns, they expect to make money. One of it is to be able to protect your dividend and get your dividend as at when due.”
The SEC boss further added: “Others are the multiple subscriptions. In the past, people subscribe for shares and bond in many different names; some as many as six different names.
“Because of that, they are not able to get the benefit of investing in the Capital Market. For instance, a bank account has only one name with only one BVN. So if you have different names that are not your real name, and your share certificate does not carry those names, and the bank the does not recognise those names, you are not able to get the dividends of investing in the market.
“Therefore, we have given the market a window of opportunity for people that engage in multiple subscriptions to come and regularise those holdings that they have and consolidate them to be able to get the benefits of investing in the Capital Market.”
“We also have the National Investor Protection Fund (NIPF) that protects investors arising from problems that Capital Market operators go through other than those of them that are brokers, because brokers own are covered by that of the NSA” she said.
She said the Commission is now very closely, supervise the Capital Market operators to ensure that investments of investors are not violated, misused or mismanaged in any way. Therefore, we have put up a framework where we monitor them regularly.
The Acting DG used the opportunity to salute the gallant officers of the military, paramilitary, anti-graft agencies, for their role and sacrifices in maintaining the security of our lives and property.
“This is because without a peaceful environment, no sustainable economic development can be achieved. While you continue to work for the peace and security of our dear country, you must also work for the peace and security of your financial future. I am happy to inform you that the capital market has a number of products and platforms that can guarantee these” she stated.
Also speaking, Director and Head, Market Development Department, Edward Okolo, lamented that one factor which keeps investors away from the capital market is basically the lack of understanding and the opportunities to acquire the needed knowledge to help in making informed decisions about their financial wellbeing and growth.
“It is this opportunity that we have brought to you this morning and we believe you will take advantage of it to ensure that going forward, you are better able to manage your finances to the extent of knowing what investment portfolio will help build your wealth in a sustainable manner” he added.
Photo caption: Cross Sections of the Participants during the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Day with Investor Programme with Military, Paramilitary and Anti-Graft Agencies in Abuja on Thursday.