SEC, Consumer Protection Agency to Conduct Joint Review of Capital Market Transactions

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The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have agreed to conduct joint reviews of emerging transactions in the capital market.

This is in line with a new a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two agencies on Monday in Abuja to foster a mutually beneficial engagement and seamless operation of their mandates.

Prior to the signing the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari last January 30, the SEC had the statutory role of conducting merger review of emerging transactions in the capital market.

With the signing of FCCPA, the role was transferred to the FCCPC. The agency is also expected to negotiate memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) with relevant regulatory authorities in line with Section 105 of the law.

Section 105 of the FCCPA, which deals with the Designation of regulated industries, give the FCCPC “precedence over and above” other relevant government agencies “in matters or conducts which affect competition and consumer protection.”

The subsection four of section 105 also stipulates that the FCCPC “shall negotiate agreements with all government agencies whose mandate includes enforcement of competition and consumer protection for the purpose of coordinating and harmonising the exercise of jurisdiction over competition and consumer protection matters within the relevant industry or sector, and to ensure the consistent application of the provisions of this Act.”

On May 3 this year, the FCCPC and SEC agreed to establish a joint merger review desk as an interim measure to ensure continuing processing of pending and emerging transactions in the capital market.

On Monday, the SEC said in a statement in Abuja that it had negotiated and concluded an MoU with the FCCPC to establish a more structured collaborative working framework.

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The statement said both agencies resolved to have a more coordinated and efficient execution of their roles and responsibilities to ensure “a complete, vibrant and robust implementation of their statutes, both agencies.”

The MOU was signed by the chief executive officer of the FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, and the acting director general of SEC, Mary Uduk.

At the MoU signing ceremony, Mr Irukera said the interim arrangement between FCCPC and SEC was acclaimed in industry as “exemplary of how to proffer solutions, promote confidence in the regulatory ecosystem and enable business.”

While Ms. Uduk said the MoU will “lead to a stronger collaboration and better economy for the country.”

“The parties agreed to cooperate and collaborate in performing their individual duties, particularly information sharing, consumer complaints in the capital market, investigation, enforcement and compliance, including capacity building,” the statement said.

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