The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it remains committed to promoting ease of doing business at the nation’s capital market.
Mr Isyaku Tilde, SEC Acting Executive Commissioner Operations, stated this on Thursday at a meeting with issuers in Lagos.
Tilde said that the commission had embarked on a number of initiatives to address time to market and promote ease of doing business in the nation’s capital market and would continue to do so.
He said that the aim of the engagement was to obtain the view of the issuers on transaction costs and time to market, to aid the commission in understanding what steps to take in improving the process.
According to him, the commission is looking at automating its processes and has introduced initiatives in the capital market, in line with the present administration’s ideals of promoting the ease of doing business.
Tilde said the initiatives include the introduction of a framework to facilitate electronic offerings of securities and the checklist review regime, which minimises the time spent reviewing transaction documents.
Others are the introduction of an option to the filing of fourth quarter returns, subject to filing the financial statements within two months of the end of the financial year; rules in respect of gift distribution at annual general meetings (AGM) and prohibition of meetings with select investors before AGM.
“We also have other initiatives like the ongoing review of the code of conduct for shareholders’ associations; all these are geared toward ensuring that we address the issue of time to market.
“There is also ongoing engagement with the exchanges on addressing the issue of ease of doing business and minimising duplication of efforts with the regulator and the Exchange, in a bid to reduce time to market,” he said.
Tilde confirmed the ongoing engagements with PENCOM, CBN and other agencies on several issues including margin loans, especially with the Finance Act providing tax incentives for security lending.
He said that the commission recently held a budget seminar on how the capital market could play an important role in financing the budget.