The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has restated its determination and commitment to protect investors patronising the Nigerian over-the-counter (OTC) securities market.
The OTC market, comprising equities market and fixed income market, has been operating with little or no transparency and strong corporate governance.
However, SEC have licensed the NASD Plc, which is a platform in the OTC market for equities and the FMDQ OTC Plc, which is a platform meant for the trading of fixed income financial instruments.
Speaking on safety of investments on these platforms, at a forum organised by the NASD Plc in Lagos, Head, Exchanges Division, SEC, Mr. Agama Emomotimi, said one of the major reasons the apex regulator of the capital market is in existence is to protect investors.
According to him, the commission attaches high premium to investor protection; hence the decision to license platforms that would allow investors to enter and exit the market through many platforms.
“There are many ways to get into the market and if you provide only one way into a market, you can imagine what will happen. There will be serious jamming and many people will get injured. All this while, we had only the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) fully functional. And the aspiration of the SEC is to provide opportunities for investors and shareholders to have access to platforms where they can actually exchange their shares, that is sell or buy as the case may be,” he said.
Emomotimi noted that SEC is very happy with the existence of other platforms that are now functioning, adding that investors should make good use of the platforms.
“The SEC is the apex regulator, we are existing because of investors; we will do our best to protect investors in as much as we do exist, that is our duty.
“And that is the reason NASD and FMDQ were licensed to provide platforms for investors to trade their securities. If the SEC does not think about it that way, it probably would not have given licences. But because it is part of job to protect investors, SEC licensed these platforms and we hope that you will make very good use of them,” he said.