23 December 2012

Nigeria: FG Names New Board for SEC, Silent On Oteh's Fate

Amidst the combative posture of the National Assembly towards the current management of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Government Saturday reconstituted the board of the commission, naming former managing director of the defunct Spring Bank, Dr. Suleyman Ndanusa as chairman.

The appointment was contained in a statement signed by Special Adviser to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu.

However, the statement was silent on the fate of the embattled Director-General of the commission, Mrs. Arunma Oteh, who has been having a running battle with the two chambers of the National Assembly.

"In line with the provisions of Section 5 of the Investment and Securities Act 2007, President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the appointment of the following members of the board of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)" the statement said.

Apart from Ndanusa, who is representing the North-central zone, other members of the board of SEC named in the statement include Mallam Mounir Haliru Gwarzo from North-west as Executive Commissioner; Mrs. Sa'adatu Mohammed Bello from North Central as Executive Commissioner and Rt. Hon. Zakawanu Imhobobho Garuba from South South zone as Executive Commissioner.

Other board members include Barrister Adefunke Abiodun from South-west as Non-Executive Commissioner and Mr. Ugochukwu Ikemba from South-east who is also Non-Executive Commissioner. The House of Representatives last week ordered the withholding of funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, as it passed the 2013 budget alongside the Senate, insisting the SEC boss, Arunma Oteh, be removed.

A clause to that effect has been inserted into the budget just passed. But the Constitution gives SEC fiscal autonomy like the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission meaning they don't need approval from the National Assembly to have a budget.

The lawmakers warned that they will press for the implementation of an earlier decision of the House which recommended Ms. Oteh's sack. Ndanusa, the new chairman, served as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Spring Bank Plc until December 2008. He began his banking career in the Continental Merchant Bank of Nigeria (CMBN) as a Deputy Manager of Credit & Marketing in 1987.

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