BY PETER EGWUATU
Shareholders have called on the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to probe the post privatisation of the Board of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO).
Some shareholders under the aegis of concern shareholders said the need for a serious forensic investigation of the Board activities stemmed from breach of post privatisation rules and the gradual acquisition of NACHO.
The shareholders in an open letter to BPE, SEC and NSE said “we have copiously and carefully watched post privatisation events in the company, especially the unfolding of a well thought out plan by few members of the board and management to subtly acquire NACHO”
According to a statement signed by Mr Ade Adebisi, “the investigation became imperative also because of the Board’s compromise of good corporate governance standards.
“Our conviction which we belief calls for a forensic investigation of NAHCO by the regulatory authorities and particularly the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) stemmed from the Board’s compromise of sustainable good corporate governance values and norms expected of a quoted company.”
The shareholders stressed that the need for the intervention was aimed at saving the company from collapse.
They specifically condemned and rejected what the termed jaundiced management of the company by few board members in the last 18 months and the proposed management support agreement between NAHCO and Rosehill Group.
The shareholders argued that NAHCO Board’s proposed investment into a Kaduna based private company Deluxe Suit and Hotel riddled with legal overhangs were part of the plans to circumvent subsisting investment laws and good corporate governance operational values.
Specifically, the shareholders said their pre emptive whistle blowing was based on the premise that the Rosehill Group as a portfolio management company lacks the depth and skills needed by a going aviation concerns like NAHOC.
Analyzing the proposed agreement, they said it amounts to another concession in disguise outside the subsisting concession agreement with the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
To them, “Rosehill proposed two and half percent of NAHCO’s turnover or 15 per cent of net profit as support management charges is an albatross that further challenged existing 5 per cent or 27 per cent concession charges of FAAN.
The shareholders other basis for a forensic investigation, they submitted are that the proposed agreement breached existing good corporate governance as NAHCO and Rosehill shares a common board Chairman while the Vice Chairman of NAHCO board currently serve as the Managing Director of Rosehill Group.
The concern shareholders also lamented the anticipated dangerous conflict of interests of the Board, the rationale behind the proposed amendment of the company’s MEMAT, proposed investment into Deluxe Suit and Hotel and the recent MOU on NAHCO power.
They also urged SEC to investigate the true status of Rosehill in NAHCO, to avoid unwholesome appropriation of the company’s assets and earnings, especially the sudden increase of NAHCO’s warehouse modernisation expenditure to N1.8 billion from N250 million.
The investors also described as illogical the moves by the Board to relieve NAHCO external auditors of their job stressing that it due mainly to the auditor’s courage in querying the huge expenses of the board members and the employment of a Deputy Chief Operating Officer on $85,000 after tax profit salary and a 2.5 per cent commission.