Shareholders express concern over arbitrary fee increases by SEC

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Investors in the Nigerian capital market have expressed concern over increase in fees payable by quoted companies and other entities to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The shareholders under the aegis of Issuers and Investors Alternative Dispute Resolution Initiative (IIADRI), said that such increases, without due consideration to the economic situation, is capable of stifling growth not just in the capital market but in the economy as a whole. Some of the fee that the SEC effected increase in, according to a statement titled “Outrageous increase in fees charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission,” signed by the association’s Chairman, Moses Igbrude, and the Secretary, Sebastian Udoh, included filing fees for proxy materials, which was increased to N500,000  from N50,000.

Others are registration of a broker which was increased to N5 million from N500,000 as well as the registration of underwriters and issuing houses that were also increased in similar manner like that of the broker.

They said: “Issuers and Investors Alternative Dispute Resolution Initiative (IIADRI), considers these increases as not only astronomical, punitive, inconsiderate and outrageous but also an attempt to stifle, repress, suppress, restrain and hinder growth in the country at a time when the economic indices are at the lowest and the enabling environment or infrastructure are almost non-existent.

“As  an organization formed to protect the companies and investors, IIADRI, condemns this arbitrary and unilateral increase in fees and calls upon the management of SEC to revert to the status quo for the interest of shareholders and Nigerian companies, all of whom are currently struggling to break even and their shareholders.”

(Vanguard)

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