By Divine Nweke
Former Corporate Czars and top board room administrators have canvassed for a policy change that will give Nigerians equal access to multinational companies’ board membership just as their foreign national counterparts.
They also urged state governments to complement the efforts of the federal government by insisting that multinationals doing business in their respective states develop capable Nigerians to the level of chief executives in their organizations warning that failure to comply should lead to halting of foreign direct investment from such discriminatory companies.
The top board room administrators under the auspices of the Society for the Advancement of Local Talents and Virtue Management (SALTVM)recalled that in the past, some Nigerians had attained the enviable heights and performed well with great distinctions even in the management of global multinationals,
Aggregating their position recently in Lagos at a reception in honour of Mrs. Onyeche Tisafe who was appointed the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of SIEMENS Nigeria Limited, the former CEOs regretted that the reverse was now the case decrying the dwindling number of Nigerians as Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers of large multinational companies operating in the domestic economy.
Chairman of SALTVM, Dr. Michael Omolayole in his address at the reception lauded SIEMENS for appointing Mrs. Tisafe as its Chief Executive which he said is significant being the first female indigenous CEO of the company in Nigeria.
He said, ‘I wish to refer first to an element of good news, Nigeria took a small but significant step within the last one year in producing a female CEO of a large globalized multinational. This is making it possible for us today to continue to celebrate once in a year the virtuous and competent Nigerians who have made it to the highest level in the multinational companies.’
He added, ‘this year, the cause of our joy is Mrs. Onyeche Tisafe, current MD/CEO of SIEMENS Nigeria Limited. The company is one of the largest and well known multinationals in the world. We therefore rejoice heartily with Mrs. Tisafe and her father, Engr. Joe Makoju who distinguished himself as the former MD/CEO of Lafarge Cement.
Dr. Omolayole who stated that strong advocacy and persuasion can cause foreign multinationals to begin to appoint capable Nigerians to executive positions urged Nigerians from all works of life to join hands with the SALTVIM in making the dream a reality.
He said, ‘we urge members of the Nigerian public and in-particular, shareholders’ associations and other activists such as the consumer protection association, to join in this work of advocacy. We also appeal to social media practitioners and enthusiasts to take up the issue of urging the multinationals among us to believe in, find and develop virtuous Nigerians to the highest levels in their companies and not just consumers of their products.