By Peter Egwuatu
CORPORATE Nigeria and individuals, yesterday, bid farewell to late Gamaliel Onosode, who they described as a disciplined technocrat and genius. Speaking at Onosode’s tribute and service of songs at Civic Centre, Lagos, Mrs. Mary Udoka, director, Collective Investment Scheme, CIS of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, who represented the Director General of the commission, Mr. Mounir Gwazor, said:
“Onosode was a colossus advocate of the capital market. He was a doyen of the Nigerian capital market. Director of directors and described as all rounder. His support and contributions to the capital market regulations cannot be quantified. He helped to sharpen policy direction in the market .
He played regulatory roles, his robust intellect and visionary mind positioned SEC to strategic direction that conforms to global standards.
The 10-year master plan of the Nigerian Capital Market was pioneered by him. His role as chairman of quoted companies has been highly referenced. He was the founding father of corporate governance , transparency and accountability. We wish him well wherever he is.”
He was exceptional – Onyema
Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema said: “It is a singular honour to celebrate the life of an exceptional man, who personifies integrity, radiates simplistic elegance and exudes patriotism even to his last breath.
Dr. Onosode is a man like no other. He is man’s man, a leader of leaders and it is not surprising that he has attracted several sincere tributes across religions, professions, and globally. All these accolades, he so rightly earned.
‘’It can be extremely difficult to describe the life of a man in words; words that are limited by allocated time at a ceremony like this. You can then appreciate my grief in doing so for a humble husband, a faithful father, ethical corporate czar, genteel gentleman, ‘marvel of God’s grace’ who impacted many lives that he came in contact with.
“The great foundation for the life we are celebrating today were laid by his parents, who led by examples and instilled strong life principles in him. In his life time, he paid affectionate tributes to his parents for gifting him the essential qualities that stood him out. From his father he learned humility and servant leadership.
He said of him “my father could be caught several times a day sweeping the floor of the sitting room and it was not just a first thing in the morning affair, because sweeping is meant to keep the floor clean. It means that any time the floor is not clean, resort should be made to the broom. And quite often when he did that, when you tried to take the broom from him he never agreed, he just said thank you’.
‘’Speaking about his mother, he said ‘She also taught me and reinforced my belief in not yielding to intellectual blackmail. You cannot force me to say what I do not believe in, no matter the price to pay. My mother would rather I stood and fight than give in to oppression but she was a non-violent woman.’
‘’What foundations are we laying for our children who are going to be leaders of tomorrow? Talking of foundation, Dr. Onosode helped the Nigerian Stock Exchange to lay a strong foundation for the NSE’s Investors’ Protection Fund (IPF) as the chairman of the Board of Trustees. The NSE IPF fund was established to compensate investors for pecuniary losses which was as a result of wrong doing by certain dealing member firms of The Exchange.
‘’He was the best man for the job and we will sorely miss him. However, we take solace in his laudable achievements, which will remain indelible in the annals of Nigeria’s history…Given the scope of his accomplishments, the unison of opinion on his integrity, passion for Nigeria and consistent pursuit of excellence, it is hard today to find many men of Dr. Onosode’s ilk and we may see fewer of his likes in the future.”
CIBN pay tributes
President/Chairman, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, Mrs. Debola Osibogun, said in her tribute:” Onosode’s was a friend and member of council of the institute. He would be remembered for his contribution.
He is a man of integrity in business and religious life. Only a man close to a God could perform so much. He is a board room master as many would say. He was a common man referred as Mr integrity.’’
Why UNILAG honoured him – VC
University of Lagos, UNILAG, Vice Chancellor, Rahamon Bello, on his part said: “UNILAG conferred him honourary degree in letters due to his immense contributions to education and quality of life in Nigeria. Gamaliel Onosode, front line industrialist, skillful boardroom player, financial consultant and renowned administrator, died at 82. He was our former Pro Chancellor and did well in lifting up the school.
‘’Onosode when he was alive had said that one of the problems with the society is that we don’t have enough people who are willing to say to the boss, whether the boss is the chairman or managing director, but Sir, ‘have you considered this?’ The absence of such by subordinates, he stated, automatically leads to lowering standards and at the end of the day what you have is corruption.
“The period he spent with us has reshaped the way the university operates. We would miss his experience. He introduced zero budget and monitoring in the university. He made us to benchmark our standard with top universities in the world. We want to remember him for what he did for the university too many to mention. May his soul rest in peace.”
Portfolio managers, GAMSU speak
Also, Gamaliel Susan Foundation, GAMSU and Association of Investment Advisers and Portfolio Managers, AIAPM, paid glowing tributes to Onosode.
Speaking for AIAPM, Dr. Olufemi Oyetunji said “Onosode was actively involved in the association activities towards the development of the group. The association metamorphosed from its initial focus to developing the pension fund to a body focused to a wider scope of operations. We held in high esteem the sacrifices he made to the development of our institute, an astute manager with with unequal skill.’’
Alfred Okoigun of GAMSU said: “We would miss him. He founded this foundation, which mission is not for profit and non political organization established to foster the success of children through innovative , flexible learning opportunities while providing enabling environment.’’