Oando Chaos: Finance Minister Queries SEC, Demotes Zubair, Acting DG

Oando Chaos: Finance Minister Queries SEC, Demotes Zubair, Acting DG


Post Views: 533 Just as some analysts had anticipated, the regulatory sloppiness that resulted in the morning lifting, cancellation and another liftin...

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Just as some analysts had anticipated, the regulatory sloppiness that resulted in the morning lifting, cancellation and another lifting of the technical suspension of Oando Plc share price within 48 hours this week recorded its first casualty on Friday. Nigeria’s Finance Minister on Friday asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to formally explain the recent communications with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The communications, the Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said in a statement b Oluyinka Akintunde, her Special Adviser, Media & Communications, “adversely impacted market confidence.”
Even before the explanation, the Minister in her capacity as supervisor to the SEC, in her capacity as supervisor, in the absence of a board, also on Friday, approved the removal of Dr. Abdul Zubair as acting Director-General.
Dr. Zubair is to return to his previous position as head, External Relations Department.
In his place, the Minister appointed Ms. Mary Uduk, who until now, was Coordinating Director, Operations, in line with provisions of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), 2007 and the conditions of service applicable to the Director-General of the Commission.
Adeosun had in a letter dated April 13, 2018, according to the statement said “Uduk’s appointment had become necessary to ensure effective regulation of the Capital Market.
“Her appointment will, subject to satisfactory performance, subsist until further notice,” it added.
The Finance Minister also announced appointment of three acting Executive Commissioners namely: Reginald C. Karawusa, Legal and Enforcement; Isiyaku Tilde, Operations; and Henry Roland Adekunle, Corporate Services.
Uduk joined the SEC in 1986 as an assistant financial analyst, after which she handled many functions and departments in the commission. These include: corporate finance, administration, providing structural, policy and due diligence for capital market transactions. She has also been responsible for managing several landmark capital market projects, like the registration of Capital Market Operators, articulating rules for bonds and equities; Mergers, acquisitions and Takeovers, and managing the banking and insurance industry consolidations between 2005-2007.
The new Acting DG was the pioneer Head of the Operations Division in the Lagos Zonal Office, besides heading such Departments as: Internal Control, Investment Management, Financial Standards and Corporate Governance and Securities, and Investment Services Department, among others.

Bismark Rewane
Commenting on the lifting of the Oando Plc technical suspension, Bismark Rewane, managing director of Financial Derivatives said: “The way we handle these matters also sends a clear signal to potential, existing and international investors that this market is transparent, accountable and is there to protect all interests and not to be used for punitive purposes.”
He urged market regulators to learn from their mistakes in handling the Oando issue to avoid a repeat in future and that the commission should commit the resources needed to conclude the forensic audit on Oando as the market cannot wait indefinitely.

The Drama
Drama stated on Wednesday, when the NSE, acting on the commission’s directive via an April 9, 2018 letter announced that the lifting of the technical suspension placed on Oando Plc last October.
However, to the shock and chagrin of investors and observers of the Nigerian Stock market, most dominated by foreign investors, the suspension was reimposed after only three hours. The decision, on the orders of the SEC was after expectant investors had moved the price by about 10%, with the stock well on full bid.

SEC Explains
The commission had in a statement on Wednesday night admitted directing the NSE to lift the suspension on Oando shares, following its desire to enable “market determination of the (company’s) share price.”
By so doing, the commission said it “acted in the interest of shareholders and would continue to protect the interest of all the investors and other shareholders in the capital market.”
It recalled that the shares of Oando were placed on technical suspension in October 2017, following the announcement of a forensic audit aimed at protecting investors as a short-term measure.
Suspensions, it continued, “are typically intended for a short period to ensure market stability and thereafter lifted to allow market dictates.
“However, the suspension of the shares of Oando plc was prolonged due to several litigations by Oando and other shareholders contesting the propriety of the forensic audit and technical suspension. All
“Litigations have now been withdrawn, the independent forensic audit by Deloitte is ongoing and the primary result is expected,” which was why the lifting was directed,”
promising to update relevant stakeholders on the outcome of the forensic audit.