By Dipo Olowookere
The immediate past Managing Director of Goldlink Insurance Plc, Mr Kenneth Edore Egbaran, has been appointed as the substantive MD/CEO of Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc.
The appointment of Mr Egbaran was approved by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) with effect from Friday, September 6, 2019.
Mr Egbaran is replacing Mr Polycarp Didam, who resigned from the position at Veritas Kapital, a statement from the insurer on Monday disclosed, adding that the new MD/CEO is expected to bring his wealth of experience in the various sectors of the insurance industry to bear in the firm.
Mr Egbaran is an insurance practitioner with over 30 years’ experience spanning reinsurance, underwriting and broking.
He started his career as a Senior Superintendent with the Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation. He was a Marketing Director at A&G Insurance, worked with Afribank Insurance Brokers, Mainstream Global Insurance Brokers Ltd. and also with Crusader Insurance Limited (now Custodian Insurance Plc).
He is an alumnus of the Lagos State University, where he obtained an MBA in 2008. He became an Associate of the Chartered insurance institute of Nigeria and London in 1986; and an Associate of chartered insurance brokers in 2004. He has at various times attended strategic, personnel and risk management courses both locally and internationally.
Kaduna is Sacking Workers to Save Scarce Funds—El-Rufai
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Nasir El-Rufai, has explained the reason his administration is trimming the workforce of the state’s public service is due to the dwindling financial resources and higher wage bills which the government cannot be able to sustain, noting that the exercise will help the government to save scarce funds.
The Kaduna state government had on April 6 disengaged 4,000 local government workers and this development has raised dust, especially from the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
The body kicked against the decision, calling on the state government to reverse the decision and seek alternative means of running its affairs without inflicting additional pains on the public.
In a statement signed by his spokesman, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, Governor El-Rufai insisted that the government was not elected just to pay salaries of public servants alone, but to also develop the state by building schools, hospitals, upgrading infrastructure and making the state more secure and attractive to the private sector for jobs and investments.
Mr El-Rufai pointed out that what it has been receiving from the federal allocation committee since the middle of 2020, like most other sub-nationals, can barely pay salaries and overheads, adding that in the last six months, personnel costs have accounted for between 84.97 per cent and 96.63 per cent of Federation Account Allocation Communication (FAAC) transfers received by the Kaduna State Government.
“In November 2020, KDSG had only N162.9 million left after paying salaries. That month, Kaduna State got N4.83 billion from FAAC and paid N4.66 billion as wages. In March 2021, Kaduna State had only N321 million left after settling personnel costs,” a part of the statement read.
The statement pointed out that “last month, the state got N4.819 billion from FAAC and paid out N4.498 billion, representing 93 per cent of the money received.
‘’This does not include standing orders for overheads, funding security operations, running costs of schools and hospitals, and other overhead costs that the state has to bear for the machinery of government to run, for which the state government taps into IGR earnings.”
The Kaduna State Government said it believes that the overall wages of the public sector are still relatively low, noting that the current levels were obviously limited by the resources available to the government.
The government further argued that the public service of the state with less than 100,000 employees (and their families) cannot be consuming more than 90 per cent of government resources, with little left to positively impact the lives of the more than 9 million that are not political appointees or civil servants, adding that it is gross injustice for such a micro-minority to consume the majority of the resources of the state.
In addition, it pointed out that the measures which the government took to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic have shown clearly that the public service requires much fewer persons than it currently employs.
The statement recalled that “in September 2019, Kaduna State Government became the first government in the country to pay the new minimum wage and consequential adjustments. The state government followed this up by increasing the minimum pension of persons on the defined benefits scheme to N30,000 monthly.
“This step to advance the welfare of workers significantly increased the wage burden of the state government and immediately sapped up the funds of many local governments.”
According to the state government, “what each public servant earns might be puny in comparison to private-sector wages, but the total wage bill consumes much of the revenues of the state.
‘’Therefore, the state government has no choice but to shed some weight and reduce the size of the public service. It is a painful but necessary step to take, for the sake of the majority of the people of this state.”
While justifying the job cut, the statement, however, described it “as a painful but necessary step to take, for the sake of the majority of the people of this state.”
