The Senate has raised the alarm over the reported insolvency of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as the capital market regulator declared deficit of N9 billion in three years.
It also expressed concern over the special salary structure being enjoyed by the senior management staff of SEC.
The upper legislative chamber’s Joint Committees on Finance, National Planning, Petroleum Upstream, Downstream and Gas chaired by Senator Adeola Olamilekan, made the observation yesterday, during an interactive session with revenue generating agencies where the Director General of the SEC, Lamido Yuguda, made a presentation.
According to the document submitted to the Committee by SEC DG, in 2019, the agency recorded N2.9 billion deficit while in 2020, it recorded deficit of N4.3 billion and as at June 2021, the agency has already recorded deficit of N1.7 billion bringing the total deficit from 2019 to 2021 to N9 billion.
Worried about the development, the Committee Chairman drew the attention of his colleagues to the personnel cost of the Commission which has remained on the high side in the last two years.
He said:” This budget gives us a wrong impression about SEC. You are a regulator to businesses that are making money, but you aren’t making money. You may need to look at how to regulate your personnel to generate money. You need to cut down on cost.
“Your personnel cost, your top profile takes about 70 per cent of total emolument of N9 billion, only 30 per cent go to lower cadre. We should know what is happening. This is the second year you are coming with a deficit budget.”
In his reaction, the SEC boss claimed the Commission had been adversely affected by the market meltdown and the coronavirus.
Faulting the response of Yuguda, former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima told the Director General to think out of the box.
According to him, going by the record before the Joint Committees, SEC was moving along the path of insolvency with its high personnel cost.
He warned that: “In the next two years, you are going to go bankrupt. Right now you are in deficit and except you come up with solutions you are going to go insolvent and won’t be able to meet your needs.
“We are challenging you to go back to the drawing board and find solutions to your financial situation.”
Also contributing, Senator Adelere Oriolowo, advised the SEC DG to expand its scope of revenue generation in the face of dwindling transactions on the floor of the stock exchange.