Olam Group has strongly refuted recent news reports claiming that its Nigerian units and subsidiaries were involved in a massive fraud worth billions of dollars. The company, in a filing to the Singapore exchange, dismissed these allegations as without basis and designed to provoke undue outrage.
Shares of Olam Group experienced a sharp decline when trading resumed on the Singapore Exchange after being temporarily halted earlier on Monday. The stock plummeted by as much as 10%, reaching 1.15 Singapore dollars (US$0.84), marking its largest one-day percentage drop since July.
The reports in question, originating from the Daily Nigerian newspaper and Prime Business Africa, cited unnamed sources and alleged that the Nigerian State Security Service was investigating economic fraud amounting to over US$50 billion involving Olam Nigeria, Olam International, and their nine subsidiaries.
Olam Group responded by stating that their audited financial statements, which are publicly accessible, indicate that the cumulative turnover in Nigeria from fiscal years 2015 to 2022, including all export, import, and domestic sales, amounted to US$14 billion. Furthermore, over the same eight-year period, the value of capital importations, facilitated through Certificates of Capital Importations, for the entire Olam Group in Nigeria stood at US$2.4 billion.
Additionally, the company clarified that there were no nonexistent Nigerian directors within Olam Nigeria and that the Olam Group does not operate a network of shell companies. All Olam Nigeria subsidiaries serve legitimate corporate purposes and undergo audits conducted by Ernst & Young Global’s member firm in Nigeria.
Despite vehemently denying the allegations, Olam Group’s board has instructed the audit committee to conduct a thorough review of the matter. External counsel and auditors will assist in this process.
In conclusion, Olam Group stands firm in dismissing the allegations of fraud, assuring stakeholders and the public that it maintains high standards of corporate governance and transparency in all its operations.
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