New SEC DG vows to tackle double taxation at NSE

The newly appointed Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Mary Uduk, has vowed to tackle the problem of double taxation at the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Uduk said that it would no longer be business as usual, as she was prepared to deal with the incidence of double taxation at the
NSE.

The new SEC boss, who spoke on the sidelines of the First Capital Market Committee 2018 programme over the weekend in Lagos, said that some companies had complained of tax issues, and gave the assurance that the commission would engage the government to address the anomaly.

She said that the committee would come up with recommendations.

“If they are regulatory issues – more rule amendment – we are open to it, but our rules must be in line with international best practices,” the SEC boss said.

Uduk lamented that the issue of double taxation had been leading to the delisting of companies that could not measure up with the listing rules, adding that de-listing by quoted companies posed a threat to the growth of the capital market.

The SEC boss said that the commission mandated the committee to come up with strategies aimed at tackling de-listing and boosting listing of more multinationals.

She added that some highly capitalised companies had delisted, thereby, affecting the growth of the market.

According to her, the committee will meet with the stakeholders and find out why they had been delisting as well as discuss with eligible ones on why they had yet to be listed.

The acting director-general said that forbearance window for investors with multiple accounts and subscriptions had been extended to September 2018.

She noted that during the market boom, some investors bought shares with different names, which they had forgotten.

The SEC boss called on the affected investors to take advantage of the forbearance window to ratify their accounts.

On e-dividend, she said that the technical committee reported that the total and approved mandate currently stood at 2.5 million, translating into 466,000 unit investors.

Uduk said that the deadline for free e-dividend registration expired on March 31, but noted that an individual shareholder would now pay N150 per e-dividend upload.

She said the capital market was moving towards electronic Initial Public Offering (IPO), noting that the Nigerian capital market was working to adopt
the trend.

The SEC boss added that the IPO committee was set up on April 19 to work on modalities for the issuance of e-IPOs in the
country.

Uduk said that the committee comprised SEC, NSE, the Association of Stock Broking Houses of Nigeria, Association of Issuing Houses of Nigerian, CSCS, and the Institute of Capital Market Registrars and Fund Managers Association, among others.

She said that the committee was given a three-week timeline to work out the modalities, adding that a number of stakeholders had indicated interest in the issuance of e-IPOs and SEC would harmonise the reports and existing rules before its implementation.

She assured all investors and the capital market community that the new management would ensure continuity of existing policies, especially the Capital Market 10-year Masterplan.