The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has called for severe sanctions against fraudulent stock market players as part of measures to strengthen the country’s financial market.
Mr. Dogara made the call at the opening of the Forum on the Capital Market and Nigeria’s Economy, held in Abuja on Monday.
According to him, severe penalty had become imperative given that Nigeria was in dire need of investors to diversity its ailing economy.
On its part, Mr. Dogara said the House of Representatives had initiated legislation to effectively regulate the stock market to ensure the safety of investors’ funds.
“We strongly believe that the capital market is a major tool for wealth creation and mobilisation of funds to grow and diversify the Nigerian economy,” the speaker said.
“We want to emphasise that any proposed legislation must find a way to protect ordinary Nigerians – some of whom have invested their life savings in the market – from fraudulent market players.
“Many Nigerian’s have tales of woes from the irresponsible activities of these unscrupulous stakeholders in the market. The recent sanction on some stock brokers and market players is, therefore, a step in the right direction.”
Mr. Dogara stressed that the nation’s capital market offered the best opportunity to diversify the economy by attracting fresh funds and for investment portfolio.
While expressing confidence that the stock market could provide the needed platform to revamp Nigeria’s economy, he said the House of Representatives was ready to contribute its quota, to check the drift in the sector.
Considering the country’s growing population as well as its human and material resources, the capital market could do better in terms of depth, breadth, size, liquidity and access to investment opportunities.
“At the heart of these questions must be the realisation that ‘the deep calls unto deep.’ Anything of valour is never found on the surface. Concomitantly, for our market to deliver its full potentials, it must be deepened. This, I believe is the major challenge before all of us here today,” he said.
“As major stakeholders in the Nigerian-project, the National Assembly strongly believes that a pro-active engagement and collaboration between the legislature, the executive and organised private sector, will help to achieve the economic potentials of the Nigeria’s capital market.”
He, therefore, urged all interests in the country’s financial sector to close ranks and work to rescue the market from recession .
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