By Nkiruka Nnorom
Shareholders have berated the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, and the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, over the controversy generated from their counter-positions Wednesday on the trading status of Oando Plc’s shares.
Some of the shareholders under the aegis of Proactive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PROSAN), Trusted Shareholders Association of Nigeria (TSAN) and the Oando Shareholders Solidarity Group (OSSG) accused SEC of frustrating the forensic audit of Oando and vowed to resist attempts by SEC and the management of Oando to lift the ban on the shares of the embattled oil company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) “through the back door”. The leaders of the groups accused the current leadership of SEC of “doing nothing concerning the Oando issue”.
The Coordinator of OSSG, Clement Ebitimi, said the leadership of SEC has shown ineptitude in handling the Oando crisis. He vowed that his group would institute legal action against SEC and the NSE if the technical suspension on Oando shares is lifted without the conclusion of the forensic audit.
Mr. Eric Akinduro, Chairman, Ibadan Zone Shareholders Association, described the development as a communication gap between the NSE and SEC, but wondered why such gap should exist between the regulators of the stock market.
He, however, said that the decision to lift the suspension is in the best interest of investors and the capital market. “The directive and counter directive from SEC simply shows that something is wrong somewhere and until that is corrected, the global community will not take our market serious.
“What happened yesterday (Wednesday) showed that there was confusion somewhere and there is a power, a force behind it and that is the force that is dictating what we are seeing as the Oando game.”
Agreeing with him, Mr. Patrick Ajudua, National Chairman, New Dimension Shareholders Association, NDSA, said: “We are disappointed because regulators must be seen to be above board in order to maintain the integrity of the capital market. That is their primary responsibility. This type of thing does not portray them in good light and foreign investors will not take us serious.”
Meanwhile, the trading results yesterday showed that the shares of the company rose by 10 percent following the removal of the technical suspension and resumption of price movement.