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SEC suspends physical meetings amid COVID-19 second wave



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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has suspended all physical meetings and visits to its offices till further notice, owing to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is contained in a circular by the commission obtained by our reporter on Monday in Lagos, as it issued guidelines to regulated entities and capital market stakeholders.

In the circular, the SEC said the decision was to protect investors and not disrupt activities in the capital market noting that its operations would now become fully electronic.

The commission, which described the market-focused adjustments as temporary, encouraged capital market operators and other stakeholders to conduct meetings and other engagements virtually.

It also advised public companies to take appropriate precautionary measures as recommended by the federal and state governments as well as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

This is to ensure safety of shareholders and participants at their Annual General Meetings and Extra-Ordinary General Meetings and other meetings which might be held during the prevalence of the pandemic.

According to it, the adjustments became necessary to sustain the actualisation of SEC’s regulatory mandate and maintain the integrity of the Nigerian capital market during this challenging period.

“We will continue to issue updates to market stakeholders as appropriate and closely coordinate with other financial regulators and governmental authorities.

“For now, all applications should be made electronically to some dedicated email addresses,” it said.

The circular also advised that for the registration of funds and other relevant filings, a mail should be sent to [email protected]

The registration of securities, public offers, mergers and acquisition, debt issuances and others could be done to [email protected], with fresh applications for registration of capital market operators and pending applications and requests by CMOs for an update of information forwarded to [email protected]

“Fling of returns by public companies, can be sent to [email protected], while CMOs can send to [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected],” it stated.

It added that shareholders with 5 per cent and more stakes could file their returns to [email protected], while the AML/CFT could send to [email protected] and investors and CMOs who intended to file complaints to the commission could send a mail to [email protected] or fill the online complaint form on its website.

“The Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned that the country is on the verge of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All stakeholders in the Nigerian capital market are encouraged to adhere to all recent directives by the relevant agencies on safety and social distancing,” it added.

Itohan Abara-laserian

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