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Stocks: Senate moves to regulate capital market

The Senate on Wednesday threw its weight behind moves to regulate the practice of share registration in Nigeria.

This followed its decision to refer a bill titled; “A Bill for an Act to establish the Chartered Institute of Capital Market Registrars to regulate and control the practice of share registration and for related matters, 2008,” to its committee on Capital Markets for further legislative action.

Chief sponsor of the bill, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, in his lead debate said “The role of registrars in capital market and indeed the economy is crucial.

“It is, therefore, the thinking of the committee that records of investors and their investments must be handled by qualified and tested professionals so as to ensure adequate protection, transparency, guard against fraud and enhance the standard of service delivery in the market in line with international best practices.”

According to him, the registrar is expected to be a manager of resources, an accountant, a computer specialist, stockbroker and industrial relations expert.

This, he said, meant that the practice of share registration was demanding and needed specialised skills and tools that cut across so many other professions.

Senator Abubakar Sodangi said, “It is important in the sense that in a developing economy like ours, and even in the developed economies of the western world, our capital market is the harbinger of economic growth and I believe we need this thing. Apart from that, I believe this is a good bill.”

He, however, complained about problems associated with the distribution of share certificates and receipt of dividends for shares bought by investors.

Senator Mohammed Mohammed said, “This regulation is welcomed. When companies started being quoted on the stock exchange there were very few registrars at that time and the registrars were the banks, which started to take up the jobs of registrars.”—Punch

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