Why Oteh’s tenure as SEC DG was not extended

14 January 2015, Lagos – Facts have emerged as to why President Goodluck Jonathan rejected a request to extend the tenure of Ms. Arunma Oteh as the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Oteh, who became the DG of the apex capital market regulator in 2010, served out her first tenure last week, but expected tenure elongation from the federal government. However, after waiting for days without any green light from the presidency, Oteh last Monday handed over to the Executive Commissioner, Operations, Mounir Gwarzo as acting DG.

Arunma Oteh


THISDAY checks revealed that while Oteh recorded some positive performances during her first tenure, market operators and stakeholders complained about her style of management, which they said affected some of the positive records at the commission.

Another major factor that was said to have worked against her is the dispute she had with the National Assembly, which led to non-approval of a budget for the commission in two years.

Market sources said  while Oteh came up with innovative strategies and  policies that were capable of restoring confidence in the market, most of the strategies were not implemented.

“There is no doubt that the Oteh came in with many innovative ideas and strategies, but because of her style of management that made her the only approving authority, most the ideas remained on her desk in form committee reports. Operators sacrificed their time to work as committees, put reports together and once such reports are submitted to her, that will be the end.  Some  of  such reports that would have been implemented and move the market forward were  left unattended to gathering dusts,” a source said.

Another source added that the Presidency received complaints against Oteh from some state governors for delaying their applications to raise bonds in the capital market.

“I know of a particular  state governor, who is very close to President Jonathan that complained bitterly about the former SEC DG and threatened to personally report her   to the Presidency. And you know the period we are now, the president will not want to hear anything that will disturb his re-eletion,” the source.

According to source, considering the fact Oteh’s reappointment would need to be ratified by the Senate and given the bad blood that is already existing between  her and the National Assembly, the Presidency decided to avoid anything that could be a clash of interest at the moment.

Oteh was  also said to have received resistance from internal forces at SEC  that condemned her mode of operation of  bringing  consultants to work with her, thereby relegating staff of the commission to the background.

“We saw a situation whereby consultants hired by Oteh were giving orders to staff members of SEC who have put in many years.  Besides, we were made to reach her through these consultants instead of having a direct access to her.  All these dwarfed any achievements she recorded because many of the staff members were highly demoralised and worked against her continuing as the DG of the commission,” a source said.

– This Day

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