SEC, Oando get 14-day ultimatum to resolve alleged N799b shareholders’ liabilities
The House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and other Institutions has issued the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Oando Plc a two-week ultimatum to resolve all lingering issues bordering on the N799 billion stakeholders’ liabilities.
During a meeting yesterday in Abuja with officials of the two organisations and some aggrieved shareholders of the oil company and presided over by the panel’s deputy chairman, Tony Nwulu, members lamented the free fall of Oando’s shareholding value, which they currently put at N159 billion.
They said the committee would be compelled to open an investigative public hearing, if SEC, the oil firm and its shareholders fail to reach an agreement on the way forward.
The president of Renaissance Stakeholders Association of Nigeria Incorporated, Olufemi Timothy, who led the angry shareholders to the National Assembly to submit a six-page petition to the office of the panel chairman, said the move was to bring their plight to the notice of the parliament.
He was accompanied by the National Coordinator of Proactive Shareholders of Nigeria, Akinolu Taiwo Oderinde.Timothy accused the regulators, including SEC and the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, of being complacent in the discharge of their constitutional mandates, calling for an independent probe of the accounts of the company.
He alleged that the company has not paid dividends to shareholders since 2013 financial year.The petition reads in part: “The group has negative working capital of over N263 billion consequence of current liabilities above, lighter than current assets, meaning that the management was unable to service its obligations financially.
“Claim of creditors is higher than the owners, shareholders’ equity, meaning that the group could be liquidated by the creditors anytime if urgent action is not taken.
“With accumulated losses of over N159 billion, shareholders could not get a dime as cash dividend. No hope of redeeming these reserved losses.“Court cases, as projected by the management, may take claims of over N608 billion which is far greater than the assets of the entire group, meaning that the group is at a very high risk of liquidation if the court cases succeed.
“Both current and long-term liabilities stand at over N799 billion. Management was selling assets of the company, especially money-spinning assets such as downstream (Marketing) business without meaningful improvement in debts situation. It was planning to sell its share in OER which unfortunately is the last asset belonging to the company.”Nwulu, however, assured the petitioners that the committee would ensure a peaceful resolution of the crisis.