Shareholders of Oando Plc from across the South West States on Tuesday stormed Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to protest the alleged N263 billion liability of the company, which the Auditor’s report claimed is making “Oando Plc no longer a going concern”.
The shareholders first converged on the premises of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Iyaganku, Ibadan, from where they proceeded to the Nigeria Stock Exchange office at Dugbe Business District of the city.
The shareholders carried placards with unprintable inscriptions against Oando’s management.
The demanded the resignation or sack of the company’s Managing Director, Wale Tinubu, to enable a thorough probe of the finances of the company.
The protesters in their scores were armed with copies of the report of last Monday’s 2016 Annual General Meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, where the External Auditor (Ernst & Young) stated that the company was currently in dire strait because “the Company reported a comprehensive loss N56.6 billion in 2015 and N33.9 billion in 2016 and to date, it’s current assets exceeded current liabilities by N14.6 billion”.
Speaking with reporters, their spokespersons, the National President of the Renaissance Shareholders Association and the National Coordinator of Proactive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Ambassador Olufemi Timothy and Taiwo Oderinde respectively, condemned the last Annual General Meeting of the company which they said were stage managed to “allow for unfettered and continuous pilfering of the company’s hard earn money by the current management”.
According to Timothy, Oando Plc is practically dead because it is no more a business going concern, adding: “Its contemporaries are doing well and bringing glory to their shareholders.
“We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Nigeria Stock Exchange and the Senate Committee on Capital Market to wade in before it is too late.
“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 has gone with its current reported N263 billion negative working capital.
“We worked hard to invest in the company.
“But what did we get in return?
“The poor shareholders are suffering.
“Many have died.
“We have a lot of retired people dying because their investment had gone.
“Under the current management, Oando suffers 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 pipeline for sale.
“We have facts and figures on all these, not just mere hearsay.”
Oderinde 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 corrupt 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 companies 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 Tinubu is allowed to remain as chief executive officer of the company.
Reading the company’s external auditor’s report on the annual report, Oderinde 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, the Branch Manager of the exchange, Kayode Ogun, urged the shareholders to exercise restraint as their complaints will be looked into.
Ogun urged the shareholders to write a formal letter to the NSE management for action.