Oando: Minority shareholders petition House of Representatives
by Iheanyi Nwachukwu
March 8, 2018 | 12:15 am| | | Start Conversation
The minority shareholders of Oando Plc under the umbrella of the Proactive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PROSAN) have submitted a fresh petition to the House of Representatives accusing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of protecting Oando Plc from probe.
The petition dated February 21, 2018 and addressed to Yusuf Tajudeen, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and other Related Institutions was signed by Oderinde Taiwo, the National Coordinator and Nnodu Okeke, Legal Adviser of the association.
While commending the House Committee on its unrelenting efforts to sanitise the Nigerian capital market and to make it one of the best in the world, the shareholders said the time had come to take decisive action on the forensic audit of Oando Plc.
The shareholders recalled that its earlier petition to the lawmakers on the state of Oando Plc prompted it to direct the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate various allegations against the oil giant.
They said in the petition that since Munir Gwarzo was suspended as the Director-General of SEC on November 29, 2017, the present management led by Abdul Zubair, acting director general has shown a lack of willingness to continue with the forensic audit of Oando as directed by the lawmakers.
The shareholders titled the petition, “Dangerous and malicious deliberate attempts by the acting Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to cover up Oando Nigeria Plc and protect the Company from forensic audit”.
The shareholders group also prayed the lawmakers to “urgently invite the acting Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission to ascertain the authenticity of the forensic audit team set-up to probe Oando Nigeria Plc”, adding that SEC should convince shareholders that there will not compromise in the Oando probe.
“Oando Nigeria Plc has for four years consecutively suffered incredible losses with the loss in 2014 described as unprecedented in the history of capital market operations in Nigeria. While the company continues to record losses, the management has continued to increase the remuneration of Board members in manner that insults and provokes the sensibility of Investors that have committed their hard-earned funds into the company”, the shareholders alleged in the petition.
Also in the petition received by House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and other Related Institutions on February 27, 2018, the shareholders further alleged that, “The Company has continued to accrue debt to the point that its liabilities have now surpassed its assets.”
“It may interest the honourable chairman that shareholders who bought the shares of Oando Nigeria Plc at N95 have lost more than 90percent”, the shareholders alleged in the petition, saying that “Many of our members have become victims of hypertension watching their investments tumble without any hope for salvage in sight. Many have even died as a result of this uncertainty that has engulfed the company.”
They also made referenced to the auditors’ note in the last annual report presented at the controversial Annual General Meeting (AGM), held in Uyo, on September 11, 2017.
According to the shareholders, “The Auditors, Ernst & Young stated: ‘We are drawing attention to note 45 in the financial statements, which indicates that the company reported a comprehensive loss for the year of N33.9 billion (2015: loss N56.6 billion) and as at that date, its current assets exceeded current liabilities by N14.6 billion (2015: N32.8 billion net current liability). The group recorded a comprehensive income of N112.4 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016 (2015: loss N37.8 billion) and as at that date, its current liability exceeded current assets by N263.8 billion (2015: N260.4 billion). As stated in the notes, these conditions, along with other matters, indicate that a material uncertainty exist that may cast significant doubt on the company (and Group’s) ability to continue as a going concern,” the petition to the House of Representatives reads.
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