Investors in the Nigerian capital market should expect a revitalized stock market free of disputes and civil distress. Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said while swearing-in a new chairman of the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST), Dr Ngozi Chianakwalam.
The Minister who inaugurated the 10-member Tribunal of the Investment and Securities Tribunal in Abuja, on Monday, declared that the capital market had nose-dived in recent times and needed an impetus to re-invigorate it.
The Investments and Securities Tribunal is empowered to hear civil disputes in capital markets, investments and pension administration, a task the new chairman says she is set to discharge diligently.
"We know that IST is very critical for the smooth running of the investment sector. The stock market has gone down and we will need to do a lot to give people courage and also the confidence to actually invest and the only way that can be done is to ensure that whenever there is any disagreement or dispute, there is a place they can run to and get justice."
Also speaking, the Minister of state for Finance, Dr Yerima Ngama said resuscitating the country's stock market will renew investors' interest in the capital market.
According him, "this Tribunal has been doing a lot and we have been encouraging them to do more. We are in the process of reviewing the Act.
"One particular issue is developing relationship with the National Judicial Council so that they will also have input in the new amendments we are trying to do.
"The amendment is actually to ensure that when we say you are the chairperson of the tribunal and you are equivalent to the Chief Judge of a Federal High Court, then the NJC will also be pleased with it that it's true. So that when we say this year, you can also go to the Federal Court of Appeal and go to Supreme Court and be our own Chief Justice of Nigeria.
"Right now they are doing a good job. When you go to the Federal Court of Appeal, when you have cases involving investment and capital market operation, I doubt if you have any of their judges who had gone through IST so we can claim that we don’t have a single judge who has the relevant experience. And those judges who have relevant experience can they really go to the federal court of appeal?"
"So we want to do this so that every judge here has a future so that they will not only be recognised by the Ministry of Finance but by the judiciary to be truly equivalent to judges of the Federal High Court."