The Governor further said that the rationalisation exercise will also affect political appointees, stating that its purpose is to save funds and ensure that a strong and efficient public service exists to use those resources to implement progressive programmes and projects for the people, and thereby develop the state.
‘’The public service is an important institution, and it should therefore maintain only an optimum size.
“Faced with a difficult situation, the Kaduna State Government is persuaded that it cannot refuse to act or act in ways that only conduce to populist sentiment, without solving the fundamental problem,” he said.
Ubon Udoh Chosen to Head ASR Africa Initiative
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa (ASR Africa) initiative has announced the appointment of consummate International Development and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) expert, Mr Ubon Udoh, as its pioneer Managing Director/Chief Executive effective immediately.
The ASR Africa Initiative, which is the brainchild of industrialist and philanthropist, Mr Abdul Samad Rabiu, was recently set up with an annual pledge of $100 million dedicated to health, education and social development issues within the African continent.
Out of this, Nigeria will benefit $50 million yearly and the rest of Africa, $50 million, in what is the largest private philanthropic giving of its kind by an individual in Africa.
Speaking on the appointment, Mr Rabiu, Chairman of ASR Africa, who is also the founder/chairman of the African conglomerate, BUA Group, said Mr Ubon’s appointment signalled the seriousness with which the initiative intends to carry out its mandate with a focus on systems, programme development and deployment, monitoring and evaluation as well as sustainability.
“We are pleased to have Ubon Udoh lead the team at the ASR Africa initiative which has been set up to help bridge the development gap in these key areas of health, education and social development within Africa.
“A well respected and proven expert in building systems and processes and managing donor funds and grants, with an exceptional record of tangible results and value for money.
“Ubon has added immense value to every institution he has been a part of, and we believe he is a perfect fit for the goals and aspirations of ASRi. He brings with him many years of experience as well as the expertise needed to drive the ASR Africa Mandate whilst also engendering sustainable partnerships for development across the African continent.
“ASR Africa is confident that he will bring these to bear in developing a sustainable programme for the initiative’s annual $100 million Africa Fund for Social Research & Development.”
With over 20 years of international development and project management experience, Mr Udoh has a strong Monitoring & Evaluation background, and an operational track record of programme coordination and result management of international donor funds and loans from Multilateral development banks.
Prior to joining the ASR Africa Initiative, he was the Head of Monitoring & Evaluation at the North East Development Commission – North East Recovery and Stability Programme which included responsibility for over $1 billion in loans and grants (World Bank, AfDB, Islamic Development Bank) across various projects dedicated to the recovery of North East Nigerian states from the ravages of the Boko Haram Insurgency, and multilateral interventions with national coverage for COVID-19 response.
Over the course of his career, Mr Ubon has provided expertise and support in several capacities with multiple agencies like The World Bank (North-East Nigeria Multisectoral Crisis Recovery Project), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), African Development Bank (Nigeria Inclusive Basic Services Development Programme), GIZ, UN Women Peace and Security Programme, Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative (PCNI), North East Development Commission, North East Recovery and Stability Programme (NERSP) and several state governments in Nigeria.
Mr Ubon Udoh was responsible for the overall coordination of M&E of the World Bank-supported Multi-Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project – NERSP at the Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative – a role he joined from being an M&E consultant to the UN Women in Peace & Security Programme (WSP-UNSCR 1325).
Mr Ubon has also supported the coordination of interventions in the Lake Chad region with the countries of Chad, Niger, and Cameroon as part of the World bank PROLAC intervention. An Alumnus of Ahmadu Bello University with experience cutting across multiple sectors like Capacity Development; Water, Sanitation & Health; Infrastructure; Peacebuilding & Social cohesion; IDP Management & Durable Solutions; Education, Health & Governance, Mr Ubon has completed a diverse spread of gender mainstreaming, management, monitoring and conflict prevention courses.
He is a past winner of the prestigious President Nana Akufo Ado Presidential Award of Excellence from the Kofi Anan International Peacekeeping and Training Institute.
Ecobank Hires Tomisin Fashina to Replaces Ogbogu
By Adedapo Adesanya
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), the parent company of Ecobank Group, has announced the appointment of Mr Tomisin Fashina as its new Group Executive for Operations and Technology.
