It was not a case of a square peg in a round hole but rather the Federal Government of Nigeria has placed a round peg in a round hole by announcing the appointment of Ibrahim Bolaji Bello as the Acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission SEC in June 2012.
Making the announcement, the Minister of Finance, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala declared in Abuja that Bello is to take charge of the running of the affairs of the apex regulatory body of the Nigerian capital market just as the four year term of the board of SEC led by Senator Udoma Udo Udoma expired in June 15, 2012.
Bello, who was the most senior Director and in charge of Administration Department before the elevation, has promised to stabilize the Nigerian Capital Market and put it on the path of growth through collaboration with various stakeholders that could engender investor confidence and help stabilize the market.
He also disclosed that the commission would immediately embark on investor education to ensure that investors know their right and adopt better ways of investing in the market to further protect their investment, adding that a well-educated investor is a well-protected investor. “Our quick win strategies would include those strategies that would restore investor confidence in the market as well as bring more investors.
The acting DG also explained that his administration is considering various issues surrounding Private placement with the view of restoring investor confidence in the entire capital market. “We shall ensure that no one is cheated in the course of participating in the market. And the fact that people will know there is an umpire to run to in case of dispute in the market will attract more investor and build confidence in the market,” he added.
He warned that operators should note that the report of the inspection would not only be used to correct operators but also be used to sanction erring operators.
The acting Director General of SEC who is fondly called IBB because of his names, was born in Ilorin Emirate of Kwara State. A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) and well respected among operators in the Nigerian capital market, Bello’s appointment to most of them was not a surprise because of his vast experience in that sector over the years as a player and regulator.
He had his early education at Government Secondary School Ilorin(WASCE) and Federal Government College Sokoto (A Level) before his admission to the University of Lagos where he graduated with Bsc Business Administration in 1978. He also holds an MBA from Ahmadu Bello University ABU Zaria in 1981.
Interested in capital market, Bello did his National Youth Service programme at the Nigeria Stock Exchange, Kaduna Branch and qualified as a Chartered StockBroker in 1979. He started his career at Capital Stockbrokers Limited, a stockbroking firm in 1979. He is also a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers and currently a Council Member of the Institute.
The new SEC boss has 33 years working experience which spanned Banking, Stockbroking and Capital Market Regulations. The other places he worked include Icon Merchant Bank, Citi Trust Merchant bank, and Empire Securities Limited where was Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer before he joined SEC in 2001 as a Deputy Director and appointed a Director in 2006
His working experience in SEC includes Head of Registration department, Head of Lagos Zonal office, Director of Transformation and Director of Administration.
Apart from serving as Chairman and member of various committees in the Commission, he has attended various capacity building programmes at home and abroad which included: 5 months training and attachment in J P Morgan Chase 1985; Stanford School of Business, Philadelphia; New York Institute of finance; US SEC Washington USA; Financial Service Authority, UK and International Law Institute Washington among others.
So far he met and had frank discussions with leading operators and trade groups in the market. They included the management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) led by Oscar Onyeama, the executives of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) led by Murtala Ariyo Olusekun, the Association of Stockbroking Houses Owners of Nigeria (ASHON) led Emeka Madubuike and the National Association of the Securities Dealers (NASD) led by Olutola Mobolurin.
Others included registrars and Institute of Capital Market Registrars led by Bayo Olugbemi, Portfolio Managers, Trustees and Investment Advisers among others.
Both the operators and trade groups in the market have pledged their support for the new management of the Commission and advised the management to be fair to all in its activities of stabilizing the market.