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Reps propose 10-year jail term for promoters of Ponzi schemes

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The House of Representatives on Thursday proposed a 10-year jail term for promoters of Ponzi schemes in the country.

This followed the presentation of a bill on the repeal of the Investment and Securities Act, 2007 by a lawmaker from Katsina State, Babangida Ibrahim, at the plenary.

The bill which scaled the second reading on the floor of the House seeks to make the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the apex regulatory body for the Nigerian capital market.

It will also enable SEC to regulate the capital market, ensure capital formation, protect the market to ensure capital formation, protect investors, maintain fair, efficient, and transparent market and reduce systematic risks.

READ ALSO: EFCC raises the alarm over fraudulent investment schemes

The lawmaker, who led the debate on the bill, said: “The bill prohibits Ponzi/Pyramid Schemes as well as other illegal investment schemes and prescribes a jail term of not less than 10 years for promoters of such schemes. The Commission would also be empowered to shut down such prohibited investment schemes.

“We are enhancing provisions relating to efficient regulation of investment scheme. Recently there were complaints by Nigerians which forced the Federal Government to place an embargo on Ponzi schemes. So as of the time of signing the current act, the Ponzi scheme was not in existence in Nigeria. So we have to put some regulations to monitor them.”

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