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SEC crisis: Reps ask Finance Minister, to maintain status quo on Gwarzo

…set to investigate allegations; probe TCN By Levinus Nwabughiogu ABUJA – House of Representatives on Tuesday resolved to probe all allegations of corruption in the Security and Exchange Commission, SEC which led to the suspension of its Director-General, Munir Gwarzo by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun. Suspended Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission boss, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo To this end, the House has asked the parties in the matter to maintain status quo pending the outcome of the investigation. The resolution was sequel to a motion raised under Matters of Urgent Public Importance titled “Need to intervene on the conflict between Minister of Finance and the Suspended Director-General, Security and Exchange Commission”, sponsored by Hon. Diri Douye representing Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma of Bayelsa State Douye in the motion canvassed that there were allegations of interference by the ministry of finance in the discharge of responsibility by SEC, particularly the Oando Forensic Audit Matter which was largely responsible for the DG’s suspension. He called the House to investigate the matter to ascertain the through situation in the Commission. He said: “The House notes the conflict between Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun and the suspended Director-General, Security and Exchange Commission, SEC, Munir Gwazo over Oando’s Forensic Audit and corruption allegations “Still notes that the conflict has led to the suspension of the DG, SEC, alongside Head, legal Department and Head, Media on the 29th November, 2017. It has also led to the setup of an Administrative Panel of Inquiry and appointment of Ag DG by the Minister of Finance “Equally notes that the conflict has been allegedly lingered for several months between Ministry of Finance and Securities and Exchange Commission but the matter of Oando disagreement brought it into public domain. “Also observes that the intervention by the House will put the matter into proper perspective and amicable resolution of the conflict in order to protect the image of the security and exchange commission in the interest of both local and foreign investors.” Contributing to the motion, Hon. Toby Okechukwu (Enugu State) said that the rot SEC apparently contributed to the collapse of the capital market in Nigeria. “What is happening in the SEC is symptomatic of the collapse of capital market. I wouldn’t know why infractions should be swept under the carpet. The Nigerian people should be told why the infractions of Oando will be swept under the carpet. Nigerians should know why the minister cannot be investigated. Nigerians should know why the DG was sacked. A total panel of inquery is needed in SEC”, he said Also speaking, Hon. Sanni Kaita (Katsina State) said that the Commission was too sensitive and important to be left be unattended. “SEC is very sensitive and very important to Nigeria and the international community. Should we allow the investigation to go on without knowing what happened?” Securing the nod of the House when the motion was put to a voice vote, the presiding officer, Speaker Yakubu Dogara adhered to its prayer of mandating the Committee on Capital Market and Institutions to investigate all allegations and report to the House within two weeks. Similarly, the House also mandated its Committee on Power to immediately investigate the interim management of Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN for the delay in the execution of US$300 million Nigeria Electricity and Gas Improvement Project, NEGIP. The decision followed a motion titled “Transmission Company of Nigeria Management and the Future of the Electric Power Sector Reforms in Nigeria: The Urgent Need to Facilitate Swift Action in the Management of TCN Through Investigation” sponsored by Hon. Abubakar Ahmed from Gome State. Moving the motion earlier, Ahmed expressed worry that the TCN has not been able to implement the NEGIP project over time He said: “The House is concerned that there was negotiation between TCN and the World Bank of the sime of US468 million IDA for the proposed Nigeria Electricity Transmission Project (NETAP) scheduled for August 29 which had been postponed due to changes made to the staffing of the Project Management Unit (PMU) for World Bank assisted projects in the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). “Worried that due to the non compliance of the interim managing Director/CEO of TCN of the changes to the PMU will not only affect the future projects but may also impact negatively on the implementation of the ongoing projects, i.e the US$300 million Nigeria Electricity and Gas Improvement Project (NEGIP) technical assistance activities in NEGIP to support the power sector recovery programme.

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