From Cyriacus Nnaji, Lagos
In preparation for its imminent demutualisation, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has inaugurated its Claims Review Panel.
The panel, according to a statement by the capital market on January 8, 2021, was inaugurated on December 21, 2020, pursuant to the provisions of the Demutualisation of The Nigerian Stock Exchange Act 2018 (the “Act”).
The Panel serves as an independent alternative dispute resolution mechanism for the review and determination of Claims made by individuals or entities in respect of any assertion of rights in the shares of the demutualised Exchange i.e. Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (“HoldCo”).
According to the statement, the Panel will sit in an appellate capacity and review Claims from Claimants’ who are dissatisfied with any decision of the National Council of The Exchange on a Claim pre-demutualisation, or the Board of Directors of the HoldCo, post demutualisation of The Exchange.
As part of the demutualisation process, The Exchange (which is currently a company limited by guarantee) would be converted into and re-registered as a public company limited by shares. Consequently, current Members of The Exchange will be allocated shares in the HoldCo. The securities exchange license of the current Exchange would be transferred to Nigerian Exchange Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the HoldCo, which would carry on the securities exchange business. Another wholly owned subsidiary, NGX Regulation Limited, would be licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to carry out regulatory services.
To safeguard the independence of the Panel, and following a diligent search for distinguished individuals with the required expertise and extensive track records of integrity, excellence and achievements in their respective fields of specialisation, “The Exchange is pleased to announce the appointment of the following members of the Panel: Mr. George Etomi (Chairman); Mr. Seni Adio, SAN; Mr. Abatcha Bulama; Dr. Paul Anababa, SAN and Prince Aghatise Erediauwa.
At the Panel’s inauguration on 21 December 2020, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo, President, The Nigerian Stock Exchange, said he “expected members of the Panel to discharge their responsibilities without any fear or favour in an objective and dispassionate manner, being guided by principles of fair hearing, equity and natural justice”.
He expressed optimism that the Panel would diligently carry out its functions and responsibilities under the Act and that each member would bring to bear their respective experience and expertise to enrich deliberations and decisions.