Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Mr. Lamido Yuguda has stated that the persistent proliferation of operators running illegal investment schemes in the country continues to be a major critical concern to the capital market.
Yuguda, who stated this in a New Year Message in Abuja, however, assured of a renewed onslaught against promoters of such schemes.
The DG said that last year alone, the Commission sealed off the offices of four such illegal operators that had defrauded innocent citizens of billions of naira and assured that such enforcement actions will continue to ensure that illegal entities are not allowed to operate.
He said: “The SEC has been fighting a serious war against Ponzi schemes; we have been alerting people. We have said that investors should only deal with registered operators that have the registration of the Commission. We have their list on the SEC website and we have always said that if you go to an operator or when an operator approaches you, you must confirm that he is a licensed operator with the SEC.
“We have our numbers on how to reach our offices in the zones and we have done a lot of sensitizations in terms of seminars, webinars all in an effort to discourage people from going to Ponzi schemes. Unfortunately, a lot of people continue to patronize these Ponzi schemes. We have had cases that have been reported to us, our enforcement department and the police unit have been on many of these cases trying to resolve the cases that have been reported to us.
“The Commission has also continued to employ its compliance tool to ensure that only fit and proper capital market operators practice in the market. This has resulted to an improved level of compliance with filing of prudential returns rising to 96% in 2022 compared with 81% in 2021.”
The DG expressed confidence that as the results of the various initiatives the Commission is implementing begin to gradually manifest in 2023, the Commission and indeed the Capital Market will witness uncommon development in securities issuance businesses especially as it affects digital assets, commodities trading ecosystem, custodianship of assets, and Fintech among others.