As the capital market and the business community continue to mourn the death of the boardroom guru, Mr. Gamaliel Onosode, the cold hands of death has taken away another leading finance and capital market operator, Chief Dennis Onyemaechi Odife.
Odife, who was the Chairman, Centre-Point Investments Limited (a stock broking firm) and immediate past Chairman/CEO, Centre-Point Bank Plc (now part of Unity Bank Plc), died in Abuja on Friday, 2nd October, 2015.
He was previously Chairman of Centre-Point Securities Limited, Samsen Trust Plc, and Director, John Holt Plc, among other board positions.
He served federal government in various capacities. He was Chairman of the presidential Panel on Capital Market Reform, Chairman, Steering Committee on the establishment of Abuja Stock Exchange (now Abuja Commodities Market) as well as Chairman, Presidential study group on public-private sector infrastructure financing in Nigeria.
An alumnus of both King’s College, Lagos and University of Lagos, as well as recipient of the National Honour of Member of the Federal Republic, MFR, Odife died at the age of 68 years. He was born in Nkwelle-Ezunaka, Oyi Local Government of Anambra State on August 29, 1947.
Odife played key roles in the nation’s banking and capital markets. He pioneered the development of the second-tier securities market of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and arranged the admission of majority of the indigenous companies therein.
He arranged several mergers and in the process established some of the current standards for merger documentation in the Nigerian Capital Market.
He made the first issue in the Federal Privatisation Programme in 1988 and in the process set jointly with the TCPC the standards for all subsequent privatization exercises. He championed advocacy for capital market education and reform, for the quotation of indigenous companies on the stock market and for unit trust development in Nigeria.
He travelled extensively and rendered financial advice on investing in Nigeria to the United States and European multinationals, as well as lectured on financial matters in Nigeria. He intervened decisively in the re-entry of the World Bank Group into Nigeria. Odife was also a consultant to the World Bank and International Finance Corporation for the study on the review of the Nigerian Financial System.