16 April 2014, Lagos – The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema has urged companies in the oil and exploration to list their shares on the Nigerian bourse and enjoy the benefits that exist in the capital market.
Onyema made the call on Monday during the listing of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc on the NSE. The company is the first oil production and exploration firm to be listed on the exchange. While Onyema said Seplat has taken a strategic step to join the prestigious club of quoted companies in Nigeria, he urged others to take similar step.
“We are proud that Seplat has taken a strategic step to join the prestigious club of quoted companies in Nigeria and I once again commend them for this bold step. Seplat has become the first company in our Exploration and Production subsector of the Oil and Gas sector on the main board. It is against this backdrop that I wish to encourage exploration and production companies in the oil and gas sector and other unlisted companies in Nigeria, to take advantage of the benefits that exist in the capital market, which include continuity of the company after the founder has retired, lower cost of long term funding, visibility, enhanced branding, diversified risk of ownership, and enhanced corporate governance amongst others,” Onyema said.
Onyema applauded the board and management of Seplat for their determination to be identified as first and foremost a Nigerian success story, saying the company chose to have its primary listing on the NSE and to maintain its Nigerian status by opting not to list on the Premium board of the London Stock Exchange, though it was qualified to do so.
“Today we celebrate many milestones with this listing, Seplat becomes the 1st Nigerian company listed on the main market of the LSE and the first pure play upstream listing on the NSE. This is also the first IPO since the market crash of 2008. It exemplifies your leadership and commitment to support and promote Nigeria,” he said.
The NSE boss also noted the giant strides made by Seplat in strengthening its governance structure to prepare for its new status as an internationally listed company.
He said the NSE in recent years has placed corporate governance on the front burner as one of the basic elements for ensuring a sound investment environment and maximising shareholder returns.
“I would like to use this opportunity to appeal to you to replicate this example by continuing to abide by the post-listing requirements of the exchange. We will continue to enforce our rules in a firm and fair manner in order to build a strong investment climate for Issuers and market participants,” he said.
Onyema said the NSE is aiming to become the African exchange of choice for African issuers and global investors.
“We continue to execute several key initiatives that are aimed at developing a more transparent, liquid and accessible market, with a modern market structure to support the delivery of a wider range of investment products. By implementing these initiatives, the Nigerian bourse has regained the confidence of investors after the global financial meltdown,” he said.