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Coast clears for Adesina to return as AfDB president in August

Barring any unforeseen events, the coast is clear for Akinwumi Adesina’s re-election next month as president of African Development Bank (AfDB), following his vindication by an Independent Review Panel that probed his previous exonerations by other organs of the bank.

If not for the coronavirus outbreak, Adesina’s re-election would have been held on May 28, until it was postponed to hold between August 25 and 27, while investigations were concluded. However, the verdict Tuesday, of an Independent Review Panel, which exonerated Adesina of any ethical wrongdoings, had cleared the path for Nigeria’s former minister of agriculture to return to the bank for another five-year term.

The Independent Review Panel set up by Bureau of the Board of Governors of the bank, following a complaint by the United States, had the task of reviewing the process by which two organs of the bank – the Ethics Committee of the Board, and the Bureau of the Board of Governors – had previously exonerated him.

The Independent Review Panel in its report stated that it “concurs with the (Ethics) Committee in its findings in respect of all the allegations against the President and finds that they were properly considered and dismissed by the Committee.”

The Panel also once again vindicated Adesina by stating, “It has considered the President’s submissions on their face and finds them consistent with his innocence and to be persuasive.”

The three-member Independent Review Panel included Mary Robinson, who is a former President of the Republic of Ireland; Hassan B. Jallow, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Gambia, and Leonard F. McCarthy, a former Director of Public Prosecutions in South Africa.

It would be recalled that in January 2020, 16 allegations of ethical misconduct were levelled against Adesina by a group of whistle-blowers. The allegations, which were reviewed by the Bank’s Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors in March, were described as “frivolous and without merit.” The findings and rulings of the Ethics Committee were subsequently upheld by the apex Bureau of the Board of Governors in May, which cleared Adesina of any wrongdoing.

The conclusions of the Independent Review Panel are decisive and now clear the way for Governors of the Bank to re-elect Adesina to a second five-year term as President during annual meetings of the Bank scheduled for August 25-27.

In the weeks following Adesina’s travails, there was a wave of solidarity across the continent, and unsurprisingly from Nigeria, his home country. Olusegun Obasanjo, a former Nigerian president, in a letter to some former leaders on the African continent, had reached out to rally their support for Adesina, also, Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s minister of finance, wrote a letter to the chairman of AfDB’s Board of Governors, pointing at external influences undermining the bank’s laid down processes were rejected.

Former President Obasanjo, had in a letter dated May 26, extolled Adesina’s work at the AfDB, saying he had “performed very well in this position over the past five years”. Obasanjo in the letter also stated that Adesina had “taken the bank to great heights. In 2020, he led the bank to achieve a historic general capital increase, raising the capital of the bank from $93bn to $208bn”, further described as the highest in the history of the bank since its establishment in 1964.

He explained that despite these achievements and Adesina’s endorsement for a second term by the whole of Africa, “there are some attempts led by some non-regional member countries of the bank to frustrate his re-election.”

Obasanjo’s letter was copied to Boni Yayi, former President of Benin Republic, Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana; Hailemariam Desalegn, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia; John Kufour, former President of Ghana; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia; Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi.

Others are Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique; Tandja Mamadou; former President of Niger; Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, both former Presidents of South Africa; Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete, both former Presidents of Tanzania; and Mohamed Marzouki; former President of Tunisia.

Ahmed, Nigeria’s minister of finance, on her part wrote Kaba Niala, chairman of AfDB’s Board of Governors, stating that the Nigerian Government had been following developments at the bank closely subsequent to the conclusion and submission of the formal report of the Ethics Committee.

She had protested that the call for an “independent investigation” of Adesina “is outside of the laid down rules, procedures and governing system of the Bank and its Articles as it relates to the Code of Conduct on Ethics for the President”.

While noting that the board of Governors must uphold the rule of law and respect the governance systems of the Bank, Ahmed stated that “If there are any governance issues that need improvement, these can be considered and amendments provided for adoption in line with laid down procedures.”

by Caleb Ojewale and Harrison Edeh 

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Top 10 highest earning CEO’s in Nigeria

The figures only refer to their annual remunerations as the highest-paid directors.

