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‘Corporate governance, succession plan critical to long-term business survival’


The aerial view of Lagos Island Business District PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Corporate governance and succession planning have been identified as critical factors to the long-term survival of businesses.

But management experts warned that having these qualities is not an option, but a journey that must continue to unlock greater opportunities for organisations.

Already, global class practice companies have adopted clearly defined processes for succession, which help to ensure continuity and sustainability of the businesses.

The Group Managing Director of Dangote Industries Limited, Olakunle Alake, said this while delivering a paper titled “Corporate Governance and Succession Planning” at the 35th Omolayole Management Lecture Series, organised by AIESEC Alumni Nigeria in Lagos.


Alake, who said most businesses and companies founded by Nigerians seem incapable of surviving beyond one generation, hinted on the need to begin to make the requisite difference in the way organisations are run.

He said great indigenous businesses collapsed partly because effective corporate governance structures and succession processes were not in place to ensure the businesses were sustained long after the demise of founders.

According to him, for businesses with poor corporate governance structures, the founder was often the chairman and the chief executive and made all the decisions.

However, “with a good board, sound corporate governance structures and proper succession, the founder can retire without looking back and the company will continue to thrive because there would be transferred vision and goals.

“There would be effective corporate governance and shared operational sustainability. These are fundamental reasons why a business must have a proper and effective board.

“We must contribute our quota and ensure that we raise the people to pass the baton on, to succeed us and better our present achievements”, he explained.

In an address by the President and Chairman of Council, Nigerian Institute of Management chartered (NIM), Prof. Olukunle Iyanda, he extolled Dr. Michael Omolayole, in whose honour the lecture was instituted.

He described him as an embodiment of professional management culture and virtues, which were amply manifested in the way he managed his erstwhile company, Lever Brothers Nigeria Plc (now Unilever).

Earlier, both Omolayole and Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank in Nigeria, Remi Omotosho, adduced reasons for the survival of multinationals of the 70s, even with Nigerians at the helms of affairs.

President of AIESEC Alumni Association, Brenda Nwagwu, noted that the lecture series has served as a veritable source of quality management education and insight for Nigerian professional managers.

She, therefore, called on all Nigerian corporate managers to emulate his virtues and corporate governance principles.

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