Retail shareholders seek protection of local investors’ rights
The Joint Shareholders Association of Nigeria (JSAN) has urged the National Assembly to ensure that the rights of retail shareholders are protected in line with international best practice in the process of amending the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990.
The shareholders, who spoke at a workshop on the proposed amendment of the CAMA 1990, and its effect on retail shareholders vowed to resist plans by the regulatory authority to impose any law on them.
Specifically, a shareholder, Gbadebo Olatokumbo, stressed the need to train the members of the audit committee to enable them acquire knowledge that would sustain their oversight function.
“The audit committee members should be empowered. They should be trained to acquire more knowledge so that they would improve on their oversight function.”
Another shareholder, Sotunde Sopeju, explained that the issue of tenure ship should be clearly spelled out in the formation of audit committee. He added that a shareholder is not allowed to be a member of an audit committee in more than one firm.
“Nobody should be in audit committee for more than one year. Some people have been in a particular company for more that 25 years. No one should be in more than one company.”
The past president of Institute of Directors Nigeria (IOD) and immediate past Chairman of Lafarge Cement, Olusegun Osunkeye, urged the shareholders to collaborate with the management of the various companies towards ensuring that they create sustainable wealth through profitability.
Osunkeye, who was the chairman of the occasion, said: “The retail shareholders want to look at the proposed amendment with regard to protection of shareholders rights particularly the retail shareholders, which is of concern to them.
“The plan is to discuss with the various stakeholders and to look at the proposed amendment of the CAMA act call in some experts, pointing out the usefulness of the Act, the challenges, the problems that the feel on proposal and offering some solutions to protect shareholders rights and look into shareholders activism in the interest of the overall company.
“The retail shareholders coming together, would give them more clout, it would give them influence, rather than acting individually. If they have considered their positions thoroughly and they come together, then various organisations and public companies will listen to them because they know that they have considered the issue and that they are strong.
“It is good that they are coming together and I have addressed them to say that as shareholders when they engage in shareholders activism, they should try and collaborate with various companies in moving the se companies forward.
“For them to get value for their in getting value for their investment, they should help the board and management in achieving their objectives of the company which is to create wealth through profitability on a sustainable note,” he added.