The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said it has always been cautious on the renumeration of its workers following a reported payment of N4.5billion yearly as staff salaries.
Its Director-General, Munir Gwarzo, who appeared before the Tajudeen Yusuf – led House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets, said the organisation’s recruitment drive was anchored on the peculiarity of the sector.
While defending the N4.2billion staff emolument, he said the Commission judiciously utilised its resources.
He said: “In every government institution , 70 per cent or more goes to personnel but we have been able to judiciously utilise ours.
“The rationale behind it is that we are paying our workers their entitlements and allowances and like you know in every government institution, 70, 80 pern cent of the budget is spent on personnel cost even at the federal level.
“But I think SEC should be commended because apart from doing that, we have also been vigorously pursuing our capital market mandate which is investors’ protection and capital market development, and you need resources. So even within that limited resources, we have been able to do that.
“I am sure most of you followed our initiative from last year to this year with respect to electronic dividends, dematerialisatiom; we set up the national investment protection fund and we have paid 3000 beneficiaries; we launched the corporate governance scorecard, we have set up committees to review all the laws in Nigeria and all these cost money.”
He also defended the organisation’s recruitment structure saying it always goes for the best hands in the sub-sector.
He said: “The head of our economic analysis holds a PhD in micro econometrics and we went round the universities to look for someone who specialise in micro econometrics.
“You could have a PhD in economics specialising in agriculture economics or development economics but because we wanted someone who can be churning data from the market, someone who can do quantitative analysis , we emphasised on econometrics and we had to visit universities in Lagos, Ibadan, Ife and when we went there we said we were looking for that and we had eleven people that went through the process.
“The assertion that we just got someone is certainly not so. We went through the process and one person became successful.”
And then the risk management, as a SEC, it is very important for us to fortify our risk management division because we superintend over 1000 operators and each one of them have different risk profile.
“You are dealing with a broker, with a register, an issuing house, you are dealing with a trustee. So you needed a robust risk management outfit.
“We were lucky we got someone who had been in risk management for about 10, 15 years apart from being a chartered accountant and he is also a qualified CSA which is one of the most difficult and prestigious financial courses in this world. We also went and got him.
“The other aspect is the Head of the Research department. Again we went for the best. Four people went through the process and eventually we go someone who has a first degree first class and has a PhD in econometrics.
“To us we have gotten the best in this market and we brought all the relevant papers showing that we have engaged the federal character commission , they have given us certificate of compliance and they praised us based on the process we went through.
“Even in the interview panel we had a member of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) which sent us a letter commending us for that.