SEC DG & Phantom Food Bill
One of the allegations made against the Director General of the SEC Nigeria, Ms. Arunmma Oteh, during the ongoing Public Hearing on the Nigerian capital market was that on one occasion she ate a meal worth Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N850,000.00) only. This allegation is thoroughly false and unfounded. The truth of the matter is that the cost of the meal in question was Eighty Five Thousand (N85,000.00) only and the circumstances surrounding the incurring of this bill are as follows: the DG, in the course of performing her official duties and using her personal goodwill and global reach, attracted a team of regulators from an advanced capital market jurisdiction to render technical assistance to the SEC Nigeria at no cost to the Commission.
After meeting with the team, the DG of the SEC Nigeria requested that members of the team who had been travelling and were both tired and hungry join her for a meal at the Hilton Hotel. The N85,000.00 in question was the bill for and cost of that meal. It was not N850,000.00!
It would have been necessary to indicate the name of the leading market jurisdiction from which this team came but for consideration bordering on appropriateness since theirs is not a clime in which issues regarding the capital market and the economy are treated with greater prudence and circumspection.
This clarification has become necessary in the interest of correcting the public records and ensuring that the good citizens of Nigeria are not misinformed by the wrong figure and falsehood released to the Nigerian public. This is all the more important since certain segments of the press have published the erroneous information as factual truth and some electronic media have similarly broadcast same.