COVID-19: SEC in lockdown mode for capital market activities 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has suspended the registration of prospective capital market operators till further notice.

The commission also introduced electronic filing and processing of applications by Capital Market Operators (CMOs) in response to the effect of COVID-19.

A statement by Efe Ebelo, the Head, Corporate Communications of SEC, in Abuja on Tuesday, said the interim market-focused adjustments would mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on capital market operations.

Ebelo said the commission has also extended its deadline on 2019 annual reports and Q1 2020 reports as well as postponed the Q1 Capital Market Committee meeting earlier scheduled for April 23.

In furtherance of its role as the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, SEC has issued an advisory that would mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on capital market operations.

“It is important to note that the foregoing guidelines are not exhaustive”, Ebelo stated.

This represents an outline of immediate actions the commission considers necessary to sustain the actualisation of its regulatory mandate and maintain the integrity of the Nigerian capital market during this challenging period.

Accordingly, the commission will continue to issue updates to market stakeholders as appropriate, she said.

Ebelo stated that the commission will continue to closely coordinate with other financial regulators and government authorities.

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“The commission advised public companies to take appropriate precautionary measures as recommended by the Federal and State Governments and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure the safety of shareholders”, Ebelo added.

SEC enjoined all capital market stakeholders to adhere to all recent directives on safety and social distancing.

She said the commission would therefore focus on ensuring that the continuity of its operations; monitoring market functions and systemic risks; providing regulatory flexibility, guidance to issuers and relevant enforcement actions.

COVID-19: SEC in lockdown mode for capital market activities