The National Assembly on 29th March, 2023, passed the Investment and Securities Bill 2023, which includes provisions for possible jail sentences for those who promote Ponzi schemes in Nigeria.

The bill awaiting presidential assent to become law, is expected to aid the functioning of the capital market and facilitate the ongoing economic diversification in the country.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at the plenary, said the bill is expected to protect investors, adequately regulate the market, reduce systemic risks as well as provide for more stringent punishment for operators of Ponzi schemes;

The bill for an act to repeal the Investments and Securities Act 2007 Act No. 29 2007 and enact the Investments and Securities Bill 2023 to service the SEC as the apex regulatory authority for the Nigerian capital market as well as regulation of the market to ensure capital formation, to protect investors, maintain fair, efficient and transparent market and reduction of systemic risk and for related matters is hereby passed”.

One of the developments that the new bill brings is the prohibition of Ponzi/Pyramid schemes, which have led to the loss of billions of naira on the part of victims and also affected confidence in the investment climate in Nigeria.

The passed 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.

Story: Elizabeth Ereke