Market Musings: Obazee, FRC, Nigeria And God’s Anointed

Market Musings: Obazee, FRC, Nigeria And God’s Anointed


Post Views: 594 Jim Osanyade Obazee, former Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Accounting Standards Board (NASB) and founding chief executive of the F...

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Jim Osanyade Obazee, former Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Accounting Standards Board (NASB) and founding chief executive of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC), on Monday, became the latest casualty of power play and seeming indiscretion in the country.
Reminiscent of the dark days of military rule when now President Muhammadu Buhari and his ilk held sway in the corridors of power, when ones appointment was announced to NTA’s 10 million views during its flagship “News At 9pm,” and fired even while on official assignment out of the country anytime he sings out of tune or the hirer needed the job for another loyalist through NTA’s sister- Radio Nigeria’s 4 O’Clock news, Obazee may not have been dignified with a query (which should normally have a 24-hour lapse period.
His sack came as a rude shock to many, just as “Daddy GO” as Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) announced last Saturday morning that he was relinquishing administration of the Nigerian church to Pastor Joshua Obayemi, one of his lieutenants.
“Daddy GO’s” decision was linked to a government directive that holders of such positions in Nigerian churches should relinquish them after holding them for 20 years or attaining the age of 70.
They are very many in that category o! Just use your tongue to count your teeth, beginning from Ota in Ogun State, to Oregun Road, Ikeja, then join the Oworonsoki express road and onto the Lagos-Ibadan express road, all in Lagos, among others.
With Obazee’s sack, it is reprieve to all of the lot, only two of who are less than 70, but have held sway for more than 20 years.
There are however feelers that “Daddy Adeboye’s” retirement may not even have stirred the hornet’s nest as much as much as the northern oligarchy in a system where the Sultan or Emir is both the custodian of tradition and faith, just as the Imam could have been made to relinquish office. Have you heard the prefix “former” or “ex” attached to the word “Imam?” Or with the Sultan of Sokoto give up the headship of the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs after ruling for say 20 years in the name of corporate governance. The code also sought to change the scenario where the Imam of a mosque becomes accountable to a government institution, rather than to God only as it was in the beginning and not man, who may not even believe in the God of the person giving account.
Even then, did Obazee not read the power dynamics or was he just trying to dare the powers that be? If not so, how can he touch a “Daddy GO,” one of whose lieutenants and regional pastors is/was Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the President’s number two man in the villa? Was it just the case of a stubborn fly?
Anyhow, Obazee in his youthful exuberance cannot be forgotten in a hurry by corporate Nigeria, ask Erastus Akingbola, his peers and even former Central Bank of Nigeria governor- Lamido Sanusi, (as he then was) and even his successor.
It was not all battles Obazee lost however. Ask the seemingly indefatigable Atedo Peterside, founding managing director of Stanbic IBTC Bank, under its various names of which he is now chairman. Not even the support of Godwin Emefiele, the incumbent CBN governor could save Peterside, Mrs. Sola David Borha and two other executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings and KPMG Professional Services from the hand of the FRC under Obazee.
The former FRC boss had required before now that all professionals besides registering with their professional bodies also do same with the council to obtain a number (only journalists were spared that, as if it not a profession after all), and thereafter append their names and FRC numbers to any regulatory document, such that when there is any faux pax, they could be identified for appropriate sanctions. Peterside and his peers were forbidden from signing any official regulatory document, and since they were officials of Stanbic IBTC Bank, they could not present the group’s financials for the year ended December 2015 and the first three quarters of last year to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The stand-off ended just a last week with the announcement by the group’s company secretary that an amicable settlement had been reached by all parties.
So, while he seemed to have lost this one after touching the nation’s powerful religious leaders, he won many others.
It goes back to the heart of the matter of sanitizing Nigerians and ensuring that institutions are built not on one pivot or person, and would not have to rely on body language of however is President to do their jobs. That is why under a particular government our Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is one day an obedient a hound of the President’s enemies and the next lame. These institutions must learn from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that continued probing Mrs. Hilary Clinton, unhindered, even when she was candidate of the ruling Democratic Party for the 2016 Presidential election.
To worsen the matter, the code Obazee relied upon to act was also on Monday suspended by the Federal Government to allow for “a detailed review, extensive consultation with stakeholders and reconstitution of the FRC.”
That is another way of saying the document, has been kept in view and may never see the light of day, but left to gather dust much more than the Petroleum Industry Bill after almost eight years of being left on the shelve.
The evil in this kind of approach to treating public office holders is that others will just rely on eye-service, rather than do the job whole-heartedly and it is because of this kind of “who send you message” attitude of government sacrificing its people for political expediency that my people say: “Dem no dey put government work for head, not even shoulder, because that one self too near head. E heavy too much, na to trowey.”