- Operators Seek FG’s Intervention in Oando, SEC Saga
Capital market operators have called for urgent intervention of the Federal Government in the conflict between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Oando Plc.
They made the call on Wednesday in separate interviews, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.
They reacted to the outcome of a forensic audit of Oando released by SEC last week as well as a court injunction restraining the commission from sacking Oando’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Wale Tinubu, and his deputy.
Following the outcome of the forensic audit, SEC announced on June 2 that it had constituted an interim management team to be headed by Mr Mutiu Sunmonu for Oando.
It said in a statement that Sunmonu would oversee the affairs the company and conduct an Extraordinary General Meeting on or before July 1, to appoint new board of directors.
The commission said that the new board of directors would subsequently select a management team for Oando.
The commission reiterated its commitment to maintaining the integrity of the market.
However, a Federal High Court in Lagos on June 3 granted an interim injunction restraining SEC from executing the interim management in Oando.
The court injunction followed an application filed by Tinubu and his deputy, Mr Omamofe Boyo.
Tinubu and Boyo applied for the enforcement of their fundamental rights.
The court also restrained SEC from imposing a fine of N91.13m on Tinubu, and barring him and Boyo from being directors of public companies for five years.
The Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Limited, Mr Ambrose Omordion, said the Federal Government would need to intervene in the matter to safeguard investors’ confidence.
Omordion said that the unfolding events between Oando and SEC could dampen investor confidence and tamper with Nigeria’s integrity.
He said the international investment community was watching to see the manner the Oando issue would be handled.
“The way SEC and government will handle this issue will go a long way to determine the success of the nation’s drive for financial inclusion and attraction of new retail investors and foreign investors returning to the market,” Omordion said.
He also urged the government to strengthen the commission by ensuring the appointment of its board members soon.
Omordion expressed disappointment that SEC had been operating without a board for about four years and had been with an acting director-general for over a year.
The Publicity Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Moses Igbrude, alleged that shareholders had suffered losses in Oando with no dividend and poor market pricing.
Igbrude said that court injunction could lead to long legal battles, which could further affect the company’s shares price on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
He urged the NSE to place the share price on technical suspension to protect investors from further losses.
He said that SEC should not allow its authority to be undermined if the outcome of the forensic audit was true.
“I will appeal to whoever that is affected to obey the directives from SEC for the sake of our investments. Oando as a company has suffered enough reputational risk. Shareholders, for a long time, have not been paid dividend,” Igbrude said.
The National Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Boniface Okezie, said, “The grass suffers when two elephants fight.”
Okezie said that SEC and Oando must maintain peace in the interest of all stakeholders, especially retail investors.
The PSAN boss, who commended the commission for protecting investors, said that SEC should also beam its searchlight on other oil companies quoted on the exchange.
The National President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Shehu Mikail, said the Oando saga needed a holistic approach to restore confidence.
“Oando saga is a big issue in the Nigerian capital market that needs a holistic approach if really we are going to adhere to the truth of corporate governance,” Mikali added.
He said that the action of SEC was in the right direction and aimed at protecting the interest of Oando shareholders.
“Foreign investors are watching the drama and local shareholders and stakeholders are also waiting,” Mikali added.
He said the outcome of the saga would determine the direction of the capital market.
Sterling Homes Plans To Reduce Housing Deficit
Sterling Homes Limited has said it is committed to working with the government through private public partnership to reduce housing deficit in all the geo-political zones in the country.
The Managing Director, Mr Kunle Adeyemi, said this during an event on the company’s rebranding organised as part of its 10th year anniversary in Lagos on Friday.
During the event, the company while expressing commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction, unveiled its new logo with colours to define its mission and objections.
“We want to be present in all the six geo-political zones on Nigeria by providing affordable luxury homes, excellent torch. So for us, there is a need for us to rebrand and have a new direction and vision.
“We want to partner with the government on the present housing deficit; we want to embrace a public, private partnership with the government to reduce the deficit in every geo-political zone.”
The managing director said that one of its unique selling points was its after sales services which was top notch.
He said it ensured that its customers were taken through the journey of actualising their dreams of becoming home owners.
While noting that everyone deserved to have a comfortable home despite the economic situation, he said it had designed a structure payment plan with zero interest in some cases to help intending home owners.
He said it also had provisions for high breed options and developing areas to accommodate various income levels.
Before the end of the year, he said, Sterling Homes would be establishing new presence and projects in other regions.
Mutual Benefits Drives Financial Inclusion
Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc says it is committed to deepening financial inclusion and creating easy accessibility for insurance in the country.
A statement from the firm on Friday said it expressed this commitment when it inaugurated its South-West region franchise operations in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The Managing Director, Mr Femi Asenuga, said this was part of its efforts to develop the insurance business and create values.
He said, “The role we all have to play is to be ambassadors of Mutual Benefits.
“A franchise is a well-known word and the way Mutual Benefits practices franchise is in our normal style of creating and adding value; we never rest.”
Asenuga said that the firm was working with stakeholders to increase awareness and take its message to the grassroots.
In developed economies, he said, insurance firms owned banks. He regretted that this was not the situation in Nigeria.
He said the firm would provide stakeholders with the platform and support to make them excel as a member.
The Managing Director, Mutual Benefits Life Assurance Limited, Mr Ademola Ifagbayi, appreciated the stakeholders and urged them to take advantage of the franchise.
The Group Managing Director, Odua Group, Mr Adewale Raji, in his address, advised stakeholders to be committed and showcase good character and integrity.
He said, “The Odua investment is owned by the six South-West governments and it is in our interest when economic, businesses and investment spreads across the South-West states.
“This is an opportunity for us to strengthen insurance penetration within the South-West states.”
CAC Sets Three-Hour Circle For Company Registration
The Corporate Affairs Commission on Sunday stated that following the successful deployment of an end-to-end registration module, it was now prioritising the reduction of the registration circle for new companies to just three hours before the end of year 2021.
Registrar-General of the commission, Garba Ababukar, gave the indication at a dinner in honour of the Chairman, Governing Board, CAC and Nigerian Ambassador Designate to the Kingdom of Spain, Ademola Seriki.
The commission disclosed this in series of tweets posted via its Twitter handle on Sunday.
“To achieve the target, the registrar-general said the commission was making arrangements to empower over 400 approving officers with working tools to process and approve registration applications either from home or anywhere necessary,” the agency stated.
Abubakar noted that the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic had adversely hampered CAC’s delivery timeline.
He, however, said the CAC was resolutely committed to serving its customers despite being forced to operate with less than 50 per cent of its workforce.
While bidding farewell to Seriki, the registrar-general said he received the news of his appointment with mix feelings as CAC was going to miss his tremendous support and guidance.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, described the outgoing CAC Chairman as a man of immense pedigree and endowed with enormous potential to justify the confidence reposed in him by the president.
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