OrderPaperToday – There was some drama during the week in the Senate as the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda, failed to account for N9 billion revenue generated by the commission in three years.
Yuguda appeared before the Senate joint Committees on Finance, National Planning, Petroleum Upstream, Petroleum Downstream and Gas, on Wednesday.
The joint committee, which is chaired by Sen. Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (APC Lagos West), had raised the alarm that SEC may go bankrupt on account of the N9billion deficits incurred within the last three years.
The joint committee had been meeting in recent days on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
In his response, Yuguda explained that the global economic meltdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic caused the dwindling fortunes of the Commission within the last two years.
He also disclosed that the Commission’s projected revenue for 2021 was N11,502,340,000,000.00 billion with a personnel cost of N10,239,933,504.65billion.
As contained in the document he submitted to the committee, in 2019, the Commission recorded a N2.9 billion in deficit; N4.3 billion in 2020; and N1.7 billion in 2021. This comes to a total of N8.5 billion.
In his remarks, Chairman of the committee pointed out that the high side of personnel cost of the capital market regulator within the last two years was unsustainable.
“Your submission 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% of total emolument of N9 billion, only 30% go to lower cadre. You need to stop the trend ,this is the second year you are coming with a deficit budget”, Sen. Adeola stated.
On his part, a member of the committee, Senator Kashim Shettima (APC Borno Central), challenged the Director General to think out of the box.
Sen. Shettima, who was kicking against the dwindling fortunes of the commission, stated that going by record before the joint committee, SEC was treading the path of insolvency with its humongous personnel costs.
“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.”
Senator Adelere Oriolowo (APC Osun West), also charged the SEC DG to expand its scope of revenue generation amidst what he called dwindling transactions on the floor of the Stock exchange.
Yuguda, however, assured that the ugly trend will change in subsequent years.