By Joshua Elekwachi, Abuja
The Federal Government has sworn-in Barrister Azi Amos Isaac, appointed for the first term of five years, and Barrister Nosa Smart Osemwengie, who has been re-appointed for the second term of four years, as the chairman and member of the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) respectively.
In an address by the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget And National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, on the occasion of the swearing–in in Abuja today, she said: “With your appointment, the tribunal now has a full complement of 10 members in line with the enabling law, the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), 2007. It is, therefore, my hope that all the members will justify the confidence reposed in them by President Muhammadu Buhari by diligently working together to discharge the responsibilities of the tribunal.”
Congratulating both of them for being found worthy by Mr. President to be appointed to the highly exalted positions, she also said, “Your appointments have come at a time when all hands are needed to build our economy. As you all may be aware, the IST was first inaugurated in December, 2002. It is a specialised fast-track court, established for the settlement of disputes in the capital market.”
According to Ahmed, the need for the tribunal became apparent because of the time-sensitive nature of capital market transactions which the regular courts could not cope with.
“The Tribunal is fashioned after world class tribunals like the Financial Services and Market Tribunal (FSMT) of the United Kingdom (UK) and the Market Misconduct Tribunal of Hong Kong. The core mandate of the tribunal is to conduct its proceedings speedily and to dispose of any matter brought before it within three months from the commencement of substantive hearing,” she also said.
Since its establishment, the tribunal, Mrs. Ahmed noted, has made some strides, particularly in its adjudicatory role which has gone a long way to sanitise the capital market and build investors’ confidence. Within its short time of its existence, in view of the dynamism in law, “the tribunal has reviewed its Procedure Rules with the publication of the IST (Procedure) Rules 2014. Also worthy of note is that the tribunal has partnered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to review the enabling law with the enactment of the ISA, 2007.
Besides, the tribunal has to its credit the publication of its Law Reports, ‘The Nigerian Investments and Securities Law Report (NISLR).’ The publication, in her views, has, in no small measure, enhanced capital market jurisprudence.
Recalling the challenges that affected the tribunal in the past, the Honourable Minister said: “Notwithstanding these commendable achievements, the tribunal has in the last five years suffered many setbacks due largely to poor administration. These setbacks have blurred, if not completely wiped out, whatever modest achievements the Tribunal might have recorded in its adjudicatory role. We may recall that in November, 2015, the Tribunal was dissolved and the Chairman and its members relieved of their jobs. A new panel of the tribunal, which includes many of the members here seated, was inaugurated in 2017.
“Again, barely two years into your tenure, the chairman of the tribunal was removed. The problems with the tribunal had been infighting amongst members, lack of industrial harmony and a series of complaints bordering on mal-administration. These have been the bane of the tribunal and source of embarrassment, not only to the ministry but the federal government,” she recalled.
In view of the challenges, Mrs. Ahmed, highlighting the chairman’s responsibility, stated: “Let me stress here, that the chairman’s responsibility is to provide good leadership that would galvanise the human and material resources at the tribunal’s disposal on the path of stability towards achieving its mandate in a consistent manner. I call on all members of the IST to cooperate with the new chairman, so that the vision of the tribunal which is ‘to be a world class capital market tribunal that is fair and transparent, dispensing justice without fear or favour,’ could be attained.
IATF2023 records $43.8bn closed deals
The African Export-Import Bank has disclosed that the third Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023) held in Cairo from 9 to 15 November witnessed the conclusion of business deals and transactions valued at US$43.8 billion.
In the final tallies released in Cairo, the organisers of the continental event said that the amount represented the value of 426 deals concluded in 21 sectors covering 52 countries. At a press conference to announce the results, Executive Vice President (Intra-African Trade Bank) at Afreximbank, Mrs Kanayo Awani, also announced that 130 countries participated in the trade fair, which attracted 1,939 exhibitors and 28,282 participants who attended physically and through the IATF virtual platform.
One of the notable transactions included the Export Agriculture for Food Security Framework executed by several African countries (as Origin Countries) and ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms, Arise IIP (as Anchor Investor) to which Afreximbank committed US$2 billion to boost production, processing, and intra-African trade in agricultural products and to provide African farmers and agribusinesses with opportunities to access larger markets across the continent.
