By Goddy Egene – ThisDay
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has advised general public to beware of illegal operators and promoters of ponzi and other fraudulent schemes in the financial markets.
In a notification on its website, the capital market regulator urged investors to exercise utmost caution and conduct adequate due diligence before they patronise any financial product or scheme in the capital market.
According to the commission, investors should seek professional advice and check the commission’s website to confirm the registration status of company/individuals marketing any products to them before taking a decision to invest.
“Please be further advised that while the commission is under a duty to protect investors, a duty which it has continued to discharge, such duty does not include recovering funds for investors who against reason and public notices such as this, invest in products promoted by unregistered/unregulated entities. At best, the commission will work with law enforcement agencies to bring promoters of such schemes to book and no more,” SEC said.
The regulator explained that Section 38(1) of the Investments and Securities Act, 2007 requires any person who intends to operate as a professional in the capital market or carry on securities business to be registered by the commission before engaging in such activities, declaring “It is therefore illegal to carry on any kind of capital market business without registration or to patronize such person.”
“In view of the above, the general public is hereby warned that any person dealing with any such persons in any capital market/investment related business is doing so at his/her own risk,” SEC said.
Meanwhile, the commission has expressed its readiness to collaborate with various grassroots groups in its financial literacy campaign. This, according to the commission, is in a bid to ensure that Nigerians in the rural areas are effectively sensitised on the benefits of investing in the capital market.
Acting Director General of SEC, Ms Mary Uduk, stated this during a meeting with executive members of National Youths Initiative for Peace and Governance (NYIPG) in Abuja recently.
Uduk, who was represented by Acting Executive Commissioner Corporate Services, Mr. Henry Rowlands said: “ We are delighted at the various sensitisation you have carried out to enlighten the people in your region on the need to engage in meaningful vocations. When someone is fully engaged, he will work for the peace of the country as he would not want any activity that would destroy his business. The SEC as part of its market development mandate would like to partner with you to educate the people on the best ways to invest these money they are making from their businesses.”