The House of Representatives has proposed a 10-year prison sentence for ponzi scam operators.

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The House of Representatives has passed a measure repealing the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) of 2007 and enacting the Investments and Securities Act to establish the Securities and Exchange Commission for a second reading (SEC).

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The bill, which aims to make the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the top regulatory authority for the Nigerian capital market, stipulates a 10-year prison sentence for Ponzi scheme operators in the country, among other things.

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The bill, which is supported by Babangida Ibrahim, also gives the SEC the authority to shut down all illicit investment schemes.

In his opening statement to the plenary on Thursday, January 20, Ibrahim said that current dynamics in the capital market have rendered a review of the Investments and Securities Act, Act No. 29 of 2007, adopted 14 years ago, necessary.

 

The new legislation, he said, will bring the Nigerian capital market into line with worldwide best practices. According to him, the bill’s main purpose is to include new rules to control financial market infrastructure activities, as well as netting and insolvency protections to protect investors in derivatives contracts.

 

There are new provisions on the regulation of Financial Market Intermediaries (FMIs) such as Central Counter Parties (CCPs), Clearing Houses, Trade Depositories etc.

The general law of insolvency would have no effect on market contracts or action taken under the rules of an exchange, FMI with respect to market contracts, or an action taken to transfer any collateral.

Furthermore, no entity, trade association can operate or hold itself out as a Self Regulatory Organization (SRO) unless recognised or registered as such by SEC. The responsibilities of SRO are also well spelt out, while a new provision has been introduced on netting of financial contracts.”

We are enhancing provisions relating to efficient regulation of investment scheme. Recently there is a lot of complaints by Nigerians to the extent the Federal Government itself put some embargo on some accounts on Ponzi schemes. So as of the time of signing the current account, the ponzi scheme was not in existence in Nigeria. So we have to put some regulations to monitor them.”

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