The appointee will occupy the position in addition to his existing role of the Managing Director of eProcess International, a statement from the lender confirmed.
With the appointment, Mr Fashina will succeed Mr Eddy Ogbogu, following the latter’s recent retirement after serving the group for 11 years.
Speaking on the appointment, Mr Ade Ayeyemi, the Group CEO Ecobank, stated that: “The rapidly accelerating digital adoption by Africa’s citizenry and businesses, together with the explosion in e-commerce across the continent is driving transformation throughout the banking and payment sectors.
“Winning across operations and technology is essential for the Ecobank Group’s short, medium and long-term success, and is an integral requirement of our ongoing determination to continue to meet the evolving expectations of our customers.
“Tomisin is well experienced to ensure this, and his new role provides him with an overarching view of our operations and technology functions.”
Mr Fashina has over 30 years of experience, predominantly in technology management and financial services.
Before joining the Ecobank Group, Mr Fashina was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Steward Bank Harare Zimbabwe.
He has also been Chief Executive Officer for Yookos, a social media company, and has held several positions at Barclays Bank, including General Manager & Head, Transactional Banking Products, and Channels Management and Director, Cash Management & Payments.
Prior to this, at Citigroup South Africa, he held leadership roles in its Global Transaction Services as Division Head & Director, Client Delivery, sub-Saharan Africa; and Division Head, Electronic Banking & Implementation, sub-Saharan Africa.
He has a BSc degree in Computer Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Lagos and a PhD in Business Management in Leadership from Capella University, Minnesota, USA.
BREAKING: Buhari Picks Usman Alkali Baba as Acting IGP
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), Mr Usman Alkali Baba, has been appointed as the acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
One of the social media aides to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Bashir Ahmad, confirmed this development in a post on his verified Twitter page on Tuesday.
Mr Ahmad disclosed that the appointment of Mr Baba was with immediate effect and this puts an end to the reign of Mr Abubakar Adamu, whose tenure was extended by the President for three months a few months ago.
The post by Mr Ahmad disclosed that the appointment of Mr Baba was announced in Abuja by the Minister of Police Affairs, Mr Maigari Dingyadi, on the authority of Mr Buhari, who travelled to London for medical attention last week.
“President @MBuhari has appointed DIG Usman Alkali Baba as the new acting inspector-general of police, with immediate effect, Minister of Police Affairs Maigari Dingyadi discloses the President’s directive this afternoon, in Abuja,” the post, seen by Business Post, read.
About Alkali Baba Usman
Alkali Baba Usman was born in 1963 and joined the Nigeria Police in March 1988. He attended all courses mandatory at various ranks and also took extra courses like investigation, insurgency and counter-terrorism and traffic management.
The alumnus of Bayero University, Kano and the University of Maiduguri is a member of the International Association of Police and a Fellow of the International War College.
He was in Kaduna as the Deputy Commissioner, Administration and in Abuja as the Deputy Commissioner, Investigation. He was also in Ilorin as an Area Commander at a point and second-in-command in Ebonyi.
SEC Okays CEOs of Nigerian Exchange Group, Others
By Dipo Olowookere
The appointments of the chief executive officers (CEOs) of the demutualised Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) have been approved by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).
Recently, the SEC, which is the highest regulatory body for the capital market in Nigeria, authorised the unbundling of the exchange after meeting all the requirements, including registering with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
This transformed the NSE into a non-operating holding company known as the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group) and three operating subsidiaries Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), the operating exchange; NGX Regulation Limited (NGX REGCO), the independent regulatory company; and NGX Real Estate Limited (NGX RELCO), the real estate company.
Mr Oscar Onyema, who had been the CEO of the NSE, was appointed as the Group CEO of the NGX Group, while Mr Temi Popoola was made the CEO of NGX and Ms Tinuade Awe chosen as the CEO of NGX RELCO.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the NGX Group, Mr Abimbola Ogunbanjo, stated that, “The confirmation of these appointments are an important step in the process of building a leading and resilient African exchange group following the completion of our demutualisation programme.
“I am delighted to continue working with Oscar Onyema, who has played a significant role in the reshaping of the exchange.
