Saturday, 8 August 2009



I’m sure, somewhere down the line, we’ll run into each other. And yes, I know you are a powerful, powerful man. I like you, and I admire all you’ve managed to achieve.

Unfortunately, I have this habit of speaking my mind, so don’t take this personally; you’re still my second favorite business personality (after Bill Gates).

By now you must have guessed that this is about your new appointment.

My lawyer friends say you’ve done nothing wrong because there is no law prohibiting your assumption of office as the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s (NSE) President.

But you are the richest black man in Africa, and most of this wealth is held in companies listed on the NSE, over which you now preside. And a lot of your bitter rivals (companies and individuals) are also listed on the NSE, over which you now preside.

Forget the legal arguments and rationalizations over the figure-head nature of your job as NSE president. Forget the fact that as a cold, calculated business decision, it is a master-stroke that should give your competitors sleepless nights for as long as you hold tenure. Let’s not mention here even, the share-price manipulation scandal allegedly involving Eugene Anenih (God bless him), your one-time friend Otedola, and yourself which should ordinarily be reason enough for you to turn down this job.

I hope I’m not stating the obvious, but there’s a conflict of interest hidden somewhere in your acceptance of this appointment. If you look hard enough, I’m sure you’ll see it too.

I also understand the need sometimes to put on displays of power. You’ve done that, you’ve gotten elected. An even bigger display of character would be for you to now step down as President of the NSE.

Recently, Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple’s Board over growing conflict of interest issues: one such issue was Google’s decision to develop operating systems for computers, directly pitching it against Apple and Microsoft.

But that’s America; bully me for thinking their morals, ethics and principles should apply to us.

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