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ISAN to increase advocacy, protect minority shareholders

By Helen Oji
28 November 2022   |   3:59 am
Independence Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) has assured that it will strengthen advocacy with regulators on issues that conflict with investors' interest to protect minority shareholders.

President, Independent Shareholders Association, Sir Sunny Nwosu

Independence Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) has assured that it will strengthen advocacy with regulators on issues that conflict with investors’ interest to protect minority shareholders.

Coordinator Emeritus and Chairman of ISAN Universal Academy, Sir Sunny Nwosu, said the association is doing everything within its powers to set good standards for other shareholder groups and ensure that shareholders embrace constructive activism, as well as desist from sleeping over their rights.

At a one-day stakeholders’ interactive dialogue themed: ‘CAC Guidelines on Proxies AGMS of Public Companies Post COVID-19: Matters Arising’, held in Lagos at the weekend, Nwosu said that the dialogue was aimed at retooling the new normal enthroned worldwide in 2020 through the global health challenge known as the COVID-19.

“COVID-19 ushered in public health uncertainties that disrupted international economic order. The pandemic which touched all sectors of the economy led to a new normal that metamorphosed into remote operations.

“As the new normal evolved in response to COVID-19, the pandemic accelerated the mandate for the digital revolution, as many companies embraced and adjusted to the use of remote technology,” he said.

Earlier, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Registrars-General (RG), A.G Abubakar, announced that the guidelines on the use of proxies by public companies for the yearly General Meetings (AGMs) will cease to apply effective January 1, 2023.

Abubakar, who was represented by Assistant Director, RG’s Office, CAC, Tolu Sonaike at the occasion, said the guidelines would cease to apply after December 31, 2022, adding that a public notice to the effect was issued last week Monday. “Accordingly, all public companies that have been approved to hold their AGMs using proxies are expected to do so not later than this date. A public notice to this effect was issued on Monday, 21st November 21, 2022, ” he said.

Abubakar recalled that the guidelines on the use of proxies by public companies in holding AGMs were issued to address particular concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitate compliance by these companies with statutory obligations.

He pointed out that the compelling circumstances of the pandemic which necessitated the guidelines had ceased to exist.

Furthermore, he stressed the need for public companies to ensure compliance with the new directive.

“Notwithstanding whatever benefits, holding AGMs by proxies may have afforded the companies, the option is at the instance of individual members of the company and may not be foisted on any member,” he said.

He also commended ISAN for being a proactive association committed to the interest of its members and the economy at large.

Also speaking, the President of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ICMR), Seyi Owoturo, said that AGMs by proxies were introduced by CAC to address physical distancing as ordered by the Federal Government.

Owoturo represented by Catherine Nwosu, Second Vice Chairman, ICMR, said that the guideline was very useful during COVID-19 which made it possible for public companies to hold AGMs like other countries of the world.

He also commended ISAN for their contributions towards the effective holding of AGMs of public companies in Nigeria.