SEC Pledges To Partner EFCC In Fight Against Forex Manipulation

Caption: From left, Executive Commissioner Legal and Enforcement,  Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC Nigeria), Ms Frana Chukwuogor; Chairman  Economic and Financial Crimes  Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede; Acting DirectorGeneral, SEC Nigeria, Dr. Emomotimi Agama; and  Director/Coordinator, Special Duties, EFCC, Friday Ebelo; during a meeting of both parties in Abuja on Tuesday.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  Nigeria, on Tuesday in Abuja said it would partner the nation’s watchdog- the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure that manipulations are reduced in the virtual trading space.

Acting Director-General of the commission, Dr. Emomotimi Agama announced this when he received a team from the EFCC, led by its Executive Chairman, Ola Olukoyede his office.

As apex regulator of the capital market, Agama said the SEC will cooperate for the EFCC to achieve its objective of ensuring that illegality does not thrive, describing the visit as “a testament to the relationship we have and the value you place on the SEC and the best interest of Nigeria.”

He expressed belief that the visit will be the beginning of greater things to come as both parties strengthen the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between them, making it more effective in dealing with current issues.

“We believe this form of co-operation is in the best interest of Nigerians.

“Only last week, I met the fintech community and we made it clear to them that the SEC will not condone illegal trading on any platform especially P2P. it’s a dangerous trend and we cannot allow it continue,” Agama stressed.

This collaboration, he continued, is very necessary for the country to emerge from its forex crisis, noting that the Commission is planning an economic regulatory hub through which requests can be uploaded for other regulators and sister agencies to respond immediately, thereby reducing incidences of delay.

“We plan to create an economic regulatory hub we can upload requests and other regulators can respond immediately. Time to market is very important in the work we do and we need to have information and responses in a timely manner.

“We will do all we need to do to ensure our markets are free from manipulations. We will enforce where necessary to send a strong message that it is no longer business as usual.

“We are examining our virtual regulations to cover all areas and are open to reviews to have a better document and a well regulated market. we are striving to close all the gaps and this co-operation will enable us block every gap in our bid to regulate the virtual space and give comfort to Nigerians.

Agama disclosed that the Revised Capital Market Master Plan which the Commission is currently implementing is geared towards stimulating the economy and attracting FDIs.

Enormous opportunities abound in the capital market that yet to be tapped, he added, the full potentials for economic growth, assuring that the economy has a lot of issues and the capital market is one of the avenues that can lead to economic emancipation.

Continuing, he recalled that “the President has said he wants to re-engage the youths and that is why we are making efforts to ensure that our markets have the right products that can attract them.

“Whatever we can do together to improve the market and economy and send a strong message to the bad actors, we are willing to do it. It is a win win for all of us and I assure you of our determination to work with you to ensure that economic saboteurs are not allowed to thrive.

Speaking earlier, EFCC Chairman, \Ola Olukoyede said Forex malpractices and crisis are injurious to any economy adding that the role virtual traders are playing in destroying the Nigerian economy through their activities needs to be checked.

He described the SEC as critical in the area of regulatory compliance stating that the Commission is ready to use the instrumentality of the Commission to stimulate the economy.

“We are enforcers and not regulators and that is why we need the SEC to ensure people play by the rules. We have done a lot in discouraging people from forex malpractices

“The mandate of the EFCC is to enforce all economic and financial crimes in Nigeria and this is a herculean task and that is why we are collaborating with other relevant government agencies. We need to ensure people play by the rules and ensure compliance in a bid to attract Foreign Direct Investments to our economy.

“If people have trust in us and know people play by the rules, it will attract them. And the EFCC is working to ensure people play by the rules.

Olukoyede stated that fighting corruption is a collaborative effort that the EFCC cannot do alone emphasising the need for other agencies to lend their co-operation.

He commended the SEC for its guidelines on virtual assets and pledged the willingness of the EFCC in ensuring compliance by stakeholders.