A newspaper story on the severance pay for members of the board of Nigeria Inc. has once again turned the attention of its shareholders to the high salaries and allowances enjoyed by the principal officers of that company. Nigeria Inc. changed ownership in 1999, but has continued to underperform in the market. Majority of the shareholders have not taken any dividends despite huge revenues from oil sales and despite assurances from the late CEO to make Nigeria Inc. one of the 20 biggest companies by the year 2020.
At its quadrennial meeting last month, new board members and a new CEO were elected to hopefully guide the company to profitability, but the patience of the shareholders is wearing thin and this latest report does not help matters. The shareholders are likely to insist that all principal officers take half pay until the company experiences growth and begins to return dividends. One shareholder who identified himself as Enough I. Enough said: ‘When a company is going through hard times, many of its employees are laid off and/or take pay cuts. Nigeria Inc. is not faring well, so pay cuts are necessary. When the company starts doing better, they should get a raise. Not before then’.Follow @je_mc2