By Peter Egwuatu
The succession crisis alleged to be brewing at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) over who succeeds Director General of the Exchange, Professor Ndi Okereke Onyiuke may have come to rest as the Assistant Director General (ADG) of the Exchange, Mr. Musa Lance Elakama who was reported by the media to have been battling to succeed the Director General will be retiring this year.
Vanguard authoritatively gathered that Elakama who was speculated by the media, (not Vanguard) to succeed Onyiuke will be retiring this year.
The spokeâ€™s person of the NSE, Mr. Sola Oni confided in Vanguard, saying, â€œ The Exchange is undergoing a transformation programme being powered by Accenture. It aims at repositioning the Exchange for global competitiveness. The ADG is not being forced out. He is retiring.â€
Continuing, he said, â€œ Elakama is even embarrassed by some media speculations that there is succession crisis between him and the outgoing DG. The ADG is not happy with all kinds of speculations going on. He wants to leave the Exchange without blemish as his relation with the NSE will continue even when he retires.â€
Meanwhile, Onyiuke had at a press briefing early this years said that there was no crisis in the management of the Exchange, but shareholders and operators of the Nigerian capital market had said there could be imminent crisis on who succeeds the incumbent DG since there has not been any succession plan put in place even before the crash of the stock market.
The stakeholders and operators who confided in Vanguard said before the crash of the stock marketÂ the NSE had no succession plan in place as the incumbent DG never foresee the crash of the market, which they said was one of the major reasons that necessitated her decision to quite office.
So the replacement for Okereke when she leaves office has also become a major issue in the market as Vanguard reliably gathered then that different power groups have emerged, each pushing for the recognition of their candidate. The clamour by operators and stakeholders is for the continued stay of Lance Elakama, who is currently the Assistant Director General (ADG) to assume the post of the DG when Onyiuke finally bows out in November.
Although, Vanguard also learnt then that Elakama was expected to vacate office as a result of a major reshuffle in the Exchange which has denied incumbent DGÂ an extension of office tenure and has also resulted in the retirement of Yinka Idowu and Henry Onyekuru, as general managers in charge of corporate affairs and emerging markets respectively, in June 2009 ahead of the full implementation of the demutualization programme of the NSE.
Elakamah assumed his position in 2004 when Rasaki Oladejo, retired as the Deputy Director General (DDG).
Till date, the post of the DDG remained vacant, prompting market operators to conclude that it could be a hard a task to elevate him to the post of the DG without occupying the post of the DDG. Elakamah has four more years ahead of him to reach the statutory retirement age of 60 years.
It would be recalled in a release signed by Josephine Igbinosun, the company secretary/legal adviser of the NSE, last year, stating â€œ The Exchange will get a new organisational structure. The transformation â€œprogramme, designed to make the Nigerian Stock Exchange ,the leading stock exchange in (the) African region, is being enabled by Accenture,â€
Ms. Igbinosun added that, under the new structure, the title of the director general will become the group chief executive officer, to be supported by four executive directors.