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Oando crisis: Shareholders warn SEC against cover up

By on October 9, 2017

Following the directive given to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Institutions to investigate allegations of financial impropriety and mismanagement of Oando Plc, shareholders of the company across Nigeria have warned SEC against cover and actions that will be inimical to them.

The shareholders, who stated this in a chat with newsmen in Lagos, stressed that they would use every legal means possible to protect their investment in the event that SEC decided to give the management of Oando soft landing.

The shareholders alleged that some of their colleagues were being used as conduit to reach out to SEC, calling on SEC to stay away from these elements who paraded themselves as leaders of the shareholders.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, National Coordinator of the Trusted Shareholders Association, Alhaji Muhktar Muhktar, said the duty of regulators in any capital market was to protect the interest of shareholders and not management of corporations who deliberately toyed with shareholders’ investment for their selfish gains.

He warned that shareholders from the northern part of the country would picket SEC if urgent steps were not taken to address their plight.

“We have it on good authority that some people who parade themselves as shareholders are trying to influence the decision of SEC as regards our petition to the National Assembly on the mismanagement of our company, Oando Plc.

“We will not take it. No dividend was paid since the 2013 financial year. Critical financial management concerns on our investment areas are as follows:

“External auditors of Oando Plc reported strong doubtful going concern of the group’s annual financial statement. The group has negative working capital of over N263bn with current liabilities exceeding current assets,” Muhktar said.

On his part, the President of Renaissance Shareholders Association, Ambassador Olufemi Timothy, alleged that the management of Oando was currently selling critical assets of the company.

He, therefore, called on SEC to do what was needful to restore investors’ confidence in the capital market.

“Management closed the year 2016 with consistent loss of over N768bn; significantly worse than the year-end 2015. The net loss for the year from continuing operations in 2016 amounts to N25.8bn as reported in the annual audited financial statement. We wish that you use your good office as a matter of urgency to save our investment in Oando Plc by looking into these matters.

“An independent new management must step in to save our investment in the interest of the integrity of the capital market and investors’ confidence,” he said.