Expose Illegal Fund Managers, SEC Tells Investors

Mohammed Shosanya

The Securities and Exchange Commission has urged members of the public to report any fund manager operating without the registration of the commission.

Chief Economist, SEC Dr. Okey Umeano,who stated this in an interview in Abuja, said the battle against illegal fund managers must be tackled in all spheres.

He disclosed that the new Investments and Securities Bill has amended some of the provisions around Ponzi schemes, illegal fund managers, and certain unwholesome practice in the market to ensure that these practices no longer happen.

“This ISB is supposed to accommodate these new operators, these new instruments and new happenings in the market. The Act is now more up to date and in line with present happenings in Nigeria and the global level. This Act also protects the investors more because we have made certain provisions in that Act that strengthens the SEC to ensure that they are better able to carry out their investor protection activities.

“Among other provisions, the bill prohibits the operation of Ponzi/pyramid schemes and other illegal investment schemes while prescribing a jail term of not less than 10 years for promoters of such schemes. This will strengthen regulation on Ponzi schemes. We are going to go all out against the promoters of such Ponzi schemes.

He said,he has gone through the marketing literature of some of these Ponzi scheme operators where they promise investors 10%, 20% in a month, which he stated is unreasonable urging investors not to patronize them.

He said:”When it is too good to be true and it sounds too good to be true, it is probably not true. There is a simple way to find out as the SEC website has a list of registered capital markets operators. Go to the SEC website type in ‘CMO search’ and you will see a list of capital market operators that are registered and that are regulated. There is also another one that some of them started doing, the organization is registered but they now create a side product that is not registered. We register both the organization and the products, check properly before parting with your hard earned money.

“In the capital market, we do not allow capital market operators to promise fixed returns. Nobody knows what the market will give, people will make some efforts but nobody can for sure tell you I will make 10% or 20% every month for you. When people tell you if you bring in money, I will pay you this amount but you have to bring in other people, you have to register other people, they are most likely to be using the money of those people to pay you, using your own to pay the person who brought you in, and that becomes the pyramid in Ponzi schemes work.

He implored investors to be cautious when these juicy returns are sold to them, urging them to contact the SEC via email at sec@sec.gov.ng or through the telephone as well as social media platforms to ascertain the registration status of such entities.

SEC, NAIC Move To Strengthen Commodities Trading System

The Securities and Exchange Commission has expressed its readiness to partner with the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation in a bid to further deepen the commodities trading ecosystem.

Director General of the SEC, Mr. Lamido Yuguda,who stated this during a meeting with the Management of NAIC in Abuja,weekend,expressed SEC’s commitment to develop the commodities ecosystem as a potent way forward in Nigeria’s quest for sustainable foreign exchange earnings and economic development.

He said:“In the past few months, this has been exacerbated by low oil production and oil theft in the country. This has often resulted in foreign exchange shortages and balance-of-payment problems.

He said the commission as part of its implementation of the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan, constituted a Technical Committee on commodities Trading Ecosystem whose mandate was to identify challenges of the existing framework and develop a roadmap for a vibrant ecosystem.

“A committee comprising of various stakeholders including the SON was set up to drive the implementation of the report. One of the recommendations in the report identified the development of grading and standardisation system in line with international best practice. We are therefore willing to also work with NAIC to grow the commodities sector.

He stated that the SEC and NAIC have a lot of things in common as both organisations are government agencies working towards the growth of the commodities sector of the economy.

According to him, “The SEC has been doing a lot of things in the commodities sector and the role of NAIC in this sector cannot be over emphasized and based on that, we would like to explore areas of collaboration to see how far we can help grow that sector together.

He said there are markets that need these commodities that are produced in Nigeria but lamented that the only impediment at the moment is lack of standards which he stated, is the reason why some of the commodities are not being accepted in the international market for now.

He assured that the SEC is working hard to ensure that agricultural produce meet international specifications for export hence the need to also work with NAIC in a bid to be able to mitigate various risks in the ecosystem when they happen adding, “This sector is key to our country’s future. If we can harness it, it will greatly improve the economy of this country.

Executive Commissioner Operations of the SEC, Mr. Dayo Obisan said enormous opportunities abound in the entire agricultural value chain, that if well harnessed would lead to further development of the nation’s economy.

