The Minister of State for Finance, Dr Yerima Ngama, on Monday said the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) was critical to the growth and smooth operation of the capital market.
Ngama, who made this known in Abuja at the inauguration of the IST board headed by Dr Ngozi Chianakwalam, said the tribunal was doing a lot to lift the confidence of investors.
“It is in recognition of its critical role that the Ministry of Finance has proposed new amendments to the Investments and Securities Act (ISA 2007) to send to the National Assembly,’’ he said.
The minister said this would enhance the tribunal’s work and also ensure that it’s Chairman and other members could seamlessly transit to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
“This is because the IST is equivalent to the Federal High Court,’’ he said.
Ngama urged the new chairman to liaise with the National Judicial Council (NJC) for its inputs to the amendments.
The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said the tribunal had done a wonderful work so far.
Okonjo-Iweala, however, noted that the tribunal’s work had remained largely unsung.
She said that President Goodluck Jonathan had to personally review and approve the list of nominees into the tribunal’s board.
“This is to ensure the best hands are on deck there,’’ she said.
Okonjo-Iweala described the board chairman as a seasoned lawyer and veteran public servant who was more than qualified to lead the tribunal.
“The appointment of a very strong lawyer with varied experiences in the Civil Service and the corporate world is a key component of the law and order being championed by the Federal Ministry of Finance to promote investments in the country.”
Chianakwalam, in her remarks, pledged the board’s commitment to achieving the mandate of the tribunal.
NAN reports that Chianakwalam had earlier served as Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Abia and Director, Registry, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Abuja.
She attended the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife), where she graduated in 1977 and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1978.
The board chairman obtained an MBA in Management Technology in June 2001 from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
She later obtained a Ph.D in Criminal Law at Rochville University, West Hollywood, California in the U.S.