Mrs Awani also said that the IATF had successfully established itself as the premier trade and investment event in Africa, with the unique capacity to increase intra-African trade and investment, especially in the context of implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.
“Building on the successes of IATF2018 and IATF2021, I am proud to say that the buzz and energy generated by IATF2023 will be felt across Africa and beyond for many years to come. Together, we have explored new possibilities and opened new doors for a brighter future for our continent,” she added.
IATF2023 kicked off on 9 November and included an official opening ceremony, a Presidential Summit which was addressed by President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi of the Arab Republic of Egypt, a Trade and Investment Forum, the Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX), an African Auto Forum, AU Youth Entrepreneurship Programme, a Sub-Sovereigns Conference, a Diaspora Summit, an African Industrialization Week and an African Tourism Sustainability and Investment Forum. A series of side events were also held as part of the trade fair.
The next edition of the IATF will be hosted in 2025 by Algeria.
Investors record positive gains, as NGXASI advance by 0.43%
Investors yesterday recorded positive gains on the Nigerian equities market following Monday’s losses.
According to data obtained from the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) website, the NGX Market CAP recorded a gain of N165.99 billion in Naira terms.
The NGX All-Share Index (NGXASI) also advanced by 0.43 percent, closing at 71,250.17 basis points, compared to the previous day’s loss of 0.66 percent, which closed at 70,946.83 basis points. With the growth, the NGXASI now stands at 39.02 percent.
The total volume traded also advanced by 20.93 percent to close at N433.57 million, valued at N11.11 billion and traded in 7,016 deals.
The Gate Index closed flat at 183.36, while the Toni index advanced by 0.27 percent to close at 375.28 basis points.
At the close of trading, the market recorded 40 gainers, 15 losers, and 64 unchanged. NSLTECH topped the gainers list, while ABBEYBDS topped the list of losers.
UACN was the most traded stock by volume with N61.71 million, while NIDF was the most traded stock by value with N2.22 billion units traded.
UACN also had the highest volume contribution with 14.23 percent, while UBA and GTCO followed closely.
According to the value chart, NIDF is at the top with a 20.0 percent contribution. AIRTELAFRI and MTNN followed closely behind.
SEC DG calls for multifaceted approach to enhance capital market growth
The Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Lamido Yuguda has called for a multi-faceted approach to enhance the growth of Nigeria’s capital market.
The SEC DG made this known while addressing journalists at the 2023 conference of the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) held in Lagos at the weekend.
According to Yuguda who was represented by the Executive Commissioner Operations, SEC, Mr Dayo Obisan, “Effectively harnessing the capital market for national development entails a multi-faceted approach, these include deploying more infrastructure, fostering more public-private partnerships, establishing specialised entities like special purpose vehicles (SPVs), listing state-owned enterprises, issuing green bonds to support sustainable projects, and bolstering small and medium enterprises among others.”
According to him, the revised capital market master plan underscored SEC’s commitment to deepening and. repositioning the financial market as a key driver of sustainable economic growth.
“The master plan which represents collective aspirations of the capital market community is focused on driving initiatives geared towards growing and deepening the market with the ultimate goal of accelerating the emergence of our dear country in the top 20 economies by the year 2025,” Yuguda said.
The SEC DG added that synergy holds the potential of unleashing capital market prowess and paving the way for a prosperous future.
According to him, achieving the objective necessitates an increased utilisation of market mechanisms and instruments to raise funds and stimulate economic advancement.
He pointed out that the commission would continue to introduce new ideas and policies that would support the development and regulation of a capital market that is dynamic, fair, transparent, and efficient to contribute to the nation’s economic development, noting that investors protection plays a crucial role in the development and integrity of the capital market.
Also speaking at the event, the Deputy Director, SEC Lagos Zonal office, Mr John Briggs, urged the government to create infrastructure financing instruments that would facilitate easy servicing of obligations.
“We have encouraged a lot of infrastructure funds like sukuk, and green bonds and we are even talking about blue bonds to develop the market.”
“The capital market has created the conducive environment to ensure a transparent and dynamic market which would continue to attract investment,” he said.
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