The pioneer Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Apostle Hayford Ikponmwosa Alile, recently passed on at the age of 80 years. The deceased, who served on the board of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other blue chip companies, was the Spiritual Leader of St. Joseph’s Chosen Church of God (SJCCG) International. President Muhammadu Buhari and some Nigerians have paid glowing tributes to the departed great Nigerian. President Buhari observed that the late Alile “served the country extensively, especially in the structuring of the economic landscape of both the private and public sector, and consistently advocated synergy for national development.” To the Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Msgr. Gabriel Osu, “Alile was a peaceful and highly spiritual man. We owe him a duty to follow the values he stood for. He will be sorely missed.” In the same vein, Pastor Glory Akhimie of Winners Chapel said “Alile contributed significantly to the growth of the NSE. He was a role model to many of us and we admired how he succeeded in striking a balance between Christian ministry, work and family.” According to one of his children, Osayi Alile, the deceased “gave 100 per cent to everything he did. His work transcends many fields, but he was notably an investment analyst as well as a financial consultant.”
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Born on April 24, 1938, Alile was educated at Loyola College, Ibadan, for his secondary school education before proceeding to the then University College also in Ibadan for his first degree in Classics. Later, he proceeded to Howard University in the USA, where he earned another degree. His thirst for knowledge and education knew no end as he enrolled at the Rutgers State University of New Jersey, USA, for a master’s degree in Business Administration.
Upon completion of his MBA, Alile was appointed the Assistant Director of the Rutgers University Entrepreneurial Development Center, New Jersey, and the Rutgers Minority Investment Company Incorporated. He served in these offices for about three years between 1969 and 1972. He moved on from the services of the university to the corporate world as Investment Adviser and Broker at Investors Diversified Services Incorporated in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, between 1972 and 1973.
He came back to the country and was appointed the pioneer Director-General of the NSE, where he held sway for about two decades from 1979 to 1999. Alile also became a leading investment analyst, economic and financial consultant and a boardroom guru of exceptional quality. He was also regarded as “a leading investment analyst who in the last four decades made valuable contributions to national economic growth and public policy formulation.”
He served on the board of the defunct Oceanic Bank and Central Securities Clearing Services (CSCS). He was Chairman of the board of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, UTC Nigeria Plc and Unilever Nigeria Plc. He also served as a Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria between 1999 and 2005 upon leaving his position as DG of the NSE.
Alile was a great philanthropist and lover of sports. For 12 years, he was Trustee and Treasurer of the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC). Despite his busy schedule, he was very active in the Old Boys’ Association of his Alma Mater: Loyola College, Ibadan, where he served as the president of the association for many years. He also served as President of the Harvard Business School Association of Nigeria.
For his contributions to the nation’s economic development, Alile was given the national honour of the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) as well as the National Productivity Merit Award. While we urge the government to immortalise him, we commiserate with his family and business associates. May God grant his soul eternal repose.