Nigeria’s apex capital market regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decried the upsurge in activities of fraudulent finance and investment schemes, known as Ponzi schemes.
Deputy Director and Head External Relations Department of the SEC, Mr. Mohammed Waziri said that the menace of Ponzi scheme has been prevalent in recent times especially with the use of social media.
He however assured that SEC is committed to ensuring that Nigerians do not continue to lose money to these illegal operators.
He said that SEC is ready to collaborate with relevant stakeholders in its drive to ensure that illegal fund managers are not allowed to thrive in the country.
Waziri spoke during a meeting with Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria yesterday in Lagos.
”There has been an upsurge in the activities of these illegal fund managers and this has led to Nigerians losing their hard earned monies to these schemes. We will continue to educate and enlighten Nigerians on the need to patronage only operators that are registered by the Commission. There are numerous products in the capital market that Nigerians can patronise and get the benefits of their investemnts.
“The list of all registered capital market operators can be found on the SEC website and those are the people members of the public should do business with. Anyone coming to you promising unreasonably high return on investment and is not registered with the Commission, we are urging Nigerians not to patronage those people.
“Ensure that they are registered with the Commission and also check that they are registered for that specific function they are marketing to you. On its part, the SEC ensures that only fit and proper persons are allowed to operate in the capital market,” Waziri said.
He noted that the Nigerian capital market is still evolving hence the need for all hands to be on deck to educate and guide investors which will in turn aid investor protection.
“At the SEC, we try to ensure that people play by the rules in a bid to making our market safe and fit for investment. We all know that it is only when investors trust our market that they will bring n their money, and this is one of the things we try to do at the Commission” Waziri said.
Waziri commended CRAN on its efforts in educating and enlightening the investing public especially on the danger of Ponzi schemes and added that more still needs to be done.
In his remarks, President of CRAN, Mr. Olalekan Olabuto expressed the readiness of the Association to partner with the SEC to further develop the economy of the country.
“We are available to provide assistance where necessary to the Commission in its quest to rid our financial space of Ponzi schemes and as well as educate Nigerians on the dangers of patronising such schemes,” Olabuto said.