By Chinwendu Obienyi and Chukuma Umeorah

In its bid to encourage broader engagement with its shareholders, particularly in establishing a capital raising programme of up to $1.5 billion and raising up to N365 billion, Access Holdings Plc has revealed that there are ongoing plans to implement a user-friendly digital platform to facilitate seamless participation in the rights issue.

Its Chairman, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, stated this during the group’s Annual General Meeting which took place in Lagos at the weekend.

The group had said that it is looking at the best capital structure that will support execution to accelerate its growth after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Olayemi Cardoso stated that banks need to play a bigger role in boosting economic growth.

The company further added that it wants to increase its share capital from N17.77 billion to N26.65 through the creation of additional N17.77 billion ordinary shares of N0.50 each.

Addressing concerns made by shareholders over shares dilution at the meeting, Aig-Imoukhuede reassured its shareholders that their ownership percentage will not be diluted if they participate actively in the rights issue. According to him, the company is leveraging digital technology to facilitate seamless participation in the rights issue.

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“With over 800,000 shareholders, the group is implementing a user-friendly digital platform, allowing shareholders to make investment decisions conveniently via their smartphones,” he said.

Reflecting on the 2004 capital raising exercise, Aig-Imoukhuede highlighted the democratisation of the capital market as a result of increased shareholder participation. He noted that the number of shareholders of Nigerian banks and the entire stock exchange actually increased as a result of that effort.

He also expressed confidence that this approach would effectively address concerns surrounding dilution and encourage broader shareholder engagement.

In addition to approving the group’s capital raising plans as well as a final dividend of N1.80 kobo per every N0.50 kobo ordinary share for the 2023 financial year, the shareholders ratified the appointments of Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Olusegun Ogbonnewo and Ojinika Olaghere as Non-Executive Directors.

Commenting, the former chairman of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sunny Nwosu said, “We are thrilled with Aig-Imoukhuede’s return to the role of Chairman. His proven track record, experience, and strategic insights position him as the ideal leader to steer Access Holdings towards meeting its lofty targets.”