He added:“There has been a couple of developments in the commodities side, the entire value chain is quite large. The farmers want someone to take up the crops, even local companies in Nigeria can do that. They need quality seeds as well as the funds to buy them. If the sector is not de risked, it will be difficult to attract investors”

Speaking,Managing Director of NAIC Mrs Folashade Joseph,said that her organisation is willing and available to push forward any initiative that will add value to the population and the nation’s economy.

She said:“It is a privilege to do this, as things begin to evolve, we try to push forward what will add value to the population. Our focus is on commodities. There are various evolving issues during the course of our business as insurers because we manage across the value chain”.

She added that in areas of storage and insurance issues, the collaboration will be of great benefit to all parties involved and assured that NAIC is ready to provide their expertise in anything that will add value to the commodities ecosystem.

SEC Tightens Noose On Illegal Market Operators


By Tunde Sholanke

The Securities and Exchange Commission, has assured Nigerians of a renewed onslaught against illegal operators in the country’s capital market.

It also said that the persisted proliferation of operators running illegal investment schemes in the country continues to be a major critical concern to the capital market.

Director General of the SEC Mr. Lamido Yuguda,disclosed these in a New Year Message in Abuja

According to him, last year alone, the commission shut the offices of four of such illegal operators that had defrauded innocent citizens of billions of naira and assured that the commission will continue its enforcement actions to ensure that such illegal entities are not allowed to operate.

The SEC,he said,has been fighting a serious war against Ponzi schemes in the country through constant enlightenment against the act.

He said:”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 sensitization 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 this 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”.

Due to ongoing implementation of various initiatives, the commission and 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.

He added:“With the implementation of the Revised Capital Market Master Plan, the Market will also witness renewed confidence expected to attract fresh investments from domestic and foreign investors.

“Although 2023 is an election year and market activities may typically slow down before and during the general elections, we are hopeful that the improved awareness and positive electioneering campaigns will lead to peaceful elections and a quick return to the pre-election levels of investment activities.

Speaking on the Investments and Securities Bill (ISB) review, the SEC boss said the Commission presented the ISB to the National Assembly for its legislative consideration and a public hearing was successfully organised on September 20, 2022.

“We are hopeful that the Bill will be passed into law before the end of the 9th National Assembly. With less than six months to the end of the 9th National Assembly come June, 2023, we believe that the Investments and Securities Bill (ISB) will be passed in the coming months. The ISB, if passed into law, will align the enabling Act with the realities and trends in capital market regulation and practice in Nigeria and abroad” he stated.

He promised that the commission will continue to provide extra support to the registered commodities trading platforms to complement government’s renewed diversification efforts in agriculture.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),has blacklisted Italian e-commerce companies in the country.


The regulator,in a statement warned Nigerian investing public to desist from dealing with blacklisted foreign companies.

The four companies are; Tetris Group Limited, Broker Capitals Limited, MTinvesting and NBIMarkets. The warning follows a report that the Italian securities regulator blacklisted the four e-commerce firms over fraudulent trading activities.

The commission said:“The attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria (“SEC”) has been drawn to a report that the Italian securities regulator, (Commissione Nazionale per le Soecieta’ e la Borsa – CONSOB) has blacklisted four (4) e-commerce companies and blocked their websites for fraudulent e-trading and unauthorized offering of financial services.

The report noted that online financial services providers leverage the complexity of their operations and limited understanding of most prospective investors to conceal details of their activities, thus plunging most investors into taking uninformed decisions. The CONSOB, therefore, called on investors to adopt the greatest diligence to make informed investment choices to safeguard their savings, including checking the registration status or otherwise of such companies”.

The statement informed the Nigerian investing public that the aforementioned companies are not registered in Nigeria. The investment schemes promoted by the entities are also not authorised by the SEC.

NDIC Settles 248 Complaints, Recovers N8.3bn From Banks

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), resolved 248 complaints from its prospective depositors and recovered over N8.3 billion from their respective banks.
Its Managing Director, Mr. Bello Hassan, disclosed this at the Special Day of the Corporation at the ongoing 43rd Kano Trade Fair held at the Trade fair Complex.
He also disclosed that the complaints centered on unauthorized withdrawals, which accounted for the highest number of 190 cases of POS issues and for 33 charges/fees/fraud issues.
He was represented at the event by the director, Communications and Public Enlightenment of the Commission, Alhaji Bashir Alhassan Nuhu.
He said, the commission in partnership with other safety-net players, will therefore continue to be resolutely committed to keeping the financial system safe and sound, not only to bolster confidence, but to strongly serve its role of intermediation in support of the AFCFTA implementation in particular. and the economy in general.
He  also said the corporation has always demonstrated strong and unwavering commitment to its depositor protection through its mandate of deposit guarantee, banking supervision in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), distress resolution and bank liquidation.
He added, In line with our public policy objectives of protecting small and less sophisticated depositors, the Corporation has continued to strengthen its consumer protection mechanism.
Fund Managers Withholding  Clients’ Funds Risk Sanction -SEC