The responsibility of piloting a firm’s affairs and ensuring profitability often rests squarely on the shoulders of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Agreed, running a company is never a task that can be accomplished by just one person. But that notwithstanding, CEOs are the ones at the helm of affairs. As such, they take most of the blame for the lows, just as much as they take the credit for the highs.

It goes without saying that CEOs are also the highest-paid staff of every company. In Nigeria, the CEOs of the major companies are remunerated handsomely for their efforts. However, just as much as these companies have ranks in terms of asset size and profitability, so also do their CEOs’ earnings have ranks.

This article, therefore, looks at the highest-paid CEOs of companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The focus here is on how much they earned in 2019.

Do note that the figures given here do not include what the CEOs might earn in dividends as shareholders of their respective companies. The figures only refer to their annual remunerations (executive compensation) as the highest-paid directors.

Ferdinand Moolman

Ferdinand Moolman, MTN Nigeria, N586 million

Ferdinand Moolman is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of Nigeria’s biggest, non-oil foreign direct investment – MTN Nigeria Communications Plc. He was promoted to the position of CEO on December 1, 2015, as part of a major reshuffling of the telco’s operating structure which was aimed at strengthening operational oversight, leadership, governance, and regulatory compliance.

Before then, he was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), a position he occupied immediately he was transferred from MTN Iran cell where he was the Chief Operating Officer (COO).

It makes a lot of sense that the CEO of the biggest company listed on the Nigerian bourse should be the highest-paid CEO in Nigeria.

Moolman earned N586 million in 2019, 2.5% up from the N571 million he took home in 2018.

Austin Avuru

Austin Avuru, Seplat, N440 million

Augustine Avuru, the co-founder and CEO of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, is the highest-paid director in his company, and second highest in Nigeria for the year 2019.

Prior to becoming the Chief Executive Officer of Seplat in May 2010, he was Managing Director at Platform Petroleum Limited, a company he founded. He had spent over a decade at Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC), holding different positions including that of wellsite geologist, production seismologist, and reservoir engineer.

He had also worked as an exploration manager and technical manager with Allied Energy Resources in Nigeria, a pioneer deepwater operator, where he spent ten years before starting Platform Petroleum Limited in 2002. He is also a director of MPI, which is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris.

Avuru received N440 million as his remuneration in 2019, a shortfall of N44 million when compared to his 2018 earnings.

Recall that Seplat had announced Roger Brown as the incoming CEO that will take over when Avuru retires on July 31, 2020.

Segun Agbaje

Segun Agbaje, GTBank, N400 million

Segun Agbaje joined Guaranty Trust Bank as a pioneer staff in 1991 and rose through the ranks to become the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in 2011 after Tayo Aderinokun, the previous CEO, passed on.

As CEO, Agbaje took N400 million home in remunerations for the year 2019. This shows an increase of N16 million from his N384 million remuneration in 2018, and given the impressive results that the bank showed for the year, we can say that it was duly justified.

He was recently elected an independent member of the Board of PepsiCo, the American owners of popular beverage drinks Pepsi and Moutain Dew. As Nairametrics reported, Agbaje will officially assume his duties as a board member and audit committee member at PepsiCo by mid-July.

Yaw Nsarkoh

Yaw Nsarkoh, formerly with Unilever Nigeria Plc, N330 million

Yaw Nsarkoh has had a long career within the Unilever Group, occupying top positions like the African Regional Brand Manager, Production Manager for Unilever Ghana, among others.

He headed several regional headquarters of the global manufacturing company, especially in Africa. He also served as a Strategic Assistant to Unilever’s President for Asia, Africa, Central, and Eastern Europe.

He resigned from his position as Managing Director in December 2019, to take up new roles within the Unilever group across Europe. He was succeeded by Carl Raymond Cruz in January 2020. Prior to his departure, he earned N303 million in 2019, 8% less than the N330 million he earned in 2018.


Michael Puchercos

Michael Puchercos, formerly with Lafarge Africa Plc, N272 million

For the financial year ended December 31st, 2019, Michael Puchercos earned N272 million, marking an 18.7% increase when compared to the N229 million he earned in 2018.

Before his appointment as Lafarge Africa Plc’s CEO, he worked in various capacities within the cement industry for two decades. He was the President & Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Halla Cement; Director of Strategy and Systems at Lafarge Gypsum; Chief Executive Officer of Bamburi Cement and Hima Cement; and Chairman of Mbeya Cement in Tanzania.

