By Rashidat Olushola Okunlade

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) among other key stakeholders on Tuesday celebrated the outgoing Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON for his contribution to Nigerian capital market in the past 13-year.

Onyema, who was first CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for 10 years and the Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group) for 3 years, saw his tenure ended 2023 and was celebrated on the floor of NGX by NGX Group, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Central Securities Clearing System Plc (CSCS), NG Clearing, among others.

The Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Lamido Yuguda at the ceremony stated that Mr. Oscar Onyema’s visionary leadership has not only stirred NGX Group through significant milestones but also spared a successful demutualization, marking a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s financial landscape.

The DG, who was represented by Mrs. Hafsat Rufai, Director, SEC Lagos Office stated that under Onyema’s guidance, NGX Group consistently showcased innovation and resilience.

In his welcome speech, the Group Chairman, NGX Group, Alhaji (Dr) Umaru Kwairanga congratulated Mr. Oscar Onyema on the completion of his remarkable leadership term at the helm of NGX Group.

“It cannot be stressed enough that Mr. Oscar Onyema contributed immensely to modernisation of the Exchange as we have it today. NGX Group in its current state is far more advanced technologically, strategically, and operationally than it was when he resumed in 2011,” he said.

He highlighted some of his achievements including the launching of the Exchange trading platform,  X-GEN which propelled the Exchange into the modern era; designing a robust Business Continuity Plan, which saw the Exchange seamlessly maintain remote trading for over two years in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, and implementing a world-class regulatory regime focused on fairness, stability, collaborative rulemaking, risk-based supervision, and robust corporate governance standards.

“This steadfast commitment to regulation and transparency restored investor confidence and positioned the Exchange as a credible, trusted platform,” Kwairanga said.

He added further that, “Perhaps most notably, Mr. Oscar Onyema ‘s visionary stewardship has created immense value for NGX Group’s shareholders.

“Under his tenure, the Group has experienced an incredible turnaround, with Return on Equity reaching an impressive 13.8per cent for the 2023 fiscal year and payment of N1.5billion in dividends to shareholders – a resounding affirmation of the Group’s operational efficiency and strategic direction under his exemplary leadership.

Kwairanga, thus, expressed gratitude to Mr. Oscar Onyema for his pioneering vision, transformative accomplishments, and the indelible mark he has etched on the Nigerian capital market landscape.

In acknowledging Mr. Oscar Onyema’s leadership, the Group Chief Executive Officer, NGX Group, Mr. Temi Poopola, emphasized the profound impact of Mr Onyema’s leadership style. He commended his ability to navigate diverse perspectives with respect, having prioritized the broader interests of the capital market. The Group CEO expressed gratitude for the numerous sacrifices, both personally and for the organization.

In his part, the former President of NSE, Dr. Oba Otudeko said Mr. Oscar N. Onyema’s professionalism is outstanding his confidence, very convincing to deliver and his presence, always humble and noble. According to him, Oscar’s uniqueness was fairly evident during the Council’s search for a CEO, notching him the job.

The Chairman, ASHON, Mr. Sam Onukwue at the “Pull-Out Ceremony” stated that during the 13-year tenure of Oscar Onyema, technology on the Exchange was upscaled, new minimum operating standards for market operators was introduced, among other transformational initiatives aimed at achieving best international practices were also pursued under his leadership.

“Of particular note was the impact of the demutualization of the Exchange during his tenure. This was no mean feat given the history of previous attempts,” he said.

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