The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Nigeria, has said that its ongoing initiatives will guarantee investments and assured foreign investors of safety of their investments in the country.

Making this plan known when she hosted the representatives of JP Morgan and Stanbic IBTC visited the Commission in Abuja weekend, Ag. Director General of SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, said that all necessary controls were in place to ensure that the market is dynamic, free, fair and transparent for participants.

Uduk explained that the implementation of the Capital Market Master Plan had led to significant transformation of the market since its commencement a few years ago,

Some of these implemented initiatives are dematerialization of share certificates, recapitalization of capital market operators, establishment of the National Investors Protection Fund and inauguration of its board, as well as launch of the Corporate Governance Scorecard.

The SEC boss listed others initiatives being promoted by the commission to improve the market’s efficiency to include the e-Dividend Mandate Management System, establishment of Complaint Management Framework, transaction cost reduction, implementation of the direct cash settlement and the introduction of non-interest capital market products.

In addition, she explained that the Commission had also put in place a strong investor protection machinery, including surveillance mechanisms to detect possible suspicious trading/market manipulation activities, with severe sanctions on infractions of securities laws.

Uduk said: “The implementation of this regime has led to the closure of various Ponzi schemes as well as the recovery of millions of naira belonging to innocent investors.

“SEC champions zero tolerance on infractions and we have a range of sanctions depending on the level of infraction and how egregious the breach is, ranging from warnings, fines, suspensions, withdrawal of registrations and jail terms.

“The idea is to improve transparency in the market and ensure that investors are safe”, the investment expert assured.

Commenting, the representative of JP Morgan, Nick Long, expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Nigerian capital market, adding that it is one of the reasons why it continues to attract international investors.