Exchange still searching for head after deadline

By Daniel Osunkoya October 18, 2010


Since the sack of Ndi Okereke-Onyuike as the Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the search of the new head seems been fruitless, even after set deadlines.


After the initial October 12th deadline for the post, Accenture Nigeria, the firm conducting SEC’s recruitment exercise, continued to place advert for the offices of the NSE chief executive officer and three executive directors. “The NSE is transforming to increase the depth of Nigeria’s capital market and improve access to liquidity for listed organisations. To provide leadership for its transformation program, the NSE is seeking to recruit qualified and experienced executives to be its future,” a paid advertorial published on October 13th in some national dailies, said. However, the same advert categorically stated that “the closing date for applications is 12th October, 2010. Applications will not be received after 5:00 pm Nigerian time (GMT +1) on this date.”


Nobody is certain

In the meantime, while the NSE’s spokesperson, Sola Oni, said he was not aware of any extension of the recruitment, Accenture could not confirm if the deadline was extended. The head of Corporate Communication Department at Accenture, who refused to give his name, said, “It (the advert) could probably be a mistake. The date remains closed. But I don’t know the cause of the last advert and I can’t be on record over something I have no power on.”


Meanwhile, Mr Oni said, “I don’t know what actually happened whether the last publication was a mistake on the people handling the recruitment exercise. In fact I cannot explain what happened since the Exchange is not the one placing those adverts. Accenture is the firm handling the recruitment. But if there is anything I can find out I’ll let you know. I still want to believe it was a mix-up. The deadline remains October 12th. There is no further extension. People should ignore the last adverts since it’s likely to be a mistake. Even the published advert still maintained the correct date of closure for applications to show that it expires on October 12th at 5:00 pm.”


Wasting money

Lanre Oloyi, the spokesperson for SEC, said the commission is not in the best position to talk on the matter. “Talk to the NSE,” he said. “They should tell you if it was a mistake or there is an extension.” However, the last time the deadline was extended, SEC gave the approval. A finance analyst at Resource Cap, a portfolio management firm, who did not wish to be named, said the last publication should be categorised “wastage funds since the advert according to the advertiser is not intended to woo applicants again.” “Definitely, millions of naira would have been spent on those unnecessary ads. Accenture too must be accountable for all the expenses carried out during the recruitment. You cannot say because money has been billed for a project, then it must be spent unjustifiably,” he said.


The SEC had accused the previous management of the NSE of slowing down the succession plan. It recently said in a statement that “the commission had previously asked the NSE to develop and implement a credible and transparent succession plan and while the NSE had made significant progress, it had unfortunately not completed the process by the deadline of 31st of July approved by the commission despite an extension of the deadline.”


Hundreds apply

The commission said it is certain that the succession process “can be concluded quickly,” adding that the SEC has contracted Accenture to facilitate the selection exercise. “Accenture has confirmed that 944 candidates applied for the four positions, including that of the CEO of the Exchange. 131 applied for the post of CEO and the rest applied for the positions of executive director (Listings), executive director (IT and market Operations), and executive director (Strategy, and Business Developments),” it stated.


Meanwhile, against requests by some market operators that Mr Ikazoboh should declare specific date when his tenure would expire, the substantive CEO said he is not sure of the duration of his tenure. At a media briefing recently, he said, “How long my tenure will take, I cannot clearly say right now; but I can only say that the process has started for the selection of a new DG.”




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