Fund managers who still in the habit of holding on to clients funds and securities should desist from the act or face the wrath of the Securities and Exchange Commission,SEC,its Director General,has warned.

He stated this at the Post Capital Market Committee Press Briefing held in Lagos,where he disclosed that holding on to clients’ funds and securities is a clear violation of the Commission’s Consolidated Rule 95 (1-2). Fund Managers were reminded that all funds and securities of clients being managed by their firms must be vested with the custodians.

He also drew the attention of Fund Managers to issues that arose from the commission’s recently concluded inspection of Fund/Portfolio Management operations whereby several Fund Managers managing Discretionary and Non-Discretionary Products and Portfolios were yet to seek a ‘No Objection’ of their products and portfolios from the commission, which is a violation of the commission’s rules, noting that this was also a violation of the commission’s rules.

According to him,the meeting also emphasized the increasing importance of Fintech, Sustainable Finance, Financial Inclusion and Non-Interest Finance adding that the executive management team of the SEC reiterated its commitment to continue creating awareness, imparting knowledge and engendering public participation in these topical areas.

On the outcome of the meeting, Yuguda said, “The market community was reminded of the annual renewal of registration of Capital Market Operators which is aimed at ensuring that only fit and proper persons operate in the Nigerian Capital Market. The portal for renewal of registration for year 2023 will open on 1st January, 2023 and close on 31st January, 2023.

“Members received updates from the Commodities Ecosystem Implementation Committee, that significant efforts were being made on transitioning the commodities market from spot-based operations to trading in commodity derivatives;

“Furthermore, the Commodities Ecosystem Implementation Committee informed members that it held engagements with Federal ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), on the issue of traceability of commodities, which is considered a key building block for Nigerian export promotion.

Yuguda announced that the e-dividend committee notified members of efforts to rebuild the e-dividend management mandate system (e-DMMS) platform.

This he said, involves having a centralized submission of E-dividend mandate forms, Application Programming Interface (API) for Banks and Registrars, and a revamped web interface among others.

He expressed appreciation over the recent intervention of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions on unclaimed dividends saying “the Committee is investigating the rising value of unclaimed dividend and unremitted withholding tax on dividends. The Commission is ready to provide all the necessary support to the Committee to enable it carry out its assignment”.

“Members of the CMC were reminded to collectively work towards the enactment of the Investments and Securities Bill 2022, which will enhance the performance of the Nigerian Capital Market and align it with global best practices. The Bill seeks to improve the legal and regulatory framework that will accommodate the dynamics of the Market.

“The meeting emphasized the increasing importance of Fintech, Sustainable Finance, Financial Inclusion and Non-Interest Finance. The Executive Management team of the SEC reiterated its commitment to continue creating awareness, imparting knowledge and engendering public participation in these topical areas.

“The Financial Literacy Technical Committee informed members that it made substantial progress on introducing capital market studies (CMS) to secondary and tertiary institutions. It made appealed to the CMC to support its activities financially”he said.

He added that capital market operators were informed of the approval granted by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning on Non-Interest Finance (taxation) regulation, which has already been gazetted.

Commodities Exchanges Must Protect Investors-SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission has implored commodities exchanges in the country to have investor protection at the centre of their operations in a bid improve investor confidence and attract more investors.

Director General of the SEC, Mr. Lamido Yuguda,who gave the charge during the presentation of Eko Gold Coins to the management of the Commission by the Lagos Futures and Commodities Exchange in Abuja, Thursday,urged the LCFE and the entire value chain to always have investor protection at the core of their work because eventually this is what will make the product succeed.

He added:“Now the gold itself has great value, once you put out your money and buy it, you have value that is incontrovertible, but where we need to be careful is the associated investment product, the derivatives products.