He resigned from Lafarge in January 2020 to join competitor brand, Dangote Cement Plc and was succeeded by Mr. Khaled Abdelaziz El Dokani, the former country CEO of Lafarge Holcim Iraq.

CEO, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Jordi Borrut Bel

Jordi Borrut Bel, Nigerian Breweries Plc, N271 million

Jordi Borrut Bel is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc. Mr Bel is an experienced manager and has served in Heineken’s different subsidiaries across different countries. He was Managing Director at Brarudii SA, Manager-Project Distribution at Heineken Slovensko AS, Brand Manager at Heineken France SAS and Director-Sales & Distribution at Heineken España SA. His last position prior to coming to Nigerian was that of the Managing Director of Heineken Burundi.

Bel’s earnings experienced a quantum leap from N190 million in 2018 to N271 million in 2019, an increase of about 42%. He was the sixth highest-paid CEO in 2019.

Mauricio Alarcon – CEO Nestle Nigeria

Mauricio Alarcon, Nestle Nigeria Plc, N218 million

Seventh on the list is Mauricio Alarcon, the Chief Executive Officer of Nestle Nigeria Plc. Alarcon was appointed CEO in 2016, after a progressive 17 years career with the Nestle brand. He started as Area Sales Manager with Nestle Mexico and later became a Senior Brand Manager.

He worked as Marketing Advisor at Nestle Headquarters in Switzerland, Country Manager at Nestle Cote d’Ivoire and later became Managing Director of Nestle Atlantic Cluster between June 2016 and September 2016, overseeing Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire.

Alarcon earned N218 million in 2019, a slight increase from the N210 million in 2018 he earned in 2018, placing him 7th place in the list.

Lars Richter – CEO Julius Berger Nigeria Plc

Lars Richter, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, N217 million

Presently, Lars Richter occupies the position of Managing Director & Director at Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, a position he was appointed to in 2018.

Before this appointment, he had garnered over 16 years’ experience in the construction industry, with 10 years spent in Nigeria, in different positions including Division manager, Project manager, and Project engineer.

Richter places 8th on this list, with an income of N217 million in 2019. This is quite a significant reduction from the N319 million he received in 2018 although there is no obvious justification for this.

Emeka Emuwa – CEO Union Bank of Nigeria

Emeka Emuwa, Union Bank of Nigeria, N172 million

Emuwa earned an annual net income of N172 million in 2019, the same as he did in 2018. He was appointed CEO of Union Bank of Nigeria in November 2012, after a progressive 25-year banking career at CitiBank across several African countries.

He started out as a Management Assistant at Citibank Nigeria Limited and was later promoted to the position of Country Head, Cameroon. At this time, he was also overseeing all the bank’s activities in the Central African region, including Congo and Gabon.

He occupied strategic positions in the company across several countries like Tanzania, Ghana, Niger, and Nigeria, serving as the CEO between 2005 and 2012, before he took up the appointment with Union Bank Plc.

Imrane Barry, Total Nigeria Plc

Imrane Barry, Total Nigeria Plc, N163 million

Total Nigeria Plc has Imrane Barry as its Managing Director. Imrane is not new to the Total group as he had previously served as Managing Director of Total Uganda in 2013, Total Cameroon SA in 2015 and Total Nigeria Plc in 2018. He also worked with other Total affiliates in Kenya and Ivory Coast, at SEP-Congo as the Technical and Transport Director, and in Paris as the Strategy and Development Senior Officer.

He was appointed Deputy Executive Vice-President of Total Africa & Middle East in 2012,

Before joining Total, Imrane worked in several capacities in Engineering and Construction Companies in Guinea Conakry, Cote d’Ivoire and Gabon.

Imrane took home N163 million as remunerations in 2019, 41% more than his 2018 earnings of N115 million.


Note that these figures were sourced from the companies’ FY 2019 audited financial statement. As such, the figures represent these CEOs’ income for the year 2019. As was explained in the article, a couple of the CEOs no longer occupy their positions, but since there has not been a full year financial statement explaining what their successors might be earning, these figures are the most recent.

Credit: https://nairametrics.com/2020/07/10/2019-top-10-highest-earning-ceos-in-nigeria/