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IST chairman canvasses stable stock market law


Chairman of Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST), Isaiah Idoko-Akoh

The Chairman, Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST), Siaka Isaiah Idoko-Akoh, has appealed to lawmakers at the National Assembly to enact a sustainable law for the capital market.

The Chairman’s appeal was contained in a presentation at the public hearing on a “Bill to Amend the Investments and Securities Act (ISA 2007) and Matters Connected Therewith,” hosted by the Senate Committee on Capital Market.

He also appealed to other stakeholders like the regulators, self-regulatory organisations (SROs), shareholders, investors, and market operators to share in the responsibility for an enduring legislation.


Idoko-Akoh was quoted in a statement by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, IST, Kenneth Ezra, as saying: “We make this call bearing in mind the acrimonious disagreements that arose during the amendments to the ISA (1999), when each of the capital market institutions preferred to preserve its individual corporate interests.”

He added that ever since the enactment of the ISA 2007, the CEOs, Boards and Managements of the stakeholder agencies have been changed many times over.

“But the market is still there. Therefore, the challenge before all of us today is to come out with a law that will promote the market beyond our present tenures,” he stated.

He commended the present crop of managers, whose initiatives have led to the establishment of new exchange intermediaries like the Financial Markets Dealers Quotes (FMDQ OTC), and the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD).

He noted that there was still a lot of room to deepen the market, and enhance its contribution to the national gross domestic product (GDP).
Recommending changes to the draft amendment bill, which was put together by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and some industry nominees when the IST was dissolved and remained inactive for two years, the Chairman said the draft Bill was lopsided.

He appealed to the lawmakers to take notice of the views of the IST on areas affecting it because the Tribunal wears the shoes and feels the pinches.

“The Investments and Securities Tribunal is the brain-child of the SEC, market operators and investors in their desire to see a market environment free from operational and legal disabilities. Over the past fifteen years, the IST has lived up to its mandate even in the face of very daunting challenges.

“As the first specialised court for the capital market in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Tribunal has been adjudged as highly innovative and earned positive commendation by global players like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Steve Oronsaye Panel on the re-organisation of Federal Government Agencies and Parastatals emphasized the essential nature of the Tribunal. Here and there, calls are being made for the establishment of Special Courts in other areas of our national life.”

He however said in practical terms, there has not been strong commitment to the need to effectively fund the Tribunal.

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