COVID-19: NSE Commences Execution Of Remote Working Plan

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) says trading activities will be carried out remotely due to the recent confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country.

In a statement on Monday, the NSE noted that with effect from Wednesday, March 25, 2020, all its trading floors will be temporarily closed, while remote trading will continue.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Buhari Urges Nigerians In Lagos, Abuja To Stay At Home

It adds that NSE staff will begin a 30-day remote working plan and will be available across all digital platforms to provide support.

The statement says dealing members should continue to trade remotely through its electronic platforms such as Fix protocol and Xnet and reach out to their compliance officers if any support is required.

The NSE also stated that all physical meetings within and outside its office premises have been suspended until further notice.

UK £3,000 Visa Bond Under Review- British High Commissioner

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Andrew Pocock, has once again cleared the air on the controversy surrounding a proposed UK government’s bond on visa applicants from some countries, including Nigeria.

He clarified that, ‘the visa bond, as it is being called here, is not a £3,000 charge for a British visa. That is not the case, it is not going to happen now and it is not going to happen in the future. Visa fee, which is what you pay for a visa, will not go to £3,000 or anywhere near it.’

Pocock also explained that there are plans to influence the inflow of more Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) from British companies into Nigeria.

He said this after ringing the closing bell  at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos.

The United Kingdom is reviewing its plan to introduce a £3,000 visa bond scheme.

“We have made it very clear to our government in London that there is concern about this. So, this is being reviewed and considered in London as we speak now.” he said

He further said the visa bond is yet to be approved and if even its approved it will only apply to a very minute number of the over 150, 000 Nigerians that will apply for UK visas.

He also said while there were security concerns in Nigeria, they were not overwhelming in many respects and could be managed.

He said the British government will not jeopardize diplomatic ties with Nigeria with any move that will call the relationship between both nations to question.

The British government had proposed a new scheme under which some visitors from six commonwealth countries, including Nigeria, would be asked to pay a £3,000 cash bond in return for visas that allows them to stay in the UK for up to six months.

Other countries include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Ghana.

Okereke-Onyiuke blames CBN, SEC for capital market’s woes

It was another day of gross revelations at the House of Representatives ad-hoc Committee probe on the near collapse of the Capital Market, as the immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Professor Ndidi Okereke-Onyiuke made her presentations.

According to her, the government regulators; the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), failed to provide any guide lines for margin loans which she said banks used to speculate on share prices.

“It was margin loans that led to the collapse of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, nothing more” she affirmed as she blamed the failure of the regulatory bodies to fulfill their responsibilities.

“Margin loans by themselves are not bad, because they help to create more liquidity in the market, globally. However, in the case of Nigeria, the banks gave out these loans indiscriminately, and in most cases insisted that such margin loans were used to purchase their own shares” she stated.

Professor Okereke-Onyiuke in her presentation, largely blamed the banks for solely being responsible for the collapse of the capital market as she accused the CBN and the SEC of failing to protect investors when margin loans were indiscriminately given out by commercial banks.

She noted that the CBN cordoned the banks establishment of several arms, such as their own registrars, which they will now use when they want to come to market for a public offer. “We opposed the banks using their own registrars whenever they come to the market for offers” she said.

She also accused the SEC, of illegally collecting money from the stock exchange and market brokers to fund its regulatory activities.

Responding to the allegations levelled against the council of the NSE on Monday by SEC’s DG, Dr Arunma Oteh, that the council spent N138 million on wrist watches and N39 million on yachts, Professor Okereke-Onyiuke, stated that it is unfair for the SEC to accuse the NSE of mismanaging its finances when the SEC was one of the beneficiaries.

CSCS and Abuja stock exchange

Other revelations made by Professor Okereke-Onyiuke during the question and answer session of the probe were that she’s now been summoned to help re-organise the failed Abuja Stock Exchange and Commodities Market.

Responding to a question from the probe panel chairman on her alleged overbearing influence on the stock market, which led to the collapse of the Abuja Stock Exchange, she stated that she was never opposed to the establishment of another stock exchange in Nigeria.”It was I and the council of the NSE, that recommended that the commodities market should be included at the Abuja exchange, because we need a commodities market in this country.”

She also revealed that now that she is in her retirement, she’s been called on to help re-build the Abuja stock exchange.  “I have been approached to come and help re-strategise the Abuja Stock Exchange and I will do this for free and I assure you that the market will be up and running in six months” she said.

On the legality of the CSCS, the former DG explained that the CSCS was not illegal stating the then Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation was approached by the executives of the stock market on the need to amend the law that makes share certificates the only Prima Facie evidence in any litigation.

“The AGF, affirmed that the CSCS can serve as the ‘cerficateless’ evidence for shareholders….and he promised that the law will subsequently be amended.”

The CSCS account enables every share holder to hold the shares in digital formats and numbers.

Obama elections

On the controversial raising of $68 million for the Obama presidential campaign in 2008, the retired NSE boss stated that she never raised funds for the American elections but that all she did was create awareness for his election as the first black man who could get to rule the United States.

She explained that she’s known the US president, Barack Obama, before his sojourn into politics. She got the entire hall laughing when she said the US President posed with a picture of her and three others when they were awarded a Congressional Caucus Award.

She further noted that the Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC) had investigated into the fateful dinner and found her not culpable.

Transcorp

On her appointment as the chairman of Transcorp, Professor Okereke-Onyiuke stated that her appointment “was just a national assignment.”

The former DG of the NSE who was forced to resign the appointment in 2008 stated that there was no conflict of interest with her appointment as she was the serving chairman of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

She noted that the council of the stock exchange officially endorsed her appointment on Transcorp’s board after such affirmation was sought by the president.

Professor Okereke-Onyiuke, was the inaugural chairman of the Transnational Corporation set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo with a view of creating a Nigerian transnational company in 2005.

Demutualisation of NSE may begin second-quarter of 2012


The demutualisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), which is meant to reposition as well as ensure an efficient and competitive capital market, may begin in the second quarter of this year.

This was revealed in the report submitted by the technical committee on the demutualisation of the NSE to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

According to the report, the adoption of a demutualised securities exchange would fast-track development as well as deepens the capital market.

The committee believes demutualisation can set up an exchange well on the path to rapid and sustained development in the context of increased globalisation of securities markets and increased competitive tensions if done in line with the current reforms in the Nigerian capital market.

They warned that in order to ensure transparency and engender confidence, the demutualisation of the NSE must be achieved within the framework prescribed by the commission.