As the race for the 2015 general elections approaches, fingers are now being pointed at some perceived multi billion dollars business interest of President Goodluck Jonathan and some of his close aides who are known to be members of his kitchen cabinet.
Investigations revealed that one of the companies being traced to the doorsteps of the president and at least two of his ministers, the Petroleum Minister, Dr. (Mrs) Diezani Alison Madueke and the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga is Seplat Oil Development Plc.
While this oil company is registered as a public liability company, and has a dual listing in the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, stockbrokers in the local bourse have indicated less interest in the shares, sources disclosed that this deliberate act of avoiding trading in the company’s stock is because the dealing members claim to know less or a little next to nothing about the major shareholders of Seplat.
While the oil firm made a move recently to defend this seeming mystery by staging its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) on June 30, 2014 the stockbrokers and local investors still remain distant from the stock.
However, indications are now emerging that the lion shares of the oil firm, according to some industry players, are the siphoned interests of President Goodluck and some members of his cabinet.
While the two ministers were present at the listing ceremony at the Nigerian Stock Exchange on April 14, 2014, their interests in the company are currently being represented by some of the company’s non-executive Directors such as the Chairman, Dr. Bryant Orjiakor, Mr. Macaulay Agbada Ofurhie and some Executive Directors like the CEO; Mr Austin Avuru, Mr Charles Okeahalam, Mrs Ifueko.M.Omogini Okauru and Basil Omiyi.
Our impeccable sources revealed that Seplat shares are currently being patronised by only a few retail and institutional investors between N630 and N670 per share.
In London, the stock now trades higher than 210 pence, the listing price, and these few investors are either sure of the ownership structure of the company or technically understands the prices fundamentals of shares, one source said “The stock market remains a major means of capital flight in any developing economy like Nigeria, while there will be guises of foreign investors moving their profits from the market through the T3 transfers mode of payments from the market, the ownership disclosures are less talked about.”
“Presently, Seplat is one of the shares in the stock market that stands as a major pillar to weaken the balance of the bourse anytime the looming crash occurs, the general public must be forewarned about investing in that stock to prevent a repeat of their losses, which occurred between 2007-2008,” a concerned player told us.
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