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Investors Protection Fund finally takes off

By on September 30, 2012

The recent inauguration of Dr. Gamaliel Onosode-led Board of Trustees of Investors Protection Fund (IPF) by the Nigerian Stock Exchange will not only rekindle investors’ confidence in the nation’s capital market, it will also fill the lacuna created by the absence of the fund five years after the take-off of the Investment and Securities Act on June 25, 2007, reports Festus Akanbi

Smarting from the recent crisis that rattled both institutional and local players in the nation’s capital market, the management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) appeared to be rising to the occasion these days with a number of initiatives being churned out in an apparent bid to restore investors’ confidence in the capital market. The 2008 capital market fiasco, which set the stage for investors’ apathy to equities and the attendant fall in market capitalisation of the NSE, was worsened by the management crisis, which culminated in a change of baton at the NSE.

Harvests of Policies
Among the series of policies that emerged was the collaboration between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), NSE and Bloomberg towards providing unparalleled global data, news and analysis in one comprehensive solution. The aim is to make the market very attractive and competitive in line with global standards. However, apart from looking for the internationalisation of the Nigerian capital market, the exchange appeared set to lure local investors back to the stock market by reconstituting the Board of Trustees of the Investors Protection Fund. The board, which is headed by foremost industrialist, Dr. Gamaliel Onasode, according to the Director-general of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, is to give investors a statutorily backed avenue for reducing the losses they suffer as a result of the bankruptcy, insolvency, negligence or wrongdoing of dealing members.

Addressing the board of trustees, Onyema said, “Our expectation is that you will hit the ground running because, as you will agree with us, this session is five years later than it ought to have been, given that the Investment and Securities Act came into force on June 25, 2007. The investing public is watching us and we should give them every comfort to say ‘it is not how soon but how well’. Therefore, we task the BoT to look for ways to modernise the IPF in line with global best practices, enhance the quantum of funds available in the IPF, and create clear guidelines for compensating legitimate claimants from the fund.” he said.

Part XIV of the Investment and Securities Act 2007 requires the stock exchange to establish and maintain an IPF. Apart from Onosode, other members of the board of trustees of the fund are made up of representatives of the stock exchange, shareholders, stockbrokers and registrars. The IPF, which had a balance of N625 million as at December 30, 2011, is meant to compensate investors who lose money as a result of the bankruptcy, insolvency, negligence or wrongdoing of stock-broking firms.
Meanwhile, capital market analysts said the composition of the IPF board members, who were picked from the camps of the shareholders, brokers, SEC and other stakeholders groups, will ultimately insulate prospective investors from loss of investment which usually occurs when stockbrokers run into trouble in the course of business.

Building Investors Confidence

They maintained that the fund headed by Onasode should not have problem rebuilding investors’ confidence given the calibre of members in the fund. It is obvious that this fact is not lost on the chairman of the board of trustees, Onosode, when he declared that the job of the fund is to help restore the integrity of the market especially in view of the loss of confidence over the past crisis in the nation’s capital market. According to him, the activities of the fund will help the exchange to grow, explaining that “Prospective investors dealing with stockbrokers will henceforth realise that they are not dealing with an unacceptable risks.” The IPF, according to him, will step in to give compensation to investor when he loses money in the course of dealing with his brokers or when disasters hit the brokers, pointing out that “It is therefore the responsibility of the fund to process all requests for compensation with absolute transparency and openness.” He emphasised that investor protection was one of the five pillars upon which the exchange’s transformation agenda was built.

The Team
Apart from Onosode and Onyema, other members of the BoT are Misan Kofi-Senaya, Kyari Bukar; Sola Abodunrin; Fubara Anga; Edosa Aigbekaen; Sam Onukwe and Umaru Modibo.

Gamaliel O. Onosode
Onosode is the founding President of the Association of Pension Fund and Investment Managers (now Association of Investment Advisers and Portfolio Managers). He is an alumnus of University College Ibadan (now University of Ibadan) where he graduated with a B.A (Hons) Classics. He won many departmental and faculty prizes at the school.
His professional and working career span both the private and public sectors. He was at various times with the Commonwealth Development Corporation as Management Trainee and Executive Assistant to the Regional Controller.

He was also Asst. General Manager Nigeria Housing Development Society Ltd. (now Federal Mortgage Bank), Asst. General Manager NIDB, Chairman and Chief Executive NAL Merchant Bank Plc. He had been and is still chairman and director of many business enterprises and philanthropic organisations. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and at a point Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, University of Uyo and University of Lagos. He was also awarded Honorary Doctor of Science by the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and University of Benin

Oscar Onyema
Onyema, the incumbent director-general of the Nigerian Stock Exchange is a computer engineer and finance expert. He replaces Mr. Emmanuel Ikazoboh, the interim administrator, appointed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Onyema holds a B.Sc degree in Computer Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria and an MBA, Finance and Investments, Ziklin School of Business, Baruch College, New York.

