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Retail investors are backbone of our market — Olatokunbo

Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, former National Publicity Secretary,  Nigerian Shareholders Solidarity Association of Nigeria, NSSA, in this interview with Peter Egwuatu, spoke on issues affecting the capital market as well as his expectations on quoted companies’ performance. Excerpts:

Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo

HOW do you see the regulators in the Nigerian capital market especially in terms of regulations and enforcement?

Well, our regulators in the Nigerian capital market do not recognise the retail investors. They prefer to deal with high network investors and foreign investors. I hope the crash of stock market in 2009 would have thought them some lessons.

The retail investors are the backbone of our market, and hence should be carried along in some decision making. The SEC prefers to react than to monitor. The SEC should monitor activities in the market.

I believe that is why they send representative to any Annual General Meeting, AGM of companies. They like to place sanctions on companies with heavy penalties, instead of preventing breaches. Well, in recent times, I see them becoming active.

Are you in support of transfer of unclaimed dividend into the proposed Capital Market Development Fund?

I am not in support. This is because the dividend belongs to the shareholders and not to the SEC. The law is clear on this; that any unclaimed dividend after 12 years is returned to the company that declared it, pending when the rightful shareholders may come for it. So, why would the SEC want to take money that belong to shareholders to set up a development fund.

How do you see the third quarter, 2017 results being released by companies?

I had expected the companies to turn better results than the preceding period. So from both the investors and economic point of views l would say that my expectations are very high and the reason goes thus.

If, the companies were able to give returns on investments under the economic recession, then now that the economy is out of recession, they should do better.

Some of the results released so far had showed growth in revenue and profit while costs are still on the high side. So, government should try to improve on the provision of infrastructural facilities to reduce costs of transactions by firms.

What is your expectation for the fourth quarter performance?

But, the third quarter results might be walls apart to the final-end of the year results, because most   third quarter results are management draft   results, which needs the panel-beating of the Board, Audit Committee and both the Internal and External Auditors; while the end result might differ to the expectations on the third quarter’s results.

But, if all things are equal in the presentations of the third quarter’s results, there is possibility for a rosy final year results.


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