Group Protest Oscar Onyema’s Appointment As CEO Nigerian Exchange Group, Says Selection Violates SEC Rule 184(2)
A rights and transparency group, Nigeria for All Nigerians (NAN) has called on the concerned regulatory authorities to stop violation of the Nigerian Investments and Securities Act by the impending listing by introduction of the shares of Nigerian Exchange Group on the main Board of Nigeria Exchange Limited with effect from October 13, 2021.
The concern of NAN relates to the likely infringement of Rule 184(2)(a) on the status of Mr. Oscar Onyema as the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Exchange Group while also serving as a Non-Executive Director of Nigerian Exchange Limited.
A statement from Mr. Dele Ajanaku, NAN’s Secretary General said, “the impending listing by introduction of the shares of NGX Group on the main Board of NGX ltd with effect from October 13, 2021 vis-a-vis Mr. Onyema’ s portfolio in the two companies will be a violation of Rule 184(2)(a) on the status of Mr. Oscar Onyema as the CEO of NGX Group while also serving as a Non-Executive Director of NGX Limited.”
Ajanaku continued, “Rule 184 (2) states that a securities exchange shall have a code of conduct for its council members or Board which shall be approved by the Commission and shall contain provisions that the council members or Board shall not be staff of a quoted company and its subsidiaries.”
According to NAN, “The purpose of this provision is to forestall a situation where a Council or Board member of an Exchange would be in a position to extend special privileges or exercise undue influence towards a listed company which he/she works for.”
In the scenario under review, by virtue of his position as CEO of NGX Group, Mr. Onyema is a staff/employee of the company. Given that he also serves a non-executive on the NGX Ltd, the Exchange on which NGX Group is set to be listed, Mr. Onyema would (if permitted to hold both portfolios), be in contravention of Rule 184(2).
“On the basis of the foregoing, NAN concluded, “it is recommended that the Commission should request Mr. Onyema to relinquish one of the portfolios he is currently occupying so as to comply with Rule 184(2).”