SEC, ICPC Inaugurate Anti-corruption Unit to Boost Capital Market Integrity

Culled from Thisday,

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Tuesday inaugurated the Anti-corruption and Transparency Monitoring Unit (ACTU) in the former  to boost integrity as well as enhance transparency in its operations. Speaking at the launch in Abuja, the acting Director General, SEC, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, said the event represented a landmark commitment to build a capital market anchored solidly on integrity. “I must therefore commend our staff who worked tirelessly with the ICPC for the actualisation of a vibrant unit within our institution that will enhance transparency,” he said.

Represented at the occasion by Mrs. Mary Uduk, Gwarzo added that “the unit will be allowed to function with the required level of autonomy liaising directly with my office to give its operations more teeth.  We shall adequately equip the unit with the necessary resources to perform within the provisions of the ICPC Act, 2000. To this effect, an ACTU desk officer, Mr. Nuhu Gabriel, who is to serve as primary liaison officer between the commission and ICPC has also been appointed by SEC. The SEC acting boss said fighting corruption and institutionalising transparency had become a goal that both the SEC and ICPC collectively share.

He said: “As apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, we demand the highest levels of transparency from entities we regulate, we therefore hold ourselves to similar standards in our own operations.  We have been a leading member of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Taskforce that led to the ultimate delisting of Nigeria from the grey list.
“We have learnt a valuable lesson in that process about the importance of synergy and partnership among government institutions.  That is the kind of partnership that I hope ACTU will facilitate between the SEC and the ICPC.”He also urged the staff of the commission to give the unit the maximum level of cooperation at all times. According to him: “We must see ourselves as critical parts of this important national objective to stamp-out corruption from our land.  Integrity and transparency are two attributes this unit is set up to enhance and they are equally important qualities of the kind of capital market we envision for Nigeria.  Let us therefore dedicate ourselves to ensuring its success.  The SEC ACTU should be the best among equals.” He added that motive for having ACTU domiciled within Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) had proved innovative and impactful as the decentralized approach would deepen a culture of transparency and compliance while helping the country eventually overcome the menace of public corrupt practices.

Also speaking at the ceremony, representative of the ICPC Chairman, Mr. Lawal Akeem maintained that  ACTUs are ICPC’s special vehicle designed to fulfill its mandate in the government’s MDAs. His, according to him would “ensure that MDAs are rid of corruption and to restore the values of integrity. Since its inception in 2001, ACTUs have done quite well in sanitising the work environment and ensuring that acts of corruption and impunity are minimised in government business.”

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