Against the backdrop of partial shutdown of business activities and capital market operations as precautionary measure to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) has sought and got approval for its 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be attended by proxy.
This is to minimize contact and adhere to the directives of the Federal and Lagos State Governments.
This announcement is contained in a notification, which was sent by the bank to its shareholders and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and signed by the bank’s Company Secretary, Erhi Obebeduo.
The bank, which had scheduled to hold its AGM on March 30, 2020, had expressed its concerns over the health hazards arising from the coronavirus pandemic, which could be exacerbated by the public gatherings.
As a result of the pandemic, the Federal and State Governments including Lagos, which is the location for the meeting, have placed restrictions on public gatherings, meetings and movements in conformity to the global directive on adoption of social distancing measure.
In order to meet up with its obligations to its stakeholders and be able to exercise its corporate actions, which are predicated on the AGM, GTB Plc had sought for and gotten approval from regulatory authorities to have the meeting attended by proxy.
In the publication, the bank said, “In view of the legal framework and corporate actions predicated on the AGM, such as payment of dividends, election of Audit Committee members, the filing of Annual Returns and approval of the fees of external auditors, which actions will remain in abeyance if the AGM is postponed or cancelled, your company engaged the Regulators with a view to finding a solution that would balance the compliance with regulatory framework and minimize health hazards that could be exacerbated by such large gatherings.
“We are pleased to inform you that the Corporate Affairs Commission has graciously approved that the AGM should hold with attendance by proxy to minimize social contact. To this end, shareholders are encouraged to appoint proxies to represent them at the meeting, as the company would abide by the Lagos State Government directive of not having more than twenty-five (25) people in a gathering (or any number as may be permitted at the date of the meeting).”
The bank noted that as part of the measure, the AGM would also be streamed live on the bank’s website and encouraged shareholders to log in to observe proceedings.
The shareholders that will attend will be required to go through safety/health measures as directed by the National Centre for Disease Control and Lagos State Ministry of Health.