THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has commenced issuance of unique identifiers to market participants.
The Commission explained that the development was part of measures to contain issues of fraud in the capital market, as well as reduce to the barest minimum the quantum of unclaimed dividends.
It further said the measure was part of efforts to manage the identities of participants in the capital market.
The Director-General of the SEC, Lamido Yuguda, stated these during a meeting with the management of the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) in Abuja at the weekend.
In a statement issued today by SEC, Yuguda said the identity management project already ongoing in the capital market was to ensure that every participant within the capital market has a unique identifier that would be given to them.
He added that the identity was to ensure that all capital market transactions woul be secured and done on a ‘Straight Through Processing’ basis, leaving very little human intervention in the processing of data.
Yuguda further noted that the Commission decided to engage relevant stakeholders in a bid to resolve issues of identity management to tackle the problem of unclaimed dividends.
According to him, the Commission was currently engaging stakeholders to harmonise various databases of investors and facilitate data accuracy in the market,as well as increase investors’ education.
He said, “This is an institution that is going to be a strong partner to your bureau in the discharge of your functions, to ensure there is data integrity, data security and all agencies and capital market operators do comply with the NDPR.
“As far as the Commission is concerned, at the moment, we have an IT transformation project underway that seeks to strengthen our data protection within the commission, the capital market, as well as our entire IT environment so it will be up to speed in terms of modernity, efficiency and protection of the database of the Commission and the capital market.
“The Bureau and the Commission can collaborate to ensure that institutions under my supervision comply with the NDPR as we have a lot of leverage over the institutions that work in the capital market so we can put more emphasis on compliance in our interaction.
“There is a huge gap and big capacity for the agency and the agency will need more people and resources. The world is moving towards an online world, which means that data is going to be given and stored somewhere and it can be compromised.”
In his response, the National Commissioner, NDPB, Vincent Olatunji, commended the SEC on its robust data policy and expressed the readiness of the Bureau to collaborate with the Commission.
Olatunji stated that due to the fact that the issue of data was a global one like almost everything online, there was the need to ensure that personal data was safeguarded and adequately protected and processed within adequate regulations in the country and internationally.
He said, “The whole world is a global village, and we are constantly interacting over various issues. The sector had the highest contribution to our GDP last year and that speaks volumes. Over 104 million Nigerians go on the internet daily and now we are looking at digitizing everything.
“We are committed to ensuring the protection of the data of Nigerians and to ensure we have globally competitive businesses as most countries will not want to go into business with you if you do not have your data protection and a supervising authority in place.”
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.