“As a proven business leader and strategic thinker, I am confident that he will elevate the NGX Group and its subsidiaries successfully into a new era of development.”
On his part, the Chairman of the NGX, Mr A.B Mahmoud, said: “The confirmation of the appointment of Temi Popoola as the first CEO of the Nigerian Exchange Limited comes at a pivotal moment for Nigerian capital markets as the Exchange enters a new phase of its history as a demutualised company, bringing to the exchange his track record of achievement local and global capital markets.
“He will focus on ensuring the exchange delivers an even higher level of service for all its participants and stakeholders, including investors, listed companies and brokers.
“I look forward to working with him and his team in the new dispensation as we move forward on implementing the group’s growth strategy.”
On the part of the Chairperson of NGX REGCO, Ms Catherine Echeozo, “The clear separation of the regulatory and business functions is an essential part of the group’s operations following demutualisation and the board was determined to ensure the selection of an experienced regulator for this task.
“I believe all the exchange’s stakeholders will welcome the announcement of Tinuade Awe as the first CEO NGX Regulation, given her prodigious experience and track record in capital markets regulation.
“Our stakeholders can continue to look forward to a robust and transparent regulatory regime under her leadership.”
Who they are
Mr Oscar Onyema until his new appointment served as the CEO and member of the National Council of the exchange from 2011 – 2021.
In this role, he was responsible for supervising the general work of the exchange. He serves as the Chairman, Central Securities Clearing System Plc (CSCS), the clearing, settlement and depository for the Nigerian capital markets; and Chairman, NG Clearing, which is in the process of developing a Central Counterparty Clearing House (CCP).
In addition, Mr Onyema is a board member of the National Pension Commission of Nigeria (PENCOM) and sits on several advisory boards including the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) Africa Advisory Group (LAAG).
Prior to relocating to Nigeria, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at American Stock Exchange (Amex). He also ran the NYSE Amex equity business following the merger of NYSE Euronext and Amex in 2008.
His remarkable achievements have earned him awards such as the Special Recognition Award for transformational leadership in the Nigerian Capital Markets at Business Day Top 25 CEOs Award 2018.
In 2015 Forbes Magazine named him among the Top 10 Most Powerful Men in Africa. In the preceding year, he received the national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) from the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Mr Onyema is an alumnus of Harvard Business School, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and INSEAD International Directors Programme. He got his MBA from Baruch College, New York; and BSc degree from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (IoD) Nigeria, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Associate of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) in the UK, and holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 63 qualifications in the United States.
Mr Temi Popoola is a successful C-suite leader whose unique blend of business acumen, financial expertise, global market growth and operational insight has earned him a reputation built on verifiable career achievements.
A Wall Street trained investment banker, Mr Popoola joins NGX Ltd from Renaissance Capital (Rencap) where he was Managing Director and CEO for West Africa.
He supported the continuous growth, profitability and success of the organisation by providing strategic market insight and leadership. He led the transformation of Rencap in West Africa by diversifying the company’s revenue streams into fixed income, derivatives, structured products, debt financing and wealth management.
In addition to influencing change across the organisation, he was responsible for overseeing a global workforce, expanding foreign investor capital opportunities into West Africa and introducing enduring business processes and strategic initiatives.
Since his return to Nigeria in 2009, Mr Popoola has also worked with United Bank of Africa (UBA) as Head of Structured Products for Global markets and with CSL Stockbrokers Ltd as Head of Sales and Trading. In both of these positions, he guided growth and advancement for investors across global markets, including South Africa, the UK, the Middle East and the US.
Mr Popoola began his career in London as a portfolio manager focused on African energy markets and worked for several years as a senior equity derivatives trader with Bank of America Securities in New York where he drove firm profitability by providing derivative solutions to US corporations and family offices.
He graduated with a First-Class degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos and holds a Master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a Chartered financial analyst (CFA) and a Chartered stockbroker (CIS). He holds Series 7 and 63 licensures.
Ms Tinuade Awe, prior to attaining her new position, was an Executive Director, Regulation at the exchange. She also served as the General Counsel and Head of the Legal and Regulation Division as well as Council Secretary before becoming an Executive Director.
