Capital Market Probe: Arunma Oteh is a ‘bully’ on management decisions, claim SEC top staff

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    LONDON: May,10 2012
    Nigeria’s version of iron Lady, Arunma Oteh, the Director-General of Security and Exchange Commission, (the supervisory body for the Nigeria Stock Exchange) is said to be a rocky dictator who runs the organisation unilaterally without any regard for any authority.

    Members of the executive management team of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday levelled the allegation., claiming  that that the Director-General (DG) unilaterally decides and acts on decisions concerning the running of the organisation.

    The SEC management team comprised of Daisy Ekineh, Executive Commissioner,( Operations), Lawal Sanni,  Executive Commissioner, (Finance and Accounts Stores),  Charles Udora, Executive Commissioner,(Legal and Enforcement), and  Useni Dauda, Director,  (Human Resources).

    The top executives  spoke gleefully of the Director General’s authoritarianism at the public hearing on the near collapse of the capital market by an ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

    Oteh  appeared before the Committee on Wednesday apparently stressed and joggled words to convince the Committee of certain important decision she claimed was taken to alleviate the Capital Market.

    At a stage during Wednesday’s hearing, she had been told  about  by the Committee as having given so much  inconsistent evidences before the House, probing the near collapse of the nation’s Capital Market .

    Testifying before the Committee on the controversial recruitment of some Access bank members as contract staff for the commission, all the members of the management team stated that, they were not informed of the Ms Oteh’s decisions during recruitments on  the two bank staff into the commission on secondment.

    The Head of the Human Resources of the commission, Mr Daudu said he had written a letter to the DG to inform  her that employing contract staff is alien to the commission and that the commission could either regularize the employment of the staff or let them go.

    “When the DG resumed duty in SEC, she came along with some staff and then we did advise that those staff have to go through the process of employment. We recommended contract appointment. Approval was given with the aim that later on all those who were employed will be collated and passed on to the execute management for recruitment approval.

    But till now the board have not discussed the matter,” Mr Daudu said.

    But  responding to this issue, Ms Oteh asserted that in recruiting contract staff, she did not violate any law of the land.

    She however, promised that the matter would be discussed in the Organisation’s next executive meeting.

    Unknown donors/partners of Project 50

    The ad-hoc committee also probed Ms Oteh on the 2011 Project 50 event organised by the commission to celebrate the 50th year anniversary of capital market regulation in Nigeria.

    The committee had on Monday, demanded information on who were the financiers of the event but Ms Oteh promised to come along with the list of donors for the event which she said was part of a market development initiative.

    The SEC boss however failed to mention the donors who contributed funds to the event.

    “I will bring out a list if I can find it among the documents. I think the questions (of the probe panel) have moved to HR, to mergers and all of that and I am trying hard to make sure that I respond very accurately. We can make that submission, as I said previously,” she said.

    After failing to submit list of sponsors, Ms Oteh said the event was not financed by donors but that SEC wrote to its partners to inform them of the needs for the event and that each of the partners including Reuters, Bloomberg handled different needs of the Project.