By William Jimoh and Ediri Ejoh
Boniface Okezie: I think beyond calling on companies to be listed on the exchange, both the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) should be able to create an enabling environment for oil companies to list. It is not only about mere pronouncement for them to come and list, and not only about the listing fees that will be paid.
They must also take time to find out the challenges the already listed companies are passing through. We have a lot of oil companies like Oando that are listed today, what is their stake in doing business, their shares are declining on daily basis. We have the Total of this world, Mobil, Conoil, Eterna Oil and others; I think they must be assisted by the regulatory authority to have an environment that is conducive for doing business.
The regulator needs to define the criteria for listing the foreign companies properly. The companies would want to know if listing on the Exchange will not impact them negatively will their equity continue to go up or the reverse will be the case?
You must also declare terms on when they should come and when they can leave. We want them to come and list including the MTN, Etisalat, and Globacom which is an indigenous conglomerate operating in both oil and telecommunication. What I think is stopping those companies from coming to list on the exchange is the fact that the environment is not favorable enough for them. The regulator therefore should join the minority shareholders in our plead to the government to provide a conducive environment both for the already listed companies and for those that are yet to be listed on the exchange most especially those that are doing business in the country.
As stated earlier, those companies will also want to look at what is happening to their competitors that are already listed on the exchange and see whether they are doing well or not.
By listening, at the end of the process, you want the fees to be paid, so there must also be level playing ground, they should be able to see that one particular set of companies are not to be favored at the expense of others operating in the same market. There must also be total transparency, and honesty in the operation of the market, and these are things they should be saying and urged to come into the market. (Mr. Boniface Okezie, President of the Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria)
Pastor Williams Adebayo: That is one issue I think now than before, should be given priority in the market, if possible, legislation should be put in place to mandate all the big companies doing business in the country which are not listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
If our legislators can do this for us, we as minority shareholders will be very happy. And beyond our satisfaction with such a step, the presence of this market will also boost the growth we are experiencing in the market today as well as contribute to the growth of the Nigeria economy, thereby making the country a destination for higher attraction to foreign investors to invest.
Like we all know the telecommunication sector is the fastest growing business in the country today, thus if the service providers are listed, it will certainly better the market and the ordinary man can buy their shares and make some profits.
Aside the telecoms, there are some big oil companies among others doing business in the country that are not listed, consideration should also be given to these areas too because they are all areas of potentials that need to be exploit.
A company like Promasidor that is making good strife in the Nigerian market, whose products are virtually in every part of the country should have no excuse for not listing. And when this happen, they will be able to compete well with other companies in the health care division where Nestle is currently dominating. And if the competition (Pastor Williams Adebayo is the President Greenwich Shareholders Association of Nigeria)