By PETER EGWUATU
Against the backdrop of servicing banks’ loan, shareholders of Oando Plc have called on the Board of Directors of the company to raise fresh funds by increasing its share capital.
The shareholders at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the weekend in Lagos, noted the huge investment embarked upon by the company in its diversified strategy.
Speaking at the AGM, Sir Sunny Nwosu, National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) said, “Information must get to the stock market at the right time so that the price of the company’s share can be adequately priced even with the unfortunate challenges we are facing in the capital market and economy in general. With information about the company more shares will be bought from the market and this will raise the price of our shares.”
On the issue of increase in share capital, he said, “ It is necessary for the company to raise fresh funds either by way of rights issue or script issue. If the company wants to float rights issue, there must be attractive pricing, because the existing shareholders who had invested in the past should be able to reap bountifully from such transactions.. In fact, there is great future for Oando and we shareholders should rally around it and be patient because it takes three or more years to reap from huge investment in building subsidiaries.”
Chief Sola Abodunrin, Chairman, Ibadan Zonal Shareholders Association, commended the company’s diversification drive, saying it is good thing for the economy.
According to him, “The investment by the company is a good one but it should be able to lead us to somewhere that the shareholders can benefit no matter how small. With Earning Per Share (EPS) of 165 kobo, the company should have been able to part something to the shareholders.
Mr. Boniface Okezie, Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), equally commended the company for the huge investment, saying, “We hope to reap in the nearest future. Furthermore there is need for the company to raise fresh funds because we cannot continue to work for the banks by paying huge interest to them.”
In response, Group Managing Director, Oando Plc, Mr. Wale Tinubu, commended the shareholders for their loyalty and support for the company. According to him, “Despite the challenges faced in 2011, we have positive outlook on 2012, especially with the expected additional production streams anticipated in the year.
Furthermore, we are cautiously optimistic towards a resolution to the current impasse with the much anticipated passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly. Following our write-downs in 2011, we anticipate a robust performance in 2012, having dealt with all costs that could negatively impact future performance.”