By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Executive Commissioner Operations for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Dayo Obisan, has disclosed that the agency was working tirelessly to ensure that investors identify genuine investment opportunities through investor education programmes.
Speaking during one of such workshops for staff of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Abuja on Wednesday, the capital market expert said the commission was worried about the activities of Ponzi scheme operators, who he said are taking advantage of the poor knowledge of the public in the market to dupe them.
However, he assured that the organisation would continue to deploy its enforcement mechanisms, including collaboration with other relevant government agencies and stakeholders, to tackle the menace.
Mr Obisan, who was represented by the Director of the Market Development Department, Mr Nestor Ikeagu, said these promoters of these unscrupulous schemes pose as operators in the capital market to defraud investors of their money with mouth-watering promises of return on investments.
“This has made it difficult for investors to differentiate between genuine and false investment opportunities. The activities of these Ponzi scheme promoters have posed a huge challenge to the commission. In combating them, we are working in collaboration with other agencies to nip their activities in the bud.
“Also, the commission is working tirelessly to ensure investors are aware of these nefarious activities through investor education programmes. We urge the FRSC to partner with us in the fight against Ponzi schemes by reporting to the SEC anytime such activities are noticed. We can be reached via www.sec.gov.ng, +234-094621168 and the SEC social media handles,” he stated.
He expressed the hope that the programme will give participants an overview of the capital market and afford them the opportunity to learn how to invest in the Nigerian capital market, including Collective Investment Schemes being managed by professionals, in addition to exposing participants to the activities of Ponzi schemes and how to identify them.
The Executive Commissioner disclosed that the SEC has a dual mandate to regulate and develop the Nigerian capital market that is fair and orderly, and engenders investor confidence adding that a key aspect of the SEC’s market development role is enlightenment and investor education.
In his remarks, the acting Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Mr Dauda Biu, stated the importance of officers of the corps being financially literate.
Represented by Corps Commander, Mr Anume Osuamkpe, he said Nigerians would only be able to avoid fraudulent investment schemes if they have the requisite knowledge.
“This training is very important as it will enable staff of the FRSC to have knowledge of the workings of these fraudulent schemes and know how to avoid them.
“It will also help them know the products available in the capital market and aid them in taking decisions of how to invest their funds wisely,” he stated.
Mr Biu lamented that many Nigerians had lost huge sums of money to these Ponzi schemes as the operators approach victims with mouth-watering offers that are sometimes too difficult to resist.
“But with programmes like these, Nigerians will be able to know the right investments and how to access such investments in the capital market,” he added.