In a bid to check issues of fraud in the capital market as well as reduce to the barest minimum the quantum of unclaimed dividends, capital market participants are to be given unique identifiers.
This is part of efforts by the Securities and Exchange Commission to manage identities of participants in the capital market.
The Director General of SEC, Mr. Lamido Yuguda stated this during a meeting with the Management of Nigeria Data Protection Bureau in Abuja.
Yuguda said the identity management project already on-going in the capital market is to ensure that every participant within the capital market has a unique identifier that will be given to them.
This will make it possible for all capital market transactions to be secured and done on a Straight Through Processing basis, leaving very little human intervention in the processing of data.
The DG said the commission decided to engage relevant stakeholders in a bid to resolve issues of identity management to tackle the problem of unclaimed dividends.
Hence, he said the commission was currently engaging stakeholders to harmonise various databases of investors and facilitate data accuracy in the market as well as increasing investors’ education to stem the trend.
He said, “This is an institution that is going to be a strong partner to your bureau in the discharge of your functions, to ensure there is data integrity, data security and all agencies and capital market operators do comply with the NDPR and as far as the Commission is concerned, at the moment, we have an IT transformation project underway that seeks to strengthen our data protection within the commission, the capital market, as well as our entire IT environment so it will be up to speed in terms of modernity, efficiency and protection of the database of the commission and the capital market.
“The bureau and the commission can collaborate to ensure that institutions under my supervision should comply with NDPR as we have a lot of leverage over the institutions that work in the capital market so, we can put more emphasis on compliance in our interaction.
“There is a huge gap and big capacity for the agency and the agency will need more people and resources. The world is moving towards an online world which means that data is going to be given and stored somewhere and it can be compromised. That is core purpose of your agency, to ensure that the data is properly used to the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians, and I believe that this is an important task.”
In his response, National Commissioner Data Protection Bureau (DPB) Dr Vincent Olatunji commended the SEC on its robust data policy and expressed the readiness of the Bureau to collaborate with the Commission.
Olatunji stated that due to the fact that the issue of data is a global one as almost everything online, there is a need to ensure personal data given is safeguarded and adequately protected.
He said, “The whole world is a global village, and we are constantly interacting over various issues. The sector had the highest contribution to our GDP last year and that speaks volumes. Over 104 million Nigerians go on the internet daily and now we are looking at digitizing everything.
“We are committed to ensuring the protection of the data of Nigerians and to ensure we have globally competitive businesses as most countries will not want to go into business with you if you do not have your data protection and a supervising authority in place.”