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New SEC Chief Resumes, Says Capital Market Drives Economy

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The new Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda says that the capital market has a lot of potential for growth and development of Nigeria in the post-COVID 19 economy.

Yuguda said this after he resumed office in Abuja on Monday, alongside the new Executive Commissioners; Reginald Karawusa, Ibrahim Boyi and Dayo Obisan.

The SEC chief said the capital market is a crucial component of any economy, as the SEC over the last two decades has worked with other relevant stakeholders to introduce and implement various initiatives targeted at improving the regulation and development of the market.

According to him, the capital market master plan launched in 2014 will position the capital market for an accelerated development of the national economy.

“Many of the plan’s initiatives have been successfully implemented while many others are Work in Progress in line with its objectives.

“Therefore, the continued implementation of the plan will be one of the major focus of the incoming management, while we also seek possible ways of strengthening it for enhanced impact. We would equally work towards improved market regulation, surveillance and general development.

In order to do this effectively, we will need to develop relevant capacities and foster collaboration in achieving our mandates.”

Yuguda assured that the new management will work to the best of their abilities to uphold things on ground and consciously seek ways to improve them to the benefit of all stakeholders.

“Together we must set our sights on achieving those milestones that are capable of making the capital market a powerful engine of growth for the Nigerian economy, with God’s help and our collective resolve and dedication, we shall succeed” he added.

He further stated that investor protection would be at the centre of the initiatives of the new management warning that any operator that short-changes investors would not go Scott free.

“We want to assure investors that this market is for them and we are ready to do everything to ensure that we increase investor enlightenment through education, robust regulation and fair dealing”

“For those that want to defraud investors, there would be no respite because we are ready to fight market manipulation to the last, anyone that flouts our rules will be made to face the consequences of their actions.”

In her brief remarks before the handover, Outgoing Acting Director General, Ms Mary Uduk, said the Commission has in the past few years undertaken key reforms and achieved some regulatory millstones and expressed the hope that the new management will build on achievements recorded so far.

“In implementing the Commission’s mandate of regulating and developing the Nigerian capital market, most of our recent activities are guided by the Capital Market Master Plan (2015-2025).

“This is a 10-year plan with over 100 initiatives to position the capital market for an accelerated development of the national economy. It has an implementation governance structure (CAMMIC) to drive advocacy and ensure national buy-in. Through this, series of engagement have been made with many of the Plan’s initiatives achieved”.

Mr. Lamido Abubakar Yuguda obtained a B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Accounting in 1983 from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and an M.Sc. in Money, Banking and Finance in 1991 from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He also holds a Certificate in Financial Asset Management and Engineering from the Swiss Finance Institute, Geneva, Switzerland and a Certificate in Investment Performance Management from the CFA Institute, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and a holder of the CFA charter.

Mr. Yuguda has attended leadership training programmes at leading business schools including Harvard, INSEAD, IMD, Saïd, Wharton, Haas, Kellogg, Chicago Booth and London.

The new Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brings to the Commission more than three decades of experience as a central banker, economist, and investment manager.

He began his career with Central Bank of Nigeria in 1984, and worked in several departments such as Foreign Operations, Banking Supervision and Reserve Management. He also served in the Debt Conversion Committee Secretariat where he managed the Nigerian Debt Conversion Programme together with the pioneer staff in the secretariat.

In 1997, he joined the staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, USA, on secondment as an economist in the Africa Department. In this position, Mr. Yuguda assessed economic policies, offered policy advice and managed balance of payment support programmes in IMF member countries.

In 2001, Mr. Yuguda returned to the CBN to lead a team of staff to restructure and diversify the CBN’s growing foreign exchange reserve portfolio. A new investment policy was adopted, new asset classes introduced, the CBN’s in-house fixed income trading and settlement capabilities were upgraded, while a reputable global custodian and securities lending agent as well as several international asset managers were selected. The new SEC boss reached the pinnacle of his career at the CBN as Director of the Reserve Management Department from 2010 to 2016, where he inculcated a strong risk-aware investment culture and engendered a disciplined approach to investment evaluation. He retired voluntarily in 2016.

Mr. Yuguda has served as a non-executive director on the boards of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and Premium Pension Limited. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the SEC since June 2019.

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