The Nigerian Stock Exchange has announced that the its National Council has approved the renewal of contract of employment for Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON for another term of five years as Chief Executive Officer of The Exchange effective immediately. Mr. Onyema has served as the CEO of the Exchange since April 2011 and his initial five years employment contract expires on March 31, 2016.
Oscar, as he is popularly called within the Nigerian Retail Investor circles took over reigns at the NSE when the market was experiencing a crash precipitated by margin lending. He quickly embarked on massive reforms and image laundering as he fought to bring back foreign and local investors into the market. He has also revamped the trading engine of the NSE and have made data more readily available. He at some point promised that he was going to grow the market capitalization to $1 trillion by 2016. The stock market is currently worth less than $60 billion and is currently in a tailspin following the crash in the price of oil.
Oscar has often being criticised for his over reliance on foreign investors to fund activities in the capital market. There was little effort to bring back millions of Nigerians who lost faith in the market after the market crash of 2010/2011. Retail investors have also criticised him for poor corporate governance oversights often indulging unscrupulous habits of issuers. For example, companies have more than once been stopped from carrying out right issues by SEC after passing through checks by the NSE. Corporate disclosures have also remained below par especially when compared to markets such as the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Oscar has also performed poorly in the area of attracting new listing with only a handful Initial Public Offers since he first became CEO in 2011. His inability to attract big wigs like MTN, Globacom etc. will always remain the minds of investors. However, he now has a chance to redeem this image in the second term.
The All Share Index dropped by 1.36% on Tuesday losing about N113 billion.