Oando Shareholders Reiterate Support for Management, Condemn OSSG

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Oando PLC shareholder groups has condemned the recent public outcry by some disgruntled shareholders under the aegis of the Oando Shareholders Solidarity Group (OSSG) which has put the company on the spotlight.

They expressed concern on the negative effects which such action by some shareholders has had on the fortunes of a once boisterous company and appealed to them to desist from further actions that could further hurt the interests. 

The shareholders who are members of associations from across the country including the Shareholders United Front Association and the National Coordinating Committee of Shareholders Association. The members have raised concerns at the public nature of the SEC investigation and the impact it has had on the Company to date, from a reduction in share price to eroded local and international investor confidence.  They have also condemned the fact that one group seem to have taken on the role of spokesperson for all Oando shareholders.

 Clement Ebitimi, South-South Coordinator of OSSG had discredited the Company’s recent statement on the SEC’s mishandling of the investigation by stating that he did not believe that the current management of Oando PLC was protecting the interests of shareholders and that all shareholders of the Company were angry, and frustratingly tired of the management. 

Mr. Gbenga Idowu of the Shareholders United Front Association however countered Mr. Clement’s statement by saying that another shareholder could not speak on behalf of all Oando shareholders especially when shareholders that attended the most recent Company AGM showed their support and confidence in the current management through their votes and voices.

 His statement can be tied back to the fact that at Oando’s last AGM the shareholders reaffirmed their support for the management team of the Company by unanimously passing all resolutions proposed and some went so far as to  chant praises as Wale Tinubu, the Group Chief Executive, Oando PLC spoke.  When the floor was open to shareholders to speak, some commended the management for delivering on their promise to return the Company to profitability in 2017. 

Mrs. Oludewa Thorpe a member of the National Coordinating Committee of Shareholders Association said, “Having worked tirelessly to bring the Company back from a loss position two years ago to four quarters of profitability, it is evident that the management team is interested in truly turning the Company around.’’ 

Due to the public nature of the investigation, Oando had said that within six days of the SEC investigation in July, the Company lost N26bn in market capitalisation. The Company like some of her shareholders had also complained about continued media leaks, the SEC’s silence in addressing these leaks and the negative impact to the Company and its shareholders.

 

This concern was further reiterated by Mrs. Bisi Bakare, a shareholder of the Company who at the Company’s 40th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Uyo on September 11, 2017 advised that shareholders resolve their disputes with the Company in private to avoid unnecessary sensationalism which would in turn result in the loss of money for the Company and its shareholders.

 

At this same AGM there were protests by supposed shareholders asking for the management team to step down, Oando had in an official statement indicated that these were not shareholders as they were given the opportunity to enter the venue and raise their concerns with management and vote accordingly however none were able to provide any shareholder identification and so were not allowed entry.  An Oando executive on the promise of anonymity has gone so far as to say that these are sponsored personnel, individuals who are not shareholders of the Company purposely calling on the removal of the current management team.  The Oando executive went on to say ‘’It is interesting that these purported shareholders never use the available avenues to bring up and resolve their issues, every instance they have called for management to step down has been in the public domain, to get media attention and damage the brand.  Is this what a real shareholder does?’’

 

Against this backdrop Alhaji Kabiru Tambari, an Oando shareholder from Sokoto State said “I am a 100% with Oando PLC, I have been a shareholder since 1991 when the Company was Unipetrol.  The current management team are truly trying their best and this is evidenced with the Company’s return to profit after a period of loss. There  is no reason to ask the management team to step down, why didn’t these protestors and so called shareholder groups ask for Wale Tinubu and his management team to step down when the Company was making a loss?  Why would anyone ask for them to step down today when the Company is finally making a profit, a time when profit means the Company’s share price and shareholder investment will start going up?  The technical suspension of the Company’s shares mean that we the shareholders can’t even see this profit translate to appreciation in share price so ultimately we are on the receiving end of this issue.’’