NSE DG: Uncertainty Reigns as Search Intensifies


By Goddy Egene, 07.04.2010 


As the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) intensifies the search for a replacement for its incumbent Chief Executive Officer CEO) Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, and the Executive Directors (EDs), the chances of any of the current top executives of the Exchange becoming the new CEO are getting uncertain.



Okereke-Onyiuke will be retiring by November 2, 2010 and it is expected that one of the current General Managers (GMs) will succeed her. But in line with the directive of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the position be open to other candidates in a bid to recruit the best, NSE has been advertising in some of the national newspapers. The Exchange also spread the hunt to the international scene last week by advertising in the Economist magazine.



However, THISDAY checks revealed that there are growing uncertainties over the chances of any of the current GMs emerging as the CEO. THISDAY gathered that while the NSE said that a University Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent is the qualification required for the post, SEC rules stipulates the degree or its equivalent must be in a field that is related to finance/business administration.A senior operator and former Council member of the NSE, who analysed the situation to THISDAY, said the requirement by SEC will disqualify some of the current GMs. 



“One of them may have put in the number of years required for the job, but the field of qualification will affect that particular candidate. Another is qualified but was already a pensioner before joining the Exchange. Besides, there are doubts that this candidate does not have SEC registration. The qualification of the other is still under serious contention, while the last one does not have the requisite experience,” the source said.The source said that given these uncertainties, the best option would have been to bring somebody from outside. 



“But again, this may be a problem because operators may not give such person the needed cooperation. There are qualified market operators, currently managing stockbroking firms who can successfully run the Exchange. However, such operators may not want to apply due to the fear of being seen by Okereke-Onyiuke as ‘chasing’ her out. They may be afraid of victimisation since she is still in charge,” the source added.



According to the source, just like the market operators, there some other officials of NSE below the position of GMs, who are also qualified but are scared to apply for fear of victimisation as well.“The stage for the uncertainty and confusion was set the day Mr. Lance Elakama (former assistant director general) was forced out. It is not impossible that selfish individuals who want to hang on to the office deliberately created uncertainty and confusion. Unfortunately, this is not healthy for the market,” the source added.





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