By NGOZI Onyeakusi ——


The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today said it was perfecting arrangements through a pilot scheme that would ensure electronic circulation of annual reports to shareholders to save cost.

The Director-General, SEC, Mr Mounir Gwarzo made the disclosure at the 2017 second post-Capital Market Committee (CMC) news conference in Lagos.

He explained that getting the annual report before the annual general meeting would enable the shareholders study the report as well make necessary input during the meeting.

According to him, “Also discus the issue of submission of annual report and in the meeting, we have in attendance the leadership of shareholders associations and the secretaries of quoted companies, we had a robust discussion, some the shareholders were insisting on getting the annual reports but our argument was that the purpose of the annual report was the investors to have opportunity to review that document so that by the time you attend the AGM, you can make an informed decision and ask relevant questions.

And we know in this country investors get the annual reports even as AGM. So we agreed that as a pilot for the first one year, annual reports will be sent to all investor electronically and company secretaries have assured us that will try their best to get all the email addresses of all the investors. Some hard copies of the annual reports will be deposited to the shareholders associations so that any shareholder that intend to have a hard copy can have access to that. SEC will regularized the registration of all shareholders so as to make those are the ones that registered with us. On one the effort is to reduce the cost on the part of the company, they plough back the cost to the company so they will able to pay better dividend to their shareholders.
On the part of the investor, so the investor will have time to go through the annual report so as to ask relevant questions at the AGM”, he assured.

Speaking further, he noted SEC was set to promote enlightenment campaign in a bid to ensure that greater number of people participate in capital market business.
He stated that survey carried out in the market showed that greater number of younger generation did not have interest in the business.
Consequently he assured that SEC was set to include financial education to primary and secondary schools across the country.
Other areas to extend the campaign, he said was to the women folk who until now did not show great interest in investing in the nation’s bourse.