In view of the growing acts of indiscipline and serious breaches of the law governing the capital market, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is pushing for more powers to strengthen its ability to deal with the rising cases of Ponzi schemes in the country.
The Director General of the SEC, Rev. Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh said although it was currently working to sanitise the capital market and rid it of schemes that were often fraudulent and promise unrealistically high investment returns to unsuspecting investors, it was limited in actions in view of the lack of powers to hit hard at offenders.
Speaking during a courtesy call on the management of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) on November 23, he said the SEC was limited in what it could do within the remit of the law and it was, therefore, important that it was given more legal backing to take immediate actions to sanction and remove some of the fraudulent players in the system.
“We do not have some of those powers to take immediate actions and that is something I am personally pushing for so that SEC can have more powers to even freeze the accounts of these people. We will look at how to strengthen our ability to be able to clamp down on these Ponzi schemes,” he said.
He said this would ensure that there was a fair, efficient and transparent market in the country.
Strong and vibrant capital market
He said many people were familiar with the short end of the financial market which included the bank and non-bank sectors where as the capital market dealt with the long end of the financial market where people were not familiar with.
“When you talk about the securities or capital market, we are aware that the level of knowledge is not where it should be. Meanwhile, we know that for any economy to progress and develop, you need a strong and vibrant capital market,” he said.
The capital market, he explained, was one that businesses could raise patient and long-term capital to finance infrastructure at a relatively cheaper rate.
Mr Ogbarmey Tetteh said it was important to engage the media to provide the requisite training to build the capacity of journalists to effectively report on the capital market.
He said the survival of the capital market was largely driven by credible information and it was, therefore, important that the capacity of the media is built effectively to ensure that the information they provided to the public was credible.
“We know that the media has a very critical role to play in projecting the work of the commission. Going forward, we want to forge closer relationship with you where you can support us get out a lot of information.”
“The capital market is driven largely by information which is timely and accurate. Misinformation does not help at all and as a commission, one thing we intend to do is how to engage financial journalists to improve their knowledge so that when they are reporting, they can do so accurately,” he said.
The Head, Research & Policy Unit at the SEC, Mr Emmanuel Ashong- Katai, who accompanied the director-general on the visit said, “Our mission is to pay a courtesy call to salute you for the good work you are doing for Ghana and also to say that we will be happy to get your support to extend the knowledge and awareness of people about the securities industry.”
Graphic is ready
The team from the SEC was received by the acting Managing Director, Mr Ransford Tetteh and other management staff of the company.
Nana Kwaku Dei I said the GCGL was ready to give the SEC the needed support to help provide the needed regular education for the public
“Your request for publicity is in line with what we do and we cannot deny you that. As far as news is concerned, we will be ready to assist you,” he said.
He explained that the challenge over the past had been the failure of some industry players to open up to the media on key issues in the country on one part and the failure of journalists to sometimes understand technical issues, hence the need for consistent training.
“The challenge we have had as media is that sometimes our partners on the other side do not open up to us because they believe sometimes, it might end up in something else. On our part, we find some areas quite technical.”
“I am happy that you are proposing some regular education. We have a very strong financial journalist team to take part in the training. If we want to deepen reportage on the capital market, we need to understand the sector and have adequate information on it,” he said.
Other management staff at the meeting included the acting Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Kingsley Inkoom; Assistant Editor - Graphic Business, Mr Charles Benoni Okine; Corporate Communications Manager, Mr Emmanuel Agyei Arthur, Director – Marketing, Mr Franklin Sowa and Director- Finance, Mr Baah Adade. — GB