Energy  

Minority shareholders accuse SEC of delay in Oando audit 

Minority shareholders of Oando Plc under the aegis of the Proactive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PROSAN), have complained of unnecessary delays in market regulators proceeding with the forensic audit of the indigenous oil company as planned.

In a a fresh petition to the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and other Institutions, the shareholders accused the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), of shielding Oando Plc from the probe.

The development comes, as Oando, last week, informed all its shareholders of delay in the release of its full year 2017 report, following a detailed review of its account the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN). 

The petition, signed by Taiwo Oderinde, and Nnodu Okeke, the National Coordinator, and Legal Adviser respectively of the Association, was dated February 21, and titled: “Dangerous And Malicious Deliberate Attempts By The Acting Director-General, Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC) To Cover Up Oando Nigeria Plc And Protect The Company From Forensic Audit.” 

While commending the House Committee on its unrelenting efforts to sanitise the Nigerian capital market, and to make it one of the best in the world, PROSAN said the time had come to take decisive action on the forensic audit of Oando Plc. 

The petition read in part: “Oando Nigeria Plc has for four years consecutively suffered incredible losses with the loss in 2014 described as unprecedented in the history of capital market operations in Nigeria. While the company continues to record losses, the management has continued to increase the remuneration of Board members in manner that insults and provokes the sensibility of Investors that have committed their hard-earned funds into the company. 

“The company has continued to accrue debt to the point that its liabilities have now surpassed its assets. In the same vein, the management of the company led by Mr Adewale Tinubu resorted to selling company’s assets in evidently questionable fashion as corroborated by the external auditors, Ernst & Young.

According to the auditors’ note in the last annual report presented at the controversial Annual General Meeting (AGM), held in Uyo, on September 11, 2017, the company is in dying state and might cease to exist very soon.

The Auditors, Ernst & Young stated: ‘We are drawing attention to note 45 in the financial statements, which indicates that the company reported a comprehensive loss for the year of N33.9billion (2015: loss N56.6billion) and as at that date, its current assets exceeded current liabilities by N14.6billion (2015: N32.8billion net current liability).

The group recorded a comprehensive income of N112.4billion for the year ended December 31, 2016 (2015: loss N37.8billion) and as at that date, its current liability exceeded current assets by N263.8billion (2015: N260.4billion)’. 

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