Africa’s richest man back as head of Nigerian stock exchange

Nigerian tycoon Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man according toForbes magazine, was Tuesday reinstated as president of theNigerian Stock Exchange, the position from which he was removed two years ago.

Dangote met some members of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) council and presided over its meeting “to discuss ways of reinvigorating the capital market,” an official statement said.

“Capital (market) operators at the bourse expect him to focus on steps to restore investor confidence which the market currently lacks,” it said, noting that foreign investors now account for about 67 percent of total market transactions.

His earlier election as NSE president in August 2009 was later annuled by a court order in March 2010 following a suit filed by some shareholders. His appeal against that ruling was upheld by a higher court last Friday.

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At his reinstatement on Tuesday, the president of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Ariyo Olushekun, lamented that domestic investors have abandoned the market after having lost money in recent past.

“We should not leave the market at the mercy of foreign portfolio investors who have more options available to them and can quickly bring volatility to the market from their country’s allocation actions,” he said in the statement.

A week ago, the head of the NSE regulator was suspended from her post, weeks after she publicly clashed with politicians over corruption allegations.

Arunma Oteh, viewed by many as a reform-minded head of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission who worked to clean up stock market abuses, has been forced to go on leave while a probe into the regulator is conducted.

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