SEC, NGX Group, ASHON, others laud Onyema’s contribution to capital market growth

Oscar Onyema

By Stanley Onyeka, Lagos

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) Plc, Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) among other key stakeholders, yesterday at a “Pull Out”, celebrated the outgoing Group Chief Executive Officer, (NGX Group), Oscar Onyema, for his contribution to Nigerian capital market in the past 13 years.

Mr. Onyema, who was the first CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for 10 years, and the Group CEO of NGX Group for 3 years, saw his tenure ended to 2023.

He was celebrated on the floor of the Exchange by the NGX Group, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Central Securities Clearing System Plc (CSCS), and NG Clearing, among others.

The Director-General, SEC, Lamido Yuguda, at the ceremony, said Mr. Onyema’s visionary leadership did not only stir the NGX Group through significant milestones but also spurred a successful demutualisation, marking a pivotal moment in the Nigeria’s financial landscape.

Mr. Yuguda, represented by Mrs. Hafsat Rufai, Director, SEC Lagos Office, noted that under Mr. Onyema’s guidance, NGX Group consistently showcased innovation and resilience.

In his welcome speech, the Group Chairman, NGX Group, Umaru Kwairanga, congratulated Mr. Onyema for the completion of his remarkable leadership term.

“It cannot be stressed enough that Mr. Oscar Onyema contributed immensely to the 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 to include the launching of the Exchange trading platform, X-GEN that propelled it into the modern era; designing a robust Business Continuity Plan, which saw the Exchange seamlessly maintain a remote trading for over two years in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr. Onyema also implemented 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,” Mr. Kwairanga said.

He added 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 13.8% 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.

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

NGX Group in its current state is far more advanced technologically, strategically, and operationally than it was when he resumed in 2011.

Also acknowledging Mr. Onyema’s management, the Group CEO, NGX Group, Temi Poopola, emphasized the profound impact of his leadership style.

He commended his ability to navigate diverse perspectives with respect, having prioritized the broader interests of the capital market, and expressed gratitude for the numerous sacrifices, both personally and for the organization.

On his part, former President of the NSE, Oba Otudeko, described Mr. Onyema’s professionalism as outstanding, and his confidence, very convincing to deliver and his presence, always humble and noble.

According to him, Mr. Onyema’s uniqueness was fairly evident during the Council’s search for a CEO, notching him the job.

The Chairman, ASHON, Sam Onukwue at the “Pull-Out Ceremony” noted that during the 13-year tenure of Mr. 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 pursed 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 attempt,” he said.

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