Tuesday, April 27, 2021 / 11:00 AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: RTBriscoe
The recent demutualization of the Nigeria Stock Exchange now the "Nigeria Exchange Group" (NGX) with the creation of three subsidiaries has received reactions across the country, since approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Nigerian shareholder groups have thrown their hats in the ring and joined the conversation on the evolution of Nigeria's premier equity and fixed income market.
Sir Sunny Nwosu the Founding President of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) recently had a conversation with WebTV on how the NSE demutualization would transform the local stock market and shareholder relations.
He was pleased that after several meetings between shareholder groups and the National Assembly, the issue of the ownership of the Nigeria Stock Exchange has been addressed with enabling legislation.
According to him in other parts of the globe no one person has over 5% control of an Exchange, which is instructive for market framework and operations.
He stressed that shareholders are opposed to a monopolization of the Exchange, which would be critical market stability and transperancy.
Nwosu said that the management of the NGX would need to understand the role of corporate governance and adhere to best global corporate practices.
He said the NGX would need to be more open and come under the continuous scrutiny of shareholders, who would expect it to be prompt in filing corporate financial reports.
Commenting on the issue of Annual General Meetings during the easing of restrictions induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, he noted that shareholder groups have complained about low representation due to regulatory and health concerns.
While he agreed that the impact of COVID-19 had to be mitigated, the CAC and the SEC would have to delibrate further and open up a platform for robust conversations and improved representation of shareholders.
He was pleased that a large number of quoted companies hosting AGMs so far have paid dividends, which was important for shareholders in economic challenging times.
On the recent decision of the Federal Government to access unclaimed dividends through the Finance Act 2020 Nwosu said shareholder groups in Nigeria would resist it as it was considered to be draconian and insensitive of government.