Rights group mounts protest
By Peter Egwuatu
Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group) is set to list its shares by introduction on the Main Board of Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).
The proposed listing follows the successful completion of the demutualisation and restructuring of the former Nigerian Stock Exchange and its related operations within the new NGX Group.
Shares of NGX Group are expected to commence trading on NGX following the listing.
All regulatory requirements have been fulfilled and the Listing has received the approval of NGX Regulation Limited.
About two billion shares are expected to be admitted to trading and the shares will trade under the ticker NGXGROUP.
Oscar N. Onyema, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NGX Group, said: “I am pleased to confirm that the Group intends to move ahead with its listing by Introduction on the Main Board of NGX Exchange.
Together with many other listed companies, NGX Group will take advantage of the strategic opportunities open to quoted companies in Nigeria. As a listed entity, The Group will have access to the widest range of new investors, including the growing pool of institutional investors. Demutualisation has created many new possibilities for The Group and our listing is just one more step in our evolution.”
Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo, Group Chairman of NGX Group also stated: “The Group expects the Listing to bring significant benefits to its business and its stakeholders. NGX Group will enhance its strategic flexibility by creating new financing opportunities and partnership possibilities, while diversifying its shareholder base. This milestone will open up The Group’s capital to new investors within the Nigerian investing public as well as international institutions thereby reinforcing NGX Group’s presence in international capital markets, and for its current long-term shareholders, it will create the possibility to realise value.”
Rights group mounts protest
Meanwhile, a rights activists group, Nigeria for All Nigerians, NAN, has expressed concern over the NGX Group shares listing, alleging that it may have violated the Nigerian Investments and Securities Act.
The concern of NAN relates to the Rule 184(2)(a) on the status of Mr. Oscar Onyema as the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Exchange Group while also serving as a Non-Executive Director of Nigerian Exchange Limited.
A statement from Mr. Dele Ajanaku, NAN’s Secretary General said, “The impending listing by introduction of the shares of NGX Group on the main Board of NGX Limited vis-a-vis Mr. Onyema’s portfolio in the two companies will be a violation of Rule 184(2)(a) on the status of Mr. Oscar Onyema as the CEO of NGX Group while also serving as a Non-Executive Director of NGX Limited.”
According to him, “Rule 184 (2) states that a securities exchange shall have a code of conduct for its council members or Board which shall be approved by the Commission and shall contain provisions that the council members or Board shall not be staff of a quoted company and its subsidiaries.
“The purpose of this provision is to forestall a situation where a Council or Board member of an Exchange would be in a position to extend special privileges or exercise undue influence towards a listed company which he/she works for.
“On the basis of the foregoing, it is recommended that the Commission should request Mr. Onyema to relinquish one of the portfolios he is currently occupying so as to comply with Rule 184(2).”