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NGX Group suspends plan to raise fresh N35b as Ogunbanjo retires

By Helen Oji
03 October 2022   |   4:05 am
The Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group) at the 61st Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos at the weekend, announced plans to shelve the proposed raising of N35 billion for business expansion.

NGX Group building

The Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group) at the 61st Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos at the weekend, announced plans to shelve the proposed raising of N35 billion for business expansion.

Besides, the Chairman of NGX Group, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo, who was due for re-election for a period of one year until the next meeting in 2023, voluntarily retired from the board and did not present himself for re-election.

Recall that some shareholders of the group had last week applied for a court injunction to stop the AGM from holding over some myriads of disagreement between some shareholders and the NGX.

In a notice to the public published in several newspapers, Counsel to the shareholders S.O&C Legal, brought the suit before the Federal High Court, applying for an interlocutory injunction to stop the AGM.

The Group had as part of a special business intended to seek shareholders’ approval at the AGM to raise additional capital of up to N35 billion to fund the business expansion; the growth phase for existing business lines/investments and investments in identified and carefully-curated new targets, in line with the company’s and NGX Group’s strategy.

“As captured in the notice of the AGM, the Company does not intend to raise the entire amount in USD. NGX Group had also identified viable investment opportunities in line with its strategic expansion plans, including deepening investments in the existing portfolio companies to ensure high and steady dividend returns,” it was disclosed.

Ogunbanjo while addressing shareholders at the meeting said the board decided to step down the capital raise to allow for wider consultation.

He said the decision to drop his re-election bid after 18 months post-demutualisation statutory provision given to the board to stabilise the exchange and move the local bourse forward.
Four non-executive directors of the board were re-elected. They included Fatimah Bintah Bello-Ismail, Oluwole Adeosun, Chidi Agbapu, and Patrick Ajayi.

Ogunbanjo commended the shareholders for working assiduously with the board in delivering the dividends of demutualisation and enhancing shareholder value and for attaining many firsts during his term in office.

“We released our dividend policy in line with our mandate to shareholders after the completion of our recent extraordinary General Meeting.
We also created a revised corporate governance framework, already approved by shareholders and consistent with securities regulations to realign the interests of all stakeholders.

“We also created a revised corporate governance framework, already approved by shareholders and consistent with securities regulations to realign the interests of all stakeholders.

“In closing, I would like to thank the Board and Management of NGX Group for their support since I assumed office as Chairman of the Group in 2021. As I retire from the Board, I trust that my successor will continue the legacy of service and bring greater accomplishments as the sustainable exchange group championing Africa’s socio-economic growth,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer, Oscar Onyema, said the Group recorded a 22 per cent increase in profitability, 13 per cent rise in gross earnings and 14.9 per cent growth in revenue.

According to him, the Group would do everything within its power to consolidate the performance going forward, while urging stakeholders to support its programmes.

After the AGM, the board appointed Apollos Ikpobe as Acting Chairman, who said he recognised the enormous responsibility associated with the role.

He pledged to work with all stakeholders to ensure the stability and growth of the company during this transition. “On behalf of the board, I thank Ogunbanjo for his selfless service to the company over the years,” he said.