Beside the shareholders, other concerned investors and market analysts say the 61 year old institution, which went public with the aim of making profit for self sustainance, subsidiaries and shareholders about four years ago, through the process of demutualization, is yet to begin to dish out the dividends of the new status.
Specifically, the plan by the Oscar Onyema lead group to raise N35 billion fresh funds did not go down well with some shareholders, who were ready for a showdown at the Friday meeting.
However, application of wisdom by the board saved the day as it was suspended, with the explanation of embarking further consultation with shareholders.
Metrobusinessnews.com (MBN) gathered that the shareholders suspected the strategy as aimed at hijacking the ownership of the exchange from them, even as they are yet to reap the benefits of their investments.
Consequently and in what appeared as a temporary reprieve and victory for the shareholders, the group, at the meeting applied the breaks and allowed reason to prevail and dropped the capital raising plan.
Some of the shareholders felt not comfortable with the essence of the huge amount being considered for raise as they argue that the group is a fee based entity with subsidiaries that could equally make money.
However, what would have been a turbulent meeting was relatively calmed since the thony issue was suspended.
But, not without another highpoint of the meeting, which was resignation of the Group Chairman of NGX Group, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo, who was due for re-election for a period of one year until the next AGM in 2023, but opted to voluntarily retire from the board.
However, the corporate communications department of the NGX Group would rather prefer to respond through the release sent to MBN.
Part of the release reads, “The Nigerian Exchange Group Plc. (“NGX Group” or “the Company” or “the Group”) held its 61st Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos on Friday, 30 September 2022, where shareholders approved resolutions by the company’s Board of Directors.
Mr. Apollos Ikpobe and Dr. Okechukwu Itanyi retired by rotation and were re-elected as non-executive directors.
Professor Enase Okonedo’s resignation was earlier approved by the board and as such she was not presented for re-election.
Other resolutions adopted at the AGM include the appointment of Ernst & Young as NGX Group’s external auditors; the Board’s authority to fix the Audit Company’s remuneration; the disclosure of NGX Group’s executive remuneration; and the re-election of the Statutory Audit Committee.
The Group Chairman of NGX Group, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo, who was due for re-election for a period of one year until the next AGM in 2023, voluntarily retired from the board and did not present himself for re-election.
While four non-executive directors of the board were re-elected, including Mrs. Fatimah Bintah Bello-Ismail, Mr. Oluwole Adeosun, Mr. Chidi Agbapu, and Mr. Patrick Ajayi.
To allow for wider consultations and further engagement with shareholders, the special business to raise funds of up to N35,000,000,000 (Thirty-Five Billion Naira) for business expansion was not presented.
Commenting at the AGM, Otunba Ogunbanjo thanked shareholders for working assiduously with the Board and Management of the Group in delivering the dividends of demutualisation and enhancing shareholder value and for attaining many firsts during his term in office.
In closing, I would like to thank the Board and Management of NGX Group for their support since I assumed office as Chairman of the Group in 2021.
As I retire from the Board, I trust that my successor will continue the legacy of service and bring greater accomplishments as the sustainable exchange group championing Africa’s socio-economic growth.“
However, amidst the tension and intrigues, the company’s 61st annual general meeting was held in its Lagos head office on Friday, against the backdrop of readiness by some of the shareholders for a showdown with the board and management over the inability of the group to give them dividends since 2019.
They were also agitated by what they consider as ‘over bloated’ staff strength that they claim may be responsible for its inability to declare dividends.
In a demutualisation process, members may receive structured compensation or ownership conversion rights in the form of shares in the new for-profit company
Specifically, on September 7, the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc issued a notice of its 61st annual general meeting (AGM) scheduled for September 30.
The notice signed by Mojisola Adesola, Company Secretary/ Head of Compliance, hinted at a special business of a capital raise to the tune of N35billion, over which the Group’s Board of Directors hoped to present before shareholders for approval.
However, Onyema, the GMD/CEO, at the meeting noted that the Group recorded a 22% increase in profitability, a 13% increase in gross earnings, and 14.9% growth in revenue.
He noted also that the Group intends to enhance its performance going forward and called for support from all stakeholders.
After the AGM, the Board of Directors appointed Mr. Apollos Ikpobe as Acting Chairman, who said he recognised the enormous responsibility associated with the role.
He pledged to work with all stakeholders to ensure the stability and growth of the company during this transition.
“On behalf of the board, I thank Mr. Ogunbanjo for his selfless service to the company over the years”, the release further stated