In order to ensure an effective policing of the capital market, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
The signing ceremony took place Wednesday at the EFCC office in Abuja. The MoU serves to among others promote the efficient investigation and conclusion of all cases reported by either Institution to each other, promote the integrity, efficiency and soundness of the Nigerian Capital Market and the Economy in general.
It also seeks to promote collaboration in the areas of training and secondment of middle cadre officers of the SEC to the EFCC and those of the EFCC to the SEC; or in the alternative, the establishment of a liaison desk in both institutions as well as promote collaboration in other areas beneficial to both institutions.
Going by the provisions of the document, the Institutions shall provide each other with the utmost mutual assistance in any matter falling within the competence of the Institutions, including in particular the following areas: Secondment of middle cadre officers, Training to enhance the investigative skills and capacity of personnel of the Institutions and consequently increase the general output and performance of the Institutions and facilitate better understanding of each other functions through capacity building programs and human capital development in the areas of investigation of fraud in the capital market.
Both institutions will also collaborate in the areas of exchange of information to assist the performance of the Institutions respective functions, reporting, investigation and prosecution of fraudulent manipulative practices in the Nigerian Capital Market and any other activity as agreed between the Institutions from time to time.
The MoU serves as a basis of cooperation between the institutions and does not create any binding legal obligation, nor does it modify or supersede any laws, regulations or regulatory requirements in force or applying to the institutions. Furthermore, the MoU does not create any rights enforceable by third institutions nor does it affect any arrangement under other MoUs.
Only recently when the SEC paid a visit to the EFCC, the Director General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo commended the close relationship between both organizations, adding that the Commission cannot discharge its responsibility effectively without collaborating with the anti-graft agency.
He said, We are by provision of our law mandated to protect investors on developing the market but the way our law is structured we have limitations over criminal cases and that is why in the last 10 years there has been a very great collaboration between both agencies.
We hope that when this MoU becomes fully operational, it will assist in reducing market infractions to the barest minimum. Gwarzo remarked that the collaboration with the EFCC has been of tremendous benefit to the SEC especially in areas of investigation and enforcement, adding that effective policing of the market is one of the ways of reviving investor confidence.
One of our agenda is to bring back the retail investors to the market and there is no way they will agree to return if they are not sure of the safety of their investments, the DG stated. Responding, Magu expressed delight that the collaboration between both agencies has yielded enormous benefit for the growth of the capital market, adding that his agency will continue to provide assistance where required.