By Dipo Olowookere
The need for oil and gas companies in the upstream and midstream to list their shares for trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has been emphasised by the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wabote.
Speaking on Tuesday on the floor of the NSE, Mr Wabote said listing of oil and gas firms on the stock market would change the operating model of the industry and enable the pooling of funds for growth, empowerment and inclusion of Nigerians in the activities of the sector.
He submitted that oil and gas firms like refineries, petrochemical and fertilizer companies as well as those in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) value chain would gain immensely from listing their shares on the exchange.
In addition, he said indigenous operating companies and their service counterparts would also benefit from the corporate governance principles demanded from businesses that float their shares on the NSE.
The Executive Secretary noted that oil and gas companies currently listed on the NSE were majorly downstream players, stating further that, “We see opportunity to collaborate with the Nigerian Stock Exchange to increase the depth and breadth of listings using our 10-year strategy as a driver. For us in the Board, we have commenced multiple strategic initiatives to bring the roadmap into fruition.”
He also informed that the board took 30 percent equity in a 5,000 barrels per day modular refinery with other similar proposals under review, the goal being to refine at least 10 percent of Nigerian oil production using modular refineries.
Confirming that the board had an exit strategy from these investments, Mr Wabote added that, “We see opportunity to divest such equity via the Nigerian Stock Exchange so that Nigerians and other investors can be part owners of such enterprises.”
Such partnerships between the board and the NSE will boost activities in the stock market, increase the listing of Nigerian companies on the stock exchange and foster businesses with enduring legacies, he said.
Executive Director, Regulations at NSE, Ms Tinuade Awe, who represented the Chief Executive Officer of NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema, at the event, commended NCDMB for the remarkable achievements it had recorded in the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act in the oil and gas industry.
She noted that the board had built significant human and infrastructural capacity, hence several Nigerian companies and personnel have begun to play leading roles in the operations of the industry.
The Executive Director confirmed that the NSE wanted many indigenous oil producing and service companies to emulate SEPLAT Petroleum in listing on the Exchange.
“We want them to know of the many opportunities they stand to gain, such as being able to raise capital among other things,” she said.
She noted that the NSE also provides capacity building programmes on access to the capital market, financial literacy, investment opportunities, corporate governance among others.
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