Shareholders lament over arbitrary fee increases by SEC

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By Nkiruka Nnorom

Investors in the Nigerian capital market have expressed concern over increase in fees payable by quoted companies and other entities to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  

The shareholders under the aegis of Issuers and Investors Alternative Dispute Resolution Initiative (IIADRI), said that such increases, without due consideration to the economic situation, is capable of stifling growth not just in the capital market but in the economy as a whole.

Some of the fee that the SEC effected increase in, according to a statement b  titled “Outrageous increase in fees charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission,” signed by the association’s Chairman, Moses Igbrude, and the Secretary, Sebastian Udoh, included filing fees for proxy materials, which was increased to N500,000  from N50,000.

Others are registration of a broker which was increased to N5 million from N500,000 as well as the registration of underwriters and issuing houses that were also increased in similar manner like that of the brokers. 

They said: “Issuers and Investors Alternative Dispute Resolution Initiative (IIADRI), considers these increases as not only astronomical, punitive, inconsiderate and outrageous but also an attempt to stifle, repress, suppress, restrain and hinder growth in the country at a time when the economic indices are at the lowest and the enabling environment or infrastructure are almost non-existant.

“As  an organization formed to protect the companies and investors , IIADRI, condemns this arbitrary and unilateral increase in fees and calls upon the management of SEC to revert to the statusquo for the interest of shareholders and Nigerian companies, all of whom are currently struggling to break even and their shareholders.”

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Heifer unveils digital agric champions initiative 

Heifer International, a nonprofit organization on a mission to end global hunger and poverty, has unveiled its Digital Agriculture Champions (DAC) initiative. 

The organisation in a statement said that the initiative will deliver sustainable, cost-effective training modules for smallholder farmers across Heifer Africa, starting with Kenya. 

Heifer is advancing technology and mechanization to address some of the post-pandemic challenges across different Agricultural value chains in Africa; investing in digital extension systems for training as a post-pandemic response strategy that will create efficient, scalable solutions for farmers and help boost the value chains in which they work. 

Heifer is also committed to mentoring the youth who often constitute the extension staff, and is focused on empowering them to become digital champions with entrepreneurship skills to ensure quality services for farmers, and sustainable business models beyond the life of Heifer project interventions. 

“Heifer is committed to catalyzing ground-up engagement of the youth in Agriculture. The Digital Agriculture Champions initiative will foster the application of digital technology in Agriculture, delivering solutions that address challenges faced by smallholder farmers at scale,” Adesuwa Ifedi, Senior Vice President Africa Programs, speaking from Heifer Africa, region office. 

“The idea for the AYuTe Africa Challenge (AYuTe stands for Agriculture, Youth and Technology) was conceived by Heifer based on four decades of work as a trusted partner of African farmers-and seeing first-hand the stark difference between local farms that have access to new technologies and those that do not;” she added. 

In accordance with this tech innovation drive, Heifer is working with Kuza Biashara, a digital social enterprise, as technical partner, to offer a bundled solution that provides personalized digital training and extension services to smallholder farmers in Africa. 

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