The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has imposed fines totaling N32.74 million on eight listed companies due to their failure to submit their unaudited financial statements by the regulatory deadline. These sanctions were enacted in 2023 after an investigation by Nairametrics revealed that these companies had not met the regulatory requirements during the first quarter of the same year.
The fined companies are as follows: Presco Plc, Ardova Plc, Briclinks Africa Plc, Universal Insurance Plc, Unity Bank Plc, Conoil Oil Plc, FBNH Plc, and Caverton Offshore Support Plc. Among these, Presco Plc received a fine of N9.4 million, Ardova Plc was fined N7.2 million, and Universal Insurance Plc faced a fine of N4.7 million. These three fines combined accounted for a total of N21.3 million, representing 65.05% of the total fines imposed on the non-compliant companies.
Market experts and operators have welcomed the sanctions imposed by NGX as a positive development. They believe that these measures will lead to more accurate pricing of securities and encourage quoted entities to provide timely and essential information to the market. Mike Eze, the Managing Director of Crane Securities Limited, highlighted that NGX’s actions would enhance investor confidence by emphasizing the importance of obtaining accurate financial reports promptly. Eze stressed that well-informed investment decisions can only be made when companies adhere to robust corporate governance practices.
Sunny Nwosu, founder of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), emphasized that the affected companies should have ensured compliance with requirements, enabling shareholders to make informed decisions about their investment choices. He pointed out that shareholders have consistently urged the exchange to prioritize transparency, reflecting the need to assess the financial health of companies for investment purposes.
Boniface Okezie, President of the Progressive Shareholders Association, echoed the sentiment that penalizing companies for non-compliance with NGX’s listing rules is a positive step. Okezie asserted that this would lead to more accurate pricing of securities and motivate entities to provide timely market information. He noted that this development would enhance investor confidence in NGX’s regulatory capabilities and the overall market.
Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, a founding member of the Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association and a prominent shareholder activist, emphasized the importance of adhering to rules. He highlighted that these sanctions would compel companies to promptly release their financial results, providing investors, analysts, and stockbrokers with the necessary information to assess the true value of these companies.