“The derivatives products are built around the product itself. We must have investor protection at heart because if it is taken off and investors have confidence that anytime I want to sell this investment am actually likely to get more than I put in which is the true meaning of investment”

He stated that when people invest, they are postponing current consumption for future consumption, need to be paid some returns as a price for that postponement of current consumption.

He added: “So when you sell this product in the future and make gain, you are actually being rewarded, but when you sell the product in the future and you make a loss, you are making two losses. One you are postponing current consumption and two you have not recovered your principal in the future. When people do that, as it happened in the stock market in 2008, you find out that the investor confidence wanes.

“So when we do things we have investor protection and investor interest at heart, you find out that you create a product, everything you are doing tells you this is the direction I am going. So when you see that product deviating, you go back to the drawing table and say I must make sure that investors make money out of this. If we do that the sky is the limit for this product, that you have demonstrated today”.

He lauded the LCFE on the demonstration and presentation and assured them of the Commission’s support in the development of the product and in the efforts to enlighten both the market participants and the investors who will put in their money.

“I wish you all the best in this market and whatever the SEC can do to support the development of this gold market we will do. This is an important consideration because this is something that has a dual use. You can use gold as store of value, i.e monetary gold or as jewelry.

“When the price of gold moves in Dubai, the people in Zamfara state they know, people in Lagos state they know and ladies who have gold, and every time they take the gold to the market the gold dealers are actually prepared to buy. This is one product that does not get old, the older the better, because you buy at a cheap price and selling at a much higher price. So this is something that we truly want to support” he said.

Speaking, Chairman, Board of Directors, Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange said Chief Onyewenchukwu Patrick Ezeagu that the core vision of setting up LCFE was to provide a viable structure that will transform the Nigerian commodities market and redefine practice standards which would catalyse economic growth in Nigeria.

With your support at the SEC, he said this novel foundation has been laid and gradually the commodities ecosystem is being reformed and transformed with development of innovative products and fungible Instruments that are being introduced into the market.

“One of such products developed by LCFE, “The Eko Gold Coin” is why we have come to pay the Commission this visit today. On July 28, 2022, the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange was commissioned by the Executive Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu with the momentous launch and unveiling of the first physical gold asset tradeable on a Commodities Exchange in Nigeria, “The Eko Gold Coin”.

“it is my greatest honour and elation to present the first tranche of this exclusive gold coins which is available for purchase at LCFE to you and your esteemed team at the Commission. Director General Sir, as the saying goes: “No one lights a lamp and put it in a secret place; rather it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house”,he stated.

We’re Ready To End Ponzi Scheme -SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission will partner relevant stakeholders in its drive to ensure that illegal fund managers are not allowed to thrive in the country.

Mr. Mohammed Bagudu Waziri, Deputy Director and Head External Relations Department of the SEC, who disclosed this during a meeting with Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria in Lagos, noted that the menace of Ponzi scheme has been prevalent in recent times especially with the use of social media and said that the SEC is committed to ensuring that Nigerians do not continue to lose money to these illegal operators.

He added: “There has been an upsurge in the activities of these illegal fund managers and this has led to Nigerians losing their hard earned monies to these schemes. We will continue to educate and enlighten Nigerians on the need to patronage only operators that are registered by the Commission. There are numerous products in the capital market that Nigerians can patron5ise and get the benefits of their Investments.

“The list of all registered capital market operators can be found on the SEC website and those are the people members of the public should do business with. Anyone coming to you promising unreasonably high return on investment and is not registered with the Commission, we are urging Nigerians not to patronage those people.

“Ensure that they are registered with the Commission and also check that they are registered for that specific function they are marketing to you. On its part, the SEC ensures that only fit and proper persons are allowed to operate in the capital market”

He stated that the Nigerian capital market is still evolving hence the need for all hands to be on deck to educate and guide investors which will in turn aid investor protection.

“At the SEC, we try to ensure that people play by the rules in a bid to making our market safe and fit for investment. We all know that it is only when investors trust our market that they will bring their money, and this is one of the things we try to do at the Commission” he stated.

He commended CRAN on its efforts in educating and enlightening the investing public especially on the danger of Ponzi schemes and added that more still needs to be done.

