BY EMEKA EJERE

In furtherance of the demutualisation process of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) a Court Ordered Meeting (COM) and an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) were on Tuesday held in Lagos, with members of the exchange assenting to necessary resolutions to reaffirm their support.

Demutualisation is the process by which a member-owned company is converted to a shareholder-owned company in which third party investors can participate.

The conversion will allow the NSE carry on business activities with the aim of making profits just like regular corporate entities. It will also allow the company to put in place a board of directors to oversee its operations.

Speaking at the EGM, president of the National Council, NSE, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo, expressed happiness that the exchange was close to achieving the goal of demutualisation 19 years after it was initiated.

“I feel elated that 19 years after initiating the process to demutualize and on the 60th anniversary of the Exchange, we are close to achieving the goal”, Ogunbanjo said.

“The successful demutualization of the exchange was one of my main objectives when I assumed the Presidency of the Exchange and I am particularly happy it has been achieved during the life time of one of its founding fathers, Pa Akintola Williams.

“In telling the story of how we have achieved this milestone, we recognize the efforts of several actors involved in this project – including the management and staff of The Exchange, our members, professional advisers, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other capital market stakeholders – without whom it could not have become a reality.”

During the business of the day at the EGM, the following directors were nominated and appointed for the inaugural board of the exchange post demutualisation:

Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo – Chairman and Non-Executive Director; Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON – Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director; Dr. Umaru Kwairanga – Member and Non-Executive Director; Mrs. Fatimah Bintah Bello-Ismail – Member and Non-Executive Director; Mr. Oluwole Adeosun – Member and Non-Executive Director; Mr. Chidi Agbapu – Member and Non-Executive Director

Others include: Mr. Patrick Ajayi – Member and Non-Executive Director; Dr. Okechukwu Crescent Itanyi – Member and Independent Non-Executive Director; Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbe – Member and Independent Non-Executive Director; Prof. Enase Okonedo – Member and Independent Non-Executive Director; Mr. Ikpobe Apollos Oghooritsewarami – Member and Independent Non-Executive Director and Mrs. Ojinika Nkechinyelu Olaghere – Member and Independent Non-Executive Director.

Members of the NSE, which include dealing members and others, had approved for the exchange to embark on the demutualisation scheme at an EGM in March 2017.

This was followed by the signing of the Demutualisation of The Nigerian Stock Exchange Bill sponsored by Mr Ayo Tajudeen , then chairman of the House Committee on Capital Markets, into law by President Mohammadu Buhari, in July 2018.

In December 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria (SEC) in a No Objection letter gave its consent to the NSE to hold the COM and EGM that would facilitate its conversion from a not-for-profit entity limited by guarantee into a profit-making public limited liability company owned by shareholders.