Okereke-Onyiuke denies abuse of office



08 September 2010

• Account ready, Accenture foised on NSE


AT last, the ousted immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, has broken her silence over allegations that she abused her position and rendered the Exchange broke.


According to her, the allegations are baseless and untrue and purely attempts by some people to destroy the Exchange because they had lost control of it. Okereke-Onyiuke’s position is contained in her response to the allegations to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), copies of which were obtained by journalists in Abuja yesterday.


She told SEC that it was not true that she had planned to perpetuate herself in office as she had on June 16 gave a notice of voluntary retirement on December 15, 2010, but to have proceeded on terminal leave with effect from September 1, 2010.


On the allegation that the 2009 financial accounts of the Exchange was not ready, seven months into the new year, the former director-general said it was not true because the accounts are ready.


She said: “The Council of the Exchange met on Monday, March 8, 2010 to consider and approve the draft accounts for year-ended December 31, 2009 to pave way for the commencement of the statutory audit.”


She continued: “The pre-audit meeting was held on April 22, 2010 and a formal audit exercise commenced on May 10, 2010. The auditors, Messrs Akintola Williams Delloitte, have completed their work and the audit report will be ready within the next few days.


“It should be noted that for the first time, the financial statements of the NSE are being consolidated with the accounts of its subsidiary/associate companies, namely Carol Properties Ltd, Naira Properties Ltd, NSE Consult Ltd and Central Securities Clearing System Ltd.


“The first quarter and half-year accounts have been prepared and filed with the SEC under cover of our letters dated May 13 and July 27, 2010 respectively.”


On the financial health of the Exchange, the former NSE boss said the organisation in spite of the difficult financial climate in the country and globally, had responded very well by maintaining critical operations, uninterrupted trading sessions, system upgrade, branch network expansion, amongst others, without borrowing.


Reacting to the allegation that the Exchange under her recorded a surplus of only N5.6 billion, representing 13 per cent growth over the four-year period, Prof. Okereke-Onyuike said: “Over the same four-year period, the NSE carried out major infrastructure upgrades such as buy-out of 60 per cent interest of Daily Times Plc in Naira Properties Ltd; Installation of two 1,500 KVA generators for the Exchange; redesign and upgrade of the world class head office trading floor and construction of a data centre and power bank to guaranty regular trading, amongst others.”


She also alleged that Accenture was foisted on the Exchange by the former President of the Exchange, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, because of his closeness to the group.


“On the outstanding bills due to Accenture, it should be stated that Accenture was foisted on the Exchange without subjecting them to due process or a competitive bidding process. No other consultancy firm was invited to submit a proposal to the Exchange for a project valued at N212 million. …Accenture created payment difficulties for themselves by completely avoiding management in their drive to generate more business for themselves under the questionable and uncompetitive manner by dealing directly with Alhaji Aliko Dangote as if he is the Chief Executive Officer of the Exchange,” Okereke-Onyiuke further alleged.


Source: Guardian



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