He served as Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Vice-President of American Stock Exchange. Onyema had also served as a primary liaison among various Amex operating divisions, trading floor community and external constituents. In addition, he was responsible for strategy and competitive analysis, membership and registration department and market data services department. Before joining Amex, Onyema worked at the New York Mercantile Exchange as Senior Analyst for Business Planning and Development. He also worked at DPMS (IBM Business Partner) as a Marketing Executive marketing IBM mid-range systems.

Misan Kofi-Senaya
Misan, a Fellow of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars, is also a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and Federation of International Women Lawyers. She has over 21 years experience in securities register/data administration business gained whilst with Centre Point and United Securities. She has considerable experience in securities register/data administration services, having managed all aspects of the business over the years.

Before joining GTB Registrars Limited as Registrar/CEO, she was the head of securities register/data administration of United Securities Limited from 1999 to 2005. Prior to this, she started off teaching law at the University of Ibadan, Law Faculty then practicing law for a year after which she joined Centre Point Securities Limited. She holds an LLB degree from Buckingham University, United Kingdom (1984) and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1986. She has attended numerous courses in share registration, handwriting and signature analysis as well as in other diverse areas such as export promotion and total quality management.

Kyari Abba Bukar
Bukar is the Managing Director, Central Security Clearing System (CSCS) and he took over from the pioneering chief executive of the company, Dr. Onyewuchi Asinobi, in March 2011.

Prior to joining CSCS, Bukar was the MD/CEO of Valucard Nigeria Plc where he was instrumental in turning around the company from a nil-profit-making entity to what could aptly be termed a highly profitable entity before his exit. Bukar previously spent 14 years working with Hewlett- Packard (HP); one of the world’s leading IT companies, where he garnered valuable experience having occupied several technical and senior positions among which are Research and Development Engineer, Manufacturing Development Engineer, Marketing Program Manager, Senior IT Consultant and Worldwide Technical Marketing Manager within the divisions of the company. Bukar also possesses a background in banking having had a stint working with FSB International Bank Plc (now Fidelity Bank Plc) as Executive Director in charge of Electronic Banking, Information Technology and Operations. He holds a B.SC degree in Physics from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and a Masters degree in Nuclear Engineering from the Oregon State University in the United States of America.

Olusola Abodunrin
Abodunrin, the Chairman, Ibadan Zone Shareholders Association, was picked to serve on the board of trustees of IPF obviously to represent the shareholders interests. Abodunrin, who is also a farmer, is on the audit committee of the board of some quoted firms. He is reputed to be a major voice among the shareholders.

Fubara Anga
A lawyer by profession, Anga, who is said to be qualified to practice law in three jurisdictions, has a strong multi-disciplinary background in law, economics, management and fiscal policy. His practice is in banking, finance and insurance, energy, aviation and maritime. He appears as counsel before all courts in Nigeria and has acted as a party-appointed arbitrator on several arbitration panels. He has been involved in project finance, banking and capital markets transactions for several years. Anga was the immediate-past chairman-Capital Markets Solicitors Association and Chairman of its Strategy and Remuneration Committee.

He obtained advanced certification in Project Finance from the CLDP and Eximbank (USA), in venture capital from the Venture Capital Institute – USA and in entrepreneurial development from the United Nations Centre for Transnational Corporations. Anga represents major state-owned and private oil and gas production, marketing and distribution companies in a range of matters. He acted for Dubri Oil in the first marginal field acquisition in Nigeria and advised on acquisition of first IPP at Egbin.

Edosa Aigbekaen
Aigbekaen is Deputy Director/Head, Legal Services, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He is representing the SEC on the board of IPF. He read Law from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife from 1981 to 1985.

Sam Onukwe
Sam Onukwe is the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Mega Equities Limited, a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Prior to this, he served as Assistant General Manager and Head of the Operations Group at Ivory Merchant Bank. Onukwe also served as Senior Partner of Ekwueme Onukwue & Co, Head of Nigeria Operations at Travelex Global, and Executive Director of Operations & IT at Citizen Bank/Spring Bank Plc. He served as a Director of Nigerian Wire and Cable Plc. He is an Associate of both the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers and the Chartered Institute of Taxation, and has been a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria since 2000. He is a graduate of Accountancy from Yaba College of Technology in 1984. He also holds an MBA in Banking & Finance from University of Lagos and an M.Sc. in Corporate Governance from Leeds Metropolitan University.


Source: This Day