The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stated that the commission is currently working with relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that illegal investment outfits and their promoters face the full wrath of the law.
Acting Director General of SEC, Ms Mary Uduk who stated this in an interview at the weekend, said the commission is stepping up its regulatory oversight to ensure that promoters of ponzi schemes are handed over to the relevant law enforcement agencies to protect investors in the capital market.
She said: “Once we have information of anyone engaging in illegal fund management business, our enforcement department in partnership with our police unit, shuts them down while promoters are handed over to the relevant law enforcement agencies for further actions
” Ponzi scheme is prohibited by the provisions of Section 38(1) of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 2007, it does not allow people that are not registered by the SEC to collect money from the public. It is illegal and that is why we keep warning the public about the dangers of these outfits.”
According to Uduk, the capital market has been properly positioned to attract both domestic and foreign investors, as well as and provide benefits for their investment.
“There are new products coming up every day in the Nigerian capital market. We have a lot of ethical funds, one of the safest areas to invest in is in Mutual Funds, Collective Investments Schemes and we encourage Nigerians to be part of these and others.”
Uduk said the SEC is presently undertaking various initiatives to make the capital market user-friendly such that people can participate in it with greater ease, comfort and convenience.
“The purpose is also to ensure that investors do not fall victims to the antics of fraudsters who purport to be able to double any amount of money you make available to them as investment value.
“People need to know that it is easy to open a money market account and a mutual fund account. We want the market to be easier, more accessible and we also want to have more products.
” We want a deeper market and we believe that with these combinations, we will reduce the number of ponzi schemes coming up and reduce the number of investors putting their money into ponzi schemes.”
Recall that the commission last week released a list of 12 unlawful/unlicensed investment schemes which are: Loom Nigeria Money, Box Value Trading Company Ltd, Now-Now Alert, Flip Cash Investment, Result Investment Nigeria Limited, Helping Hand and Investment and No Failure Development and Empowerment Nig. Ltd
Others are “MBA Forex and Investment Ltd, Federate Investors Trading Company, Jamalife Helpers Global Ltd, Flexus Global Solutions and Investment Ltd, United Capital Investment Company Limited”.
The commission informed members of the public that by virtue of the provisions of Section 38(1) of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 2007, only persons registered with the Commission can engage in capital market activities, thus making the actions of these entities listed above unlawful.
“Consequently, the general public is hereby advised to refrain from investing in any scheme of the entities listed above, and WARNS that any person who invests in an unlicensed/unlawful scheme does so at his own peril.
The Acting DG said the listed outfits are not registered to carry out fund management functions of any sort, stressing that those who stubbornly patronize them would end up burning their fingers.
She urged the public to desist from investing in such schemes, insisting that whoever subscribes to these illegal fund management outfits does so at its own risk.