Stop this ego war


The face-off between the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC),Ms Arunma Oteh, and the National Assembly, in particular,the House of Representives, has gone truly ridiculous.  The recriminations and finger-pointing have deepened for some time now, with the House mounting  pressure on President Goodluck Jonathan to sack Oteh for “incompetence”.

The feud  took an unusual turn for the worse on December 20, when the National Assembly passed the 2013 federal budget with no allocation to SEC. The position of the House summarizes the unusual  development. The House had directed that “all revenues to SEC, including all fees received, fines, grants, budgetary provisions and all internally and externally generated revenues shall not be spent by SEC for recurrent or capital purposes or for any other matter, nor liabilities therein incurred except with prior appropriation and approval by the National Assembly”.

We consider the action of the National Assembly as cruel and an abuse of legislative powers. The aim of this rather harsh decision is obvious: to cripple the operations of SEC by starving it of funds, arm-twist the president and put him under intense pressure to relieve Oteh of her post as SEC D-G.  By all accounts, the entire saga and role of the National Assembly and the relentless pressure on the president to sack Oteh  culminating in the zero allocation to SEC is a blackmail to undermine the constitutional power of the president to appointment any Nigerian to any position he deems fit. Neither the Senate nor the House of Representatives is in a better position to determine the competence or otherwise of a person so chosen by the president.

If we may ask: is it not the same National Assembly that endorsed Oteh’s appointment in the first place? Plainly,the face-off is an ego contest, and we find no lofty principle in this ego fight. Way back in early March 2012 when the SEC D-G revealed that a member of the House and erstwhile chairman of the House Committee on Capital Market, Hon. Herman Hembe, requested and received the sum of N10 million from SEC supposedly for a seminar abroad, there had been no love lost between her and the House.

We believe however that this matter can be resolved, provided the lawmakers can be circumspect enough and realize that SEC is not about Oteh. We urge the House to have a re-think as its action would terribly hurt investors’ confidence and incapacitate the power of SEC as the regulatory authority of the capital market.

To continue to insist that Oteh must go will be most unfair when a reputable firm of external auditors of PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwhC)had exonerated her of any impropriety leveled against her. It will be recalled that Oteh was suspended by SEC board on June 12,but was recalled by government in a circular dated July 17,2012 signed by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF),Anyim Pius Anyim. This was  after the investigation by Pwch C. All in all, it is about time to bring this ego contest to an end so that confidence which is the cutting edge in the capital market can return.

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  1. Devoid of prejudice and other extraneous reasons, If it is true that Arumah Oteh is not qualified to be DG of SEC, it is high time she goes. Playing politics with the capital market is not healthy for the financial sector.

  2. Devoid of prejudice and other extraneous reasons, If it is true that Arumah Oteh is not qualified to be DG of SEC, it is high time she goes. Playing politics with the capital market is not healthy for the financial sector, but most importantly, the national economy that is already battered.

  3. This has nothing to do with competencies, and even if, how many the so called members of the house are competent? It is just because the woman has refused to do business with them as usual. Unfortunately, these so called law-maker are bunch of crooks and criminals.

    • @ Ayo Awa thank you and thats the major problem. They should leave this woman alone. Just because she refused to dance to their music period. NASS are bunch of criminals, and Armed Robbers, Obj said it.

  4. Head or tail, Oteh is the winner. Even if she is removed from the sec, she would only be redeployed to another govt agency, with her head high. If the representa-thieves can make a law banning her being posted to another agency, then, and only then would they evade the shame.

  5. I wonder wat those law makers(Reps)think they are by frustrating mr GEJ and pushing him hard.Wat business do this law makers(Reps)has in making sure that mr GEJ sack his minister?

  6. What is the big deal if the woman resigns? Why all these ‘hullabaloo’ as they use to say? Are we saying the woman is bigger than the national assembly? What is the special thing about her and the post she is holding, that the presidency is clinching to her tenaciously against the recommendations of the national assembly? Are we saying without her the SEC will collapse? Was she not the same woman that some SEC members of staff demonstrated against her reinstatement? I am at loss. Please let someone help me out!

  7. The house members are bunch of criminals. They should face Hembe for now and ask him to resign. Unless this happens, you house members will end up shooting yourself in the leg and remaining glory will be completely lost. I advice you thieves leave this woman alone to do her job. Your selfishness is derailing the Capital market in Nigeria. Do not forget there are many areas the Presidency can fund the operations of SEC. Fools. Hembe is bent on using you to save his battered face.

  8. Senathieves and representathieves. what do u expect from them! Hypocrites all over the place. These are the same pple who pretend to be for the masses by attacking and oposing d president. Pls tell me hw many bils they have passed to justify d milions they colect every month. Their action has clearly shown those who love and suport coruption. GEJ shd leave Oteh. When SEC dies we knw those who killed it. What a country!

  9. This has gone to prove dat our lawmakers have lost every sense of competency and duty. Wat nonsense majoring on de minor and minoring on de major. Dis is sheer misuse of power. If she had been audited and not found guilty den why calling for her head? Pls deal with issues and not on personalities. Why is mr president being bottled up? Let him use his presidential powers to dowse dis tension.

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