Advertisement

Katuka and the redemption of the capital market

BY GIDADO SHUAIB

With the recent appointment of Mallam Mairiga Aliyu Katuka, a long-standing insider in the financial services sector, as the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), by the Bola Tinubu administration, there is the very huge hope that many of the issues bedevilling the sector will be contained, if not permanently laid to rest.

As Nigeria’s leading financial market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s board that is now led by Katuka, also has Mr Emomotimi Agama as its director-general, and it has evolved over the years since its establishment in 1962, as an arm of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Commission, which was chartered by the Investments and Securities Act No 45 of 1999, had initially been known as the Security and Exchange Commission in 1977, before becoming the Securities and Exchange Commission by virtue of SEC Decree No. 71 of 1979.

Mallam Mairiga Aliyu Katuka, who was with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for over three decades, rising to the height of a director in the apex institution, the experiences of which helped secure his sound credentials as an accomplished executive in central banking and financial management, is a major player in the country’s financial landscape. These are experiences he is bring to bear on his newer remit in SEC. Notable for his leadership and team-building skills, Katuka is well versed in financial analysis, budgeting, and investment management, which are core areas of his expertise

Advertisement

The jury has been out and a bit vocal on many of the problems considered as afflicting the Nigerian capital markets, now directly under Katuka’s oversight, as including issues of inadequate regulation, the lack of transparency and accountability in much of the financial dealing, low investor confidence and participation, and insider trading coupled with market manipulation.

In addition to the foregoing, there have equally been the concerns around limited financial inclusion and access of small and medium-sized enterprises to the capital markets, alongside other marginalised groups, and political interference, in tandem with weak structures of corporate governance, etc.

Hence, at this point, there is the resurgence of expectations that much of the desirable reforms to the capital markets by the Securities and Exchange Commission, would find adequate consideration and expression with the incoming of the Mallam Mairiga Aliyu Katuka leadership. These include the strengthening of the regulatory framework to enhance transparency, accountability, and enforcement; and the greater push for the independence and autonomy of the SEC to whittle down political interference.

Advertisement

Saliently, there is greater hope for the protection of the rights and interests of investors; the implementation of technological upgrades to enhance the work of the Commission; capacity-building and welfare provisioning for the staff; the strengthening of enforcement and imposition of effective sanctions for non-compliance to the Commission’s regulations, among others.

In Katuka’s plans for the commission, he regards human resource development as critical, as he noted that: “We are already working on strategic plans for the capital market. To achieve these plans, we must have reliable manpower, and that’s why we are not going to overlook the manpower we have. Manpower is essential for achieving our goals. So, the greatest resource we have is human resources.”

And, in terms of reforming the SEC towards better performance, for Katuka, investor confidence in the Commission’s operations is very critical. As he put it, “building investor confidence means ensuring that the market is transparent, dynamic, and fair, so investors can invest without fear. We aim to create the credibility and integrity needed to restore investor confidence. We will also engage stakeholders, as their participation is crucial to our strategic plans.”

Born on 15 February, 1961 in Keffi, Nasarawa State, Mallam Mairiga Aliyu Katuka obtained a Higher National Diploma in Accounting from Federal Polytechnic, Bida, in 1985, after which he received a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello University in 2007. He has earned numerous professional qualifications and certifications, and is a Fellow of the Certified National Accountants of Nigeria (FCNA), while holding the membership of bodies including the Nigeria Institute of Management (MNIM) and the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Certified Fraud Investigators of Nigeria (CCrFA).

Advertisement

Katuka commenced his career as an Assistant Executive Officer in Accounts at the Public Complaints Commission in 1982; and he became a Higher Executive Officer in the Police Pay Office, Bauchi, as a staff of the Federal Ministry of Finance in 1987, following his National Youth Service at Esie-Iludun Grammar School in Kwara State.

Having resumed at the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1990, Mallam Mairiga Aliyu Katuka steadily rose to increased responsibilities across the portfolios of budget and investment management, financial forecasting, and internal controls. While, over his 31 years in the bank he served as the Secretary of CBN’s Committee and member of several key panels, he was equally known for being an active participant in the implementation of the Bank’s Oracle ERP application.

A life-long learner who is currently a PhD student of financial sector regulations at the Institute of Capital Market Studies at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Katuka has attended numerous prestigious capacity-building programmes in Leadership, Creativity and Peak Performance in Dubai (2021); Advanced Governance, Risk Management and Compliance in London (2019); and Corporate Financial Planning, Budgeting, and Control in London (2016), etc. These programmes have enabled his proficiency in governance and strategic financial management.

He is one who cares deeply about community service, whether in his work or natal environments, hence his years of service as President of the CBN Staff Co-operative Society, on the Board of Directors of Keffi Community/Microfinance Bank from 1998 to 2016, and as a significantly contributing member of the Keffi Development Foundation.

Advertisement

One hopes that as he steadily takes on and navigates the reins of leadership in the SEC, his would be a period of renewal and the ascendance of the mandate of the Commission as a durable institution of greater public service and relevance. He professed as much in his observation, that:

“One issue we have observed is the low awareness of SEC activities. This is an area we will focus on, ensuring Nigerians understand the functions of SEC. Not just in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Kano, but nationwide. SEC will help people understand the importance of the capital market and the benefits of investing in it. We are also working on financial inclusion. In this modern era, technology is integral to everything we do. As times change, we need to adapt. We plan to make our IT robust to accommodate our goals.”

Advertisement

Gidado Shuaib, a media and communications expert, can be reached on [email protected].

Advertisement


Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of TheCable.
Add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected from copying.