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Friday, December 22, 2017


       Though, i am not depending Gwarzo here, but history always repeat itself. In the recent past Ndidi Okereke as the then head of Nigerian stock exchange (NSE) manipulated the then SEC DG Alfaki, while another woman Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala tried the same trick with former SEC DG Ms Aruma Ote. Today another woman Kemi Adeosun, who is current finance minister, is on course to manipulate SEC, so the argument goes. Is SEC really independent? All the three women mentioned have one thing in common, powerful men behind them. This is the case of Politics meeting corruption! Since the return to democracy in 1999, SEC has never been out of controversy despite its importance as the regulator of our capital market. In a period when the Nigerian stock exchange has achieved its highest recovery since 2014, this is what investors least expect; not for an economy that is trying to make it way out of recession. Nigerian stock exchange, considering its importance as the gateway through which foreign investors invest their money in Nigerian economy, received the news of this debacle negatively. Thus, the quick resolving of this mess is of utmost importance for Buhari administration considering the looming election coming in 2019 and the need to fulfill campaign promises that goes with it. Some commentators have linked the sacking of Mallam Munir Gwarzo to nepotism, the need for South West region of Nigeria to protect one of it own: Oando Nigeria Plc. The godfather of South west politics Bola Tinubu’s connection to Oando's MD, being an uncle to Wale Tinubu, complicated the matter. But whether Tinubu has hand in this debacle or not we are all in this, as it matters very well to the health of Nigerian economy. This administration must do all it can to avoid sending negative signals of absence of transparency in managing Nigerian capital market. 

          Gwarzo has presided over a period with some level of reforms aim at returning the institution back to its core mandate. He has also tried to link the institution with the academia by mean of inviting academic researches and other inputs in this area. In line with this, SEC established it own academic journal just like CBN has academic journals to help its operations. But, the corruption charges against Gwarzo if proven will damage his argument of him being targeted by the minister for not doing her bidding. But, the fear in some cycle that Gwarzo's corruption charges will scarce away foreign investors is overblown. The charges label against Oando will have far greater impact on foreign investors decision to invest in Nigeria than that of Malam Munir Gwarzo. Though, both of them if proven to be correct are entirely wrong and damaging to  the reputation of Nigerian capital market. Thank God, authorities in South Africa are also proving the same company concerning allegation of market manipulation. We wait to see the outcome of both investigations. If Gwarzo is merely using the Oando issue to hide his own corrupt involvement, an impartial investigation will prove that at the end and he shall be punished according to the law. While if Oando is also found to be guilty of the allegations against it, it shall also be punished without fear of any political repercussions. Doing this is the only thing that will give both local and international investors confidence of this government promise to secure their investments in Nigerian capital market. Without this the promised war against corruption by Buhari government will turn out to be a mere joke. If the minister of finance is found to have taken side in this matter as alleged in some quarters, Buhari shall also punish her or else the general public will see it as if Buhari is protecting his appointees, just like he was accused of in the case of former secretary to the government of the federation, Mr Babachir Lawan.