By Aduragbemi Omiyale
In the overriding interest of its shareholders, Oando Plc has agreed to settle the issues it has with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
SEC, the apex regulatory agency in the Nigerian capital market, confirmed this development in a statement it issued on Monday.
It was disclosed that the energy firm entered into a settlement with the commission last Thursday, agreeing to immediately withdraw all legal actions filed by Oando and all affected directors.
Oando was said to have also agreed to pay all monetary penalties stipulated in the commission’s letter of May 31, 2019; and an undertaking to implement corporate governance improvements.
In the circular obtained by Business Post, it was further disclosed that part of the terms also requires Oando to submit quarterly reports on its compliance with the terms of the settlement agreement; the Investments and Securities Act, 2007; the SEC Rules and Regulations; the National Code of Corporate Governance and the SEC Guidelines to the Code of Corporate Governance.
“Pursuant to the powers conferred on the Securities and Exchange Commission by the Investments and Securities Act 2007, and the Rules and Regulations made pursuant thereto, the commission on Thursday, July 15, 2021, entered into a Settlement with Oando Plc.
“The commission in its letter to the company dated May 31, 2019, gave certain directives and imposed sanctions on the company, following investigations conducted pursuant to two petitions filed with the commission in 2017.
“The company and some of its affected directors had challenged the said directives in a series of suits commenced at the Federal High Court. However, the Company subsequently approached the commission for a settlement of the matter, and both parties have now agreed to settle in consideration of the impact that a further prolonged period of litigation would have on the company’s shareholders and the value of their investments as well as remedial measures to be put in place by the company in enhancing its corporate governance practices and strengthening its internal control environment,” a part of the circular read.
Meanwhile, SEC has reiterated its commitment to ensuring the fairness, transparency and integrity of the capital market, while upholding its mandate to protect investors.