The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has been inducted into the ‘FOI hall of shame’ of Media Rights Agenda, following accusations that the Exchange is frustrating efforts aimed at implementing the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. According to the group, the NSE has consistently denied Nigerians access to important market information, thereby failing in its obligation to comply with the specifications of the FOI Act.
Specifically speaking, the media group accused the NSE of failing to comply with its obligations as specified under section 2 of the FOI Act. The section reportedly requires the Exchange to disclose and regularly update certain market information on their website which are allegedly not being done at the moment.
Media Rights Agenda also pointed out the absolute lack of mention of the FOI Act on NSE’s website.
“The NSE has defaulted in complying with its duties and responsibilities under the FOI Act and by this action challenged the essence of the Act.”
The group, therefore, urged the NSE to operate in a manner that would uphold and project its integrity as a transparent organisation investors can trust and be confident in. The best way to do this is through the full implantation of the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, the group said.
The group also noted that by consistently flaying the tenets of the FOI Act, the NSE is not only passing across the impression that it is not subject to the Act, but also the impression that it is not a transparent organisation.
It should be noted that currently, detailed names of listed securities and their corporate information are available on the NSE website. Also made available are trading reports, notices to dealing members, corporate actions, financial reports and more.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Stock Exchange had earlier argued that the tenets of the Freedom of Information Act doesn’t apply to it and as such, it is not obligated to release any information as may be clamoured by the likes of Media Rights Agenda.
But during an ongoing litigation filled by the media group at the Federal High Court in Lagos, the NSE was reminded of its role as a public institution, established to serve the public.
The NSE is yet to react to this development.