Recently, 80 bankers have received certificates on the Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) at the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) recreational complex at Kingtom in Freetown, after a three-day robust training programme.
In his statement the Chairman of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT), Jacob Kanu explained that members of the stock exchange committee have always shared the belief in forming a strong and viable financial system in Sierra Leone, adding that it “can trigger the engine of growth in our country.”
“With this conviction,” he said, “[they] have come a long way in the process of reforming the entire financial system of modernizing and regulating the ways in which we have been conducting various types of businesses in the country.”
“The company’s Act,” Mr Kanu said, “has been extensively reviewed and updated, the security bill and the bankruptcy bill are now being introduced into our system, in order to regulate business insecurities, and to deal with the bankruptcy of company’s with these three sets of legislations. It has now become very clear that one can no longer become an operator in the capital market, run a stock exchange or indeed be a dealer or broker in securities without first obtaining the necessary licenses to do so.”
Mr Kanu disclosed that with the introduction of the investment schemes bill, “we shall be pulling funds from investors and investing them in the scheme, but we shall not be allowed to do so without being licensed. The laws have now provided a regulatory commission to supervise and regulate the operations of these participatory investment schemes,” he said.
The laws, Mr Kanu disclosed, “will also penalize the culprit who infringe the rules; the commission will license, authorize and regulate persons exercising functions which relate to collective investment schemes.”
“It will also monitor and supervise the activities so that proper standards are maintained, stability in the market is promoted and professionalism is introduced,” he said.
During the cause of the seminar, there was considerable amount of sharing of knowledge, information, expertise, as well as problems and potential problems sharing.
The training seminar was set up not only to impart knowledge but also to sensitize the public, particularly the business community of the vast opportunities and services that exist in collective investment schemes. These can now be appropriately organised to needs for particularly target group.
British based facilitator John Williamson said, these are exciting times for Sierra Leone with the development that are taking place in the capital market. Hopefully in the not too distant future the regulated stock exchange will be operating, thus providing the vehicle for wide share ownership. However, the contest of share ownership savings and potential growth of capital required is to be extended to the public at large.
He noted that it is a great challenge, “but I know that a lot of work is being done towards that direction.”