Scores of stakeholders of Oando Plc from across South Western States stormed Ibadan, Oyo state capital Tuesday, protesting alleged N263billion liability of the company which the Auditors report claimed is making “Oando Plc no longer a going concern”.
This is the second public protest against the company’s management in one week. On Monday last week, a separate group known as the Oando Shareholders Solidarity Group also staged a protest at the company’s 40th Annual General Meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, demanding Wale Tinubu’s resignation over alleged mismanagement of the company.
Converging on the premises of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Iyaganku Ibadan from where they proceeded to the Nigerian Stock Exchange office at Dugbe business centre of the city, the shareholders, who carried placards with various inscriptions against Oando’s management, demanded the resignation or sack of the company’s Managing Director, Wale Tinubu to pave the way for thorough probe of the company’s finances.
The protesters were armed with copies of the 2016 Annual General Meeting where the External Auditor, Ernst & Young stated that the company was currently in dire strait because “the company reported a comprehensive loss of N56.6 billion in 2015 and N33.9 billion in 2016 and to date, it’s current liabilities exceeded current assets by N14.6 billion”.
Their spokespersons; the National President of the Renaissance Shareholders Association, and the National Coordinator, Proactive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Ambassador Olufemi Timothy and Mr. Taiwo Oderinde respectively, condemned the last Annual General Meeting of the company which they said was stage-managed to “allow for unfettered and continuous pilfering of the company’s hard earned money by the current management”.
According to Ambassador Timothy, Oando Plc is practically dead because it is no more a going concern.
“Its contemporaries are doing well and bringing glory to their shareholders. We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Financial Regulatory Council of Nigeria (FRCN), Stock Exchange Commission (SEC) and the National Assembly Committees on Capital market to wade in before its too late,” he said.
He continued: “We are dying because our investments in the company had grown wings. The shares we bought for N90 has come down to N5 under Wale Tinubu’s watch. Proper probe should be carried out. Tinubu should step aside. The company is gone with its current reported N263billion negative working capital. We worked hard to invest in the company but what are we getting in return? Absolutely nothing! The poor shareholders are suffering and some have died. We have a lot of retired people dying because their investment had gone. Under the current management, Oando is suffering us a lot and we cannot tolerate it again.
“Wale Tinubu must resign or step aside for proper investigation. They have started selling the company’s assets with the downstream sector gone and more in the pipeline for sale. We have facts and figures on all these. They are not just mere hearsay,” Ambassador Timothy added.
Mr. Oderinde of Proactive Shareholders Association said, “Enough is enough and Wale Tinubu must go. If you go to the Transparency International website, you will see their rating of Nigeria on global corruption index and it was stated therein that not only individuals are corrupt in Nigeria but institutions too. Little did we know Transparency International was referring to company’s like Oando PLC”.
At the NSE, the shareholders called on the management of the exchange to take immediate action to rescue Oando.
They stressed that regulators will be failing in their duty if Wale Tinubu is allowed to remain as chief executive officer of the company.
Reading company’s external auditors report on the company’s annual report, he said, “This is a document from our company showing we are highly indebted and cannot continue as a going concern. What is the hope of shareholders? We demand that Wale Tinubu steps down as CEO to enable regulators carry out a proper investigation.”
In his response, Branch Manager of the exchange, Mr Kayode Ogun assured the shareholders that their complaints will be looked into.
He urged the shareholders to write formal letter to the NSE management for action.