Nigeria SEC says Oando committed 'serious infractions,' bars CEO

Nigeria’s market regulator barred Oando’s chief executive officer and deputy CEO from the boards of public companies for five years after an investigation found that the oil and gas producer committed “serious infractions.”

A forensic audit by Deloitte & Touche LLP "revealed serious infractions such as false disclosures, market abuses, misstatements in financial statements, internal control failures, and corporate governance lapses stemming from poor board oversight,” the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement on Friday.

The commission ordered the company to convene an extra-ordinary meeting to appoint new directors before July 1.

Oando said in a statement that the allegations were “unsubstantiated” and “invalid” and that it hadn’t been shown the forensic report.

The SEC in 2017 ordered a probe into Oando following complaints of corporate governance failures and financial mismanagement. Ernst & Young, auditors for the company said last month there was material uncertainty about the energy firm’s ability to continue as a going concern as liabilities exceeded current assets.

Oando’s debt rose to $2.5bn after acquiring oil and gas assets from US giant ConocoPhillips, increasing finance costs and stalling growth. The company said last year it targets paying down the debt by 90 percent by the third quarter of this year.

The shares slumped 9.7% to 4.20 naira at the close of trading in Lagos on Friday. The stock is down 16% this year.

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