SEC Celebrates Investors

The Securities and Exchange Commission, in collaboration with the Financial Literacy Technical Committee (FLTC), is set to join the rest of the world between today and Friday, 28 October, 2022, to celebrate the 6th edition of the 2022 World Investor Week (WIW), being coordinated by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

Efe Ebelo, the Head, Corporate Communications of SEC,who disclosed this in a statement, noted that the key message of the IOSCO WIW campaign for this year is based on two themes; “Investor Resilience; and Sustainable Finance”.

The IOSCO WIW is an annual week-long global campaign which aims at promoting investor education and protection, as well as strengthening collaborations among member jurisdictions. The Commission, being a member representing Nigeria in the organisation, has lined up series of activities to commemorate this year’s event.

Some of the activities slated for the event include interaction with the public on topics regarding investor education, rights and protection that are considered critical to retail investors nationwide. In particular, webinars titled “The Non-Interest Capital Market as Panacea to Mortgage Financing in Nigeria” and “Investor Resilience and Sustainable Finance” will be hosted on the 26 and 27 October, 2022 respectively.

Speaking on the event, Director General of the SEC, Mr. Lamido Yuguda stated that the SEC and other players in the capital market have, over time, frequently sought to enhance the level and quality of financial literacy in Nigeria.

He said, “Major among the recent initiatives is the on- going plan to introduce capital market studies in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Institutions, a project which has reached an advance stage. It is without doubt that the delivery of this project will change the face of financial literacy in Nigeria”.

“Indeed, for this sixth edition of the WIW, stakeholders nationwide are urged to collaborate with the Commission, and in their own different ways create the awareness on the need to educate and protect the investor”.

In his remarks,Mr. Ashley Alder, Chair of the IOSCO Board and the Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission said, “During the last two years, we have seen a growing number of retail investors participating in securities markets, in the context of the global pandemic. Those investors are facing new challenges, such as inflationary pressures and the uncertainties deriving from geopolitical tensions. Financial education and investor protection play a critical role in enhancing investor resilience and investor confidence to participate in financial market on a properly informed basis”.

Yuguda Explains Benefits Of Markets Integration

Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission Mr. Lamido Yuguda has explained that the aim of the West African capital markets integration programme is the creation of an enabling environment for cross-border securities transactions and the integration of all capital markets jurisdictions in the ECOWAS region.

Yuguda,who stated this during a meeting with the Director General of SEC Ghana Rev in Accra recently,said in view of the enormous potentials of cross border listings, capital markets in the region are expected to develop a tool of cooperation that enables them to effectively police their respective markets and ensure that the standards of regulation set out by IOSCO are sustained, and where possible, improved upon.

He said:“Without the readiness of all concerned, the lofty aims of the programme may as well continually remain a dream. It goes to say, unequivocally, that this goal can only be achieved seamlessly when all member states of ECOWAS come on board and actively commit to achieving the noble objectives of the enhanced collaborative structure that these nature of agreements enable.

“On this note, the SEC Ghana and SEC Nigeria, desirous of achieving these ideals, have taken the lead by example and by driving this project in the sub-region while hopefully aiming to someday expand its coverage beyond the sub-regional frontiers onto other parts of the continent of Africa”.

He said that the enduring relationship between thetwo jurisdictions is more amplified by the fact that Ghana and Nigeria both have the largest markets in the West African sub-region and it will only be good foresightedness that both countries seize the advantage of size and peculiarities, and explore viable areas of cooperation, even as we continue to work assiduously with other stakeholders to integrate our markets and provide greater opportunities for the economic prosperity of our peoples and our economies.

“We need to come closer and take deliberate steps to achieve bilateral co-operation. We are very keen on this relationship. There is a strong relationship between us so we need to continue to nurture and grow it and create institutions that will help our people have better living standards. I hope we can achieve a lot by bringing our capital markets together. We need to make our institutions stronger as well as our economic activities.

“We require this collaboration in a bid to make the process of accessing our markets as seamless as possible, easy for people to transfer assets, make investments and have confidence that the investments are protected in Ghana as they are in Nigeria and vice versa” Yuguda stated.

Speaking,the Director-General of SEC Ghana, Rev Daniel OgbarmeyTetteh,commended Yuguda, saying Ghana and Nigeria can push forward in ways that will bring about the mutual benefits of leveraging the capital market.

He added that the region needs to have their markets open to each other so that they can achieve more and then attain one big capital market.

He expressed delight on the collaboration and pledged the commitment of SEC Ghana to continue to support the initiative.