A group of shareholders on Monday stormed the Annual General Meeting of Oando Plc in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State with placards demanding the resignation of the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Wale Tinubu. The shareholders, who defied the heavy downpour in Uyo, said the meeting was taken to “a remote location” to prevent them from attending.
The protesters, who carried placards and sang solidarity songs, accused Tinubu of alleged mismanagement and lack of full disclosure to the regulatory authorities.
Also, the auditor to the company, Ernst & Young, in their report at the Annual General Meeting, casted doubt over the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.
According to the auditors, “We are drawing attention to note 45 in the financial statements, which indicates that the company reported a comprehensive loss for the year of N33.9 billion ( 2015: loss N56.6 billion) and as at that date, it’s curent assets exceeded curent liabilities by N14.6 billion (2015: N32.8 billion net curent liability). The group recorded a comprehensive income of N112.4 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016 (2015: loss N37.8 billion) and as at that date, it’s curent liability exceeded current assets by N263.8 billion (2015: N260.4 billion). As stated in the notes, these conditions, along with other matters, indicate that a material uncertainty exist that may cast significant doubt on the company (and Group’s) ability to continue as a going concern.”
Leader of the protesters, Clement Ebitimi, said, “We are shareholders and stakeholders of Oando Plc. We have read several newspaper reports on allegations of gross mismanagement by the present Management of Oando Plc.
“For the past three months, there have been reports of huge financial mismanagement, very high debt and cooked books by Oando. These reports were featured in Thisday, Businessday, Vanguard and other newspapers.
“As it stands, Oando is in a very bad shape, although the company’s report points to the contrary.
“Despite these official denials, shareholders have lost a fortune with the shares of the company plummeting to the bottom. We and our relatives have lost enormous sums of money as a result. The value of our shares today stands at less than ten percent of what it used to be. It has plunged from a high of N95 less than ten years ago to as low as a little above N6 per share.
“In the midst of all these, the management and board are feeding fat on the company, earning huge salaries and rewarding themselves handsomely.
As was reported in the newspapers, there is strong uncertainty regarding the going concern status of Oando– a situation which is clear from its 2015 report and strengthened in 2016 as pointed out by the auditors in their report.
In 2016 alone, the company’s operational management closed with a huge loss of over N7.68 billion, which is higher than the loss in 2015.”
The protesters demanded that Wale Tinubu stepped down to allow competent hands manage the affairs of the company to save millions of Nigerians from further loss of their hard-earned money.
However, some other shareholders demanded that the management reconcile with aggrieved investors and majority shareholders so as to save the company from collapse.
According the the National Coordinator of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Boniface Okezie, “We are aware of the petition written to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by the majority shareholders of this company. We demand that the management reconcile with them and give them the three vacant positions on the board. This will save this company from collapse.”
Oando has been in the eye of the storm lately. The company’s majority shareholders, Ansbury Investment Incorporated recently sent a petition to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accusing Oando management of mismanagement and poor corporate governance.
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