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November 24, 2023

NGX axes 30 companies over corporate governance

NGX axes 30 companies over corporate governance

By Nkiruka Nnorom

The Nigerian Exchange  Limited (NGX) has indicted 30 quoted companies for breach of its corporate governance rule in respect of filing their financial statements.

The companies are  Fidelity Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, Unity Bank Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) Plc, Jaiz Bank Plc, Wema Bank, Guaranty Trust Company (GTCo) Plc, NPF Microfinance Bank, Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc, Royal Exchange Plc, Universal Insurance Plc, Regency Alliance Insurance Plc, Thomas Wyatt Nigeria Plc, Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc and Juli Plc.

Others are Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Ardova Plc (now delisted), Conoil Plc, Presco Plc, PZ Cusson Nigeria Plc, Daar Communication Plc, Champion Breweries Plc, Notore Chemical Industries Plc, GlaxoSmithKline Nigeria Plc (GSK), Industrial Medical & Gases Nigeria Plc, C&I Leasing Plc, John Holt Plc, and Briclinks Africa Plc.

The filing defaults ranged between full-year and quarterly financial statements, for which they were made to pay a cumulative fine of N230 million.

As part of the post-listing rules of the NGX, companies quoted on the Exchange are required to file their respective unaudited quarterly and audited yearly financial statements with the NGX a month after the end of each quarter and three months after the end of a financial reporting year.

Companies experiencing any form of challenge that would hinder the submission within the stipulated timeframe are required by the post-listing rule to communicate the challenge with the NGX.

Compliance with the rule, according to the NGX, promotes transparency, helps orderliness in the market and ultimately helps investors in making informed decisions regarding the companies’ securities. Vanguard’s findings show that 10 of the companies that defaulted in submission of different quarterly results attracted N183.5 million, representing 79.5 percent of the total fines. 

C&I Leasing Plc, which failed in timely submission of its 2022 audited full year, as well as the unaudited first and second quarters 2023 financial statements, was penalised to the tune of N60.7 million. 

Presco Plc attracted N24.8 million fines following the late filing of its audited 2022 financial statement and the first quarter 2023 (Q1’23) financials.

Ardova Plc’s default filing of its 2022 audited financial statement and Q1’23 statement attracted N18.6 million fines to the company. Reacting to the development, Patrick Ajudua, National Chairman, New Dimension Shareholders Association, said, “it is surprising that despite fines imposed on the companies, they still default in the post-listing rule’s requirement”.

Though he blamed the primary regulators of some of the companies involved in approving their results for the delay, he said that the fines are in order to enforce compliance. 

He stated: “A closer look into the root cause will show that some of the reasons are attributable to delays experienced from their primary regulators. Besides this, as shareholders we are okay with the fine as it tends to ensure adherence to listing rules. “Going forward, there is the need to ensure that officers whose lapses attract such fines are made to bear the punishment. The companies should be made to strengthen their compliance units to ensure compliance with the NGX’s rules”.