Shareholders ask Oando to settle rift with Ansbury

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The logo of Oando oil company is pictured in Abuja, Nigeria January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

A group of shareholders on Monday, called on the management of Oando Plc to settle its lingering rift with its foreign investor, Ansbury Investments Incorporated.

The group of shareholders, who called themselves Concerned Oando Shareholders, asked the management of the company to open talks with Ansbury Investments with a view to resolving the dispute.

In September 2017, Ansbury petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), over alleged corporate governance abuse by the management of Oando Plc.
Ansbury, which is a majority shareholder in Ocean and Oil Development (BVI), holds 99 per cent of OODP Nigeria, and 56 per cent equity stake in Oando Plc, an entity with dual listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

Ansbury’s petition led to the suspension of Oando on both the NSE and the JSE. SEC also ordered a forensic audit of the oil firm.

Spokesman of the group, Atobatele Musibau, said the prolonged media war, protests and unnecessary bickering between the management of Oando and Ansbury is not serving the best interest of shareholders and that of the company.

According to Musibau, “These days, Oando is always in the news for the wrong reasons. The negative exposure the company has experienced for almost one year running has a telling effect not just on the shares, but the entire fortune of the company.

“The earlier this matter is resolved the better for the company and its shareholders. Whether the management of Oando likes it or not, this unending war of attrition has impacted and will continue to impact the company negatively.

“The best option open to both parties therefore is dialogue and I believe both sides are matured enough to seat together and resolve areas of conflict and ambiguity in the interest of the company and its shareholders.”

The Concerned Oando Shareholders’ spokesman said the recovery in oil prices is a sign that the company’s fortunes can improve “under the right atmosphere”.

He said, “If the company continues with this undue muscle flexing and grandstanding, it runs the risk of being constantly distracted. It should therefore resolve this matter with Ansbury, which I believe is also a reasonable and responsible company and will be interested in a resolution of the matter.

“One must state that Oando has not recorded any meaningful capital gains, nor has it paid dividend to investors in more than four years. We are therefore the grass that suffers as these two elephants slug it out.

“We therefore call on the management of Oando not to miss out on the golden opportunity provided by the turnaround of the oil industry to improve the fortunes of shareholders.”

“We want to see better returns, capital appreciation of our shares and payment of dividends in the not too distant future. This can only happen, however, if the management resolves all pending rifts to enable it concentrate on running the company

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Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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