N​igeria names n​ew ​head of Securities Commission

Arunma Oteh
Arunma Oteh

A new Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, was on Monday named.

He is Mounir Gwarzo, the incumbent Executive Commissioner (Operations) of the Commission, who is expected to perform in acting capacity till a substantive official is appointed.

The appointment of Mr. Gwarzo, followed the exit of Arunma Oteh, whose five years tenure at the capital market regulatory agency lapsed on Sunday.

The outgoing Director General, who named Mr. Gwarzo at the formal handover ceremony at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja, described her time at the helm of the Commission as “absolutely outstanding”.

Ms. Oteh’s spoke about the co-operation she received from every member of staff, saying when she joined SEC in January 2010, she was not only certain about its importance, but also what its role and agenda which was to have a vision “building a world class market” capital market operators, shareholders and other stakeholders were able to connect and align with, she said. She said her time was very rewarding.

What SEC was able to achieve, Ms. Oteh explained, was a foundation for the country to see a capital market that would help tackle its infrastructure challenges to help new and existing businesses raise capital.

“Our aim is to build a meritocracy for viable businesses to get funded, not necessarily the ones that have connections, so that we can also tackle some of what we are seeing in our world today, whether security challenges the country face or everyone else,” Ms. Oteh said.

Ms. Oteh joined SEC at a time the Nigerian capital market was grappling with global financial market crisis.

She was acknowledged to have contributed significantly to the effort to rescue the capital market from the losses as a result of the global financial crisis.

From a market capitalization of N4.99 trillion in January 2010 when she took over, various reform measures raised Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE capitalization to over N14 trillion in 2014.

Consequently, the market rating, which rose by 35 per cent in 2012 to about 47 per cent in 2013, was amongst the ten best performing markets in the world that same year.

Mr. Gwarzo, 50, was born in Kano and attended the Bayero University, Kano, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics in 1987.

In 1991, he ​​​attended ​University of Birmingham, United Kingdom where he obtained a post-graduate degree in Development Finance. An Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers; Mr. Gwarzo became a Fellow of the Institute in 2005.

He has worked in Nigerian Capital Market both as an operator and as a regulator developing a career spanning over 25 years.

The institutions he worked with include Ministry of Trade, Kano State; Nigerian Stock Exchange, Century Merchant Bank Limited, Empire Securities Limited, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and MTL Global Investment Limited.

He is married and widely traveled.

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