The Chief Executive Officer of DSE Advisory Services, Ms Ekineh Daisy said effective shareholders activism will help to compliments regulators in the protection of investors in the Nigerian capital market. She disclosed this on Thursday March 7, 2019, at the maiden edition of the annual AGM Optimization in Lagos.
Ekineh, in her paper presentation, with the theme: The Role of The Company Secretaries, Regulators, Registrars, Shareholders Associations and other Stakeholders in AGM Optimization, noted that shareholder associations as currently exist are neither effective nor respected and therefore, not taken seriously by stakeholders including public companies.
In her words “They are perceived as often seeking pecuniary benefits from companies as against ensuring good governance. The associations are also perceived as disruptive rather than disciplined at AGMs. Besides, there are too many shareholders associations, making it difficult for regulators and others to effectively engage with them”.
The former acting director general of Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC) explained that to mitigate the negative activities of the associations, SEC issued the Code of Conduct for Shareholders Associations which should strengthen the associations, if embraced by them.
Pointing out that Shareholder association can only ensure required governance on companies, if they themselves act responsibly and with integrity. Noting that according to SEC records, there were over 100 Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) registered shareholders associations in 2017.
According to her “Shareholder activism in Nigeria, should not be synonymous with confrontation and intimidation but effective engagement, to do so requires knowledge of their companies and understanding of the subject matter”. Adding that this will promotes good corporate governance and could enhance shareholder value.