Stock Exchange council spent N186 million on 165 Rolex wrist watches – Arunma Oteh

Channels Television  
Updated May 7, 2012

Financial schemes and misappropriation of funds by former council members of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) was responsible for the near collapse of the capital market.

According to the director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Arunma Oteh, the former council members carried out fraudulent transactions which includes the purchase of N186 million worth of wristwatches without proper accounts and a yacht for N39 million.

This was part of the revelations of the Director General of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh on Monday at the resumed hearing of the House of Representative ad-hoc committee probing the near collapse of the capital market.

Speaking about the NSE, she said “it was brought to my attention that there were incidences of financial scheming, misappropriation, false accounting, misrepresentations, and questionable transactions”.

“For instance, the council of the Nigeria stock Exchange bought a yacht for N37 million and wrote down the book value within one year by recognising it in its books as a gift presented during its 2008 long service award” she alleged.

“Yet there are no record of the beneficiary,” she added.

Dr Oteh also alleged that the council of the stock exchange also spent N186 million on the purchase of 165 Rolex wrist watches, as gift for awardees out of which only 73 were actually presented to the awardees. “The outstanding 92 Rolex watches valued at N99.5 million remained unaccounted for.”

“These were the kind of financial imprudence that were perpetrated at the Nigerian stock exchange,” Ms Oteh said.

The SEC Boss accused the NSE of “weaknesses in corporate governance, weaknesses in risk management, weaknesses in internal control, insufficient oversight of brokerage firms and listed companies and inabilities to enforce rules.”

She noted that the inspection team that examined the NSE found out that “more than 2, 700 investors complaint lodged with the Nigeria Stock Exchange had yet to be treated.”