Before joining the exchange, Ms Awe worked with the United Nations in The Hague and Geneva as well as the New York offices of the global law firm, Simpson Thacher & Barlett and Banwo & Ighodalo in Lagos, Nigeria.
As Executive Director, Regulation, she had responsibility for the regulation of the two primary stakeholder groups of the exchange, i.e., the dealing members that trade on the exchange and issuers that have securities listed on the bourse.
Her team was responsible for rulemaking and interpretation, monitoring, inspections, market surveillance, investigations, regulatory technology, and enforcement.
She is a non-executive director of the Central Securities Clearing System Plc (CSCS) and also a member of the board of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC).
She chairs the FRC’s Board Corporate Governance Committee, which has board-level responsibility to monitor the implementation of the National Code of Corporate Governance (NCCG).
Among other professional pursuits, Ms Awe was a member of the Nigerian Senate’s Technical Advisory Committee to review the Bill for an Act to Amend the Companies and Allied Matters Act and the Bill for an Act to review the Investment and Securities Act.
Ms Awe has an LL.B Degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University, graduating as the Best Female Student in the Faculty of Law. She finished at the Nigerian Law School with First Class Honours, graduating as Best Overall Student. She also holds LL.M Degrees from Harvard Law School, where she was a Landon H. Gammon Fellow, as well as The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where she graduated with a Merit. At the LSE, she was a British Council Scholar. She is admitted to both the Nigerian and New York Bars.
Ms Awe is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the International Bar Association. She is an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) and the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ICMR). She is a Life Member of the Institute of Directors. She is the recipient of The African Legal Awards 2018, General Counsel of the Year; Law Digest Africa Awards, General Counsel of the Year 2018, and Esq. Nigeria Legal Awards, General Counsel of the Year 2017.
DPR Sacks Directors over Marginal Fields Controversy
By Adedapo Adesanya
The controversies that followed the just-concluded bid round of 57 marginal fields has reportedly caused the sacking of all the deputy directors of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
According to Nigerian NewsDirect, the sack of the directors was initiated over the disputes that railed the selection of winners and matching of companies exclusively done by the Director of the agency, Mr Sarki Auwalu.
According to the report, the round had gone contrary to the global oil industry practice of public opening of bids.
There were claims that the current management chose to send electronic mails to selected winners with a directive to pay a proportion of the signature bonus into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the federal government.
The winners expressed fears over litigation that will come up with the matching of winners.
Last week, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timpre Sylva, announced that 50 per cent of the marginal field winners had paid for the signature bonus.
According to cited sources, the sudden sack was considered as a choice to ensure a firm grip of the DPR since most of the affected persons are senior to the head of the organisation.
It was added that some of them had participated in previous bid rounds conducted by the department and have more experience.
Efforts made to get a reaction from the Head Public Affairs Unit, Mr Paul Osu, proved abortive as there was no response to the text message and phone calls made to his phone line.
The affected deputy directors include Head, Corporate Services, Mr Isah Tafidah; Head, Engineering and Standard, Mr Akann Musa; Head, Downstream Monitoring and Regulation, Mr Mohammed Alaku; and Head, Upstream Monitoring and regulation, Mr Enorense Amadasu.
Others are Head, Safety, Health and Environment, Mr Olusanya Bajomo; Head, Planning, Mr Johnson Ajewole; and Head, Gas Monitoring and Regulation, Mr Musa Zagi.
According to the report, those promoted as replacement include a Mallam Ciroma who is replacing Mr Isa Tafida as Head, Corporate Services; Akann Musa who is also named as Head, Engineering and Standard, the position he has held before now; Mr Sadiq Bashir is replacing Mr Mohammed Alaku as Head, Downstream Monitoring and Regulation; and Mr Garba Salihu new Head, Upstream Monitoring and regulation, and a replacement for Mr Enorense Amadasu.
Others are Mr Balogun A.A, a replacement for Mr Olisanya Bajomo as Head, Safety, Health and Environment; Mr Babajide Fasina, new Head, Planning, and a replacement for Mr.l Johnson Ajewole; and Mr I.Y Abubakar, new Head, Gas Monitoring and Regulation, and a replacement for Mr Musa Zagi.
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