According to Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, having a company without a board is like putting a cart before the horse. According to him, “you have to ask, why do we need a company? The answer to the latter,” he said, “provides the rationale for the former. Both company and board are actually working hand in hand.”
Basically, a company is a mechanism whereby a large number of people are contributing funds to an enterprise. Unlike a cooperative, a company is something where you want to limit your liability. Its evolution is historical.
“Board membership,” according to Udoma, “started in those days when ships used to go off to the Far East and other places from Europe. The cost of a ship going on an expedition was too much for an individual ship owner to bear, hence the need for different people to come together, pooling their money, to support particular ventures. So, the ship sailed away, returned and the profit from the venture shared.”
He said, “since it would not be easy to get the lot to meet every time in a situation where 100 to 300 people contributed funds towards such venture, it would be logical for them to set up a company they jointly own. In setting up such company, they have limited their liability, such that they are only liable for what they contributed. They are not liable to all the losses.
“The ship could accidentally hit another ship 0r suffer a mishap that incurred huge liabilities. These financiers wanted to be liable only to the tune of what they contributed.
“That practice endures till date, which is why you have a limited liability company,” Udoma Udo Udoma lectures.
Senator (Dr) Udoma Udo Udoma is an experienced man with experiences spanning through politics to business. This feat makes him to be a repository of knowledge in both public and private sector. A lawyer, administrator, former legislator, an institutional investor, and board room guru. You can go on and on.
Also counting for the erudite legislature is that, though, not a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, at the time Gen Mohammadu Buhari was president in 2015, he was still nominated for ministerial position to make up for the wise men and women, nominated to beef up the cabinet.
After taking his seat in the Senate in June 1999, he was appointed to committees on Public Accounts, Judiciary, Banking & Currency, Science & technology, Privatization and Drug & Narcotics. All these positions were based on merit because he was adequately qualified.
He rejected a ministerial nomination by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 even though he was already confirmed by the Senate because he said his assignment as a Minister was underneath his status as a Senator.
Born on February 26, 1954, an indigene of Awka-Ibom State, Udoma holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Jurisprudence in 1976, a Bachelors of Civil Laws Degree and a Masters of Arts in 1977 from St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University.
Udoma is an accomplished lawyer and member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). He has served on several national committees and also as the non-executive Chairman of the Nigerian Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).
He was elected Senator for the Akwa-Ibom South constituency of Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria at the start of the Nigerian Fourth Republic, under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999.
He was re-elected in April 2003, still under the platform of the PDP. He also served variously as Chief Whip, Chairman of the Committee on National Planning, Revenue Mobilization and Poverty Alleviation and Chairman of the Appropriations Committee.
Udoma Udo Udoma, CON, was a Senior Partner of Udo-Udoma & Belo Osagie and was Chairman of UAC of Nigeria Plc. He served as the first Chairman of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in 1991-1992 and also part time Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He has served the Nation in other roles such as Special Adviser to the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources from 1993 to March 1994.
Udoma was Chairman of the Presidential Committee Waivers, Incentives and Concessions since 2007 and specialised in advising on Nigerian investment laws and the investment environment generally, particularly in the petroleum, energy and natural resources sectors; advising Nigerian and international companies on company law, corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions and the raising of financing in the capital and money markets, as well as on major construction and engineering contracts.
He was also Chairman of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc since February 2013 and its Director since November 27, 2012.
He served as Vice Chairman of Linkage Assurance Plc and serves as its Director. He has been a Director of Unilever Nigeria Plc since January 1, 2008 and UAC of Nigeria Plc since 1995. He served as a Director of First Hydrocarbon Nigeria Limited.
In February 2010, as chairman of the Governing Board of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Udoma was criticized for retaining the posts of Chairman of UACN, Director of Unilever and Vice Chairman of the Board of Linkage Assurance, publicly traded companies. Udoma however declared his interest in these companies before being appointed, and as required by the law excused himself from meetings where issues directly related to these companies were being discussed.
It is worthy to note that he is the recipient of the National award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).
In October, 2015, he was named as one of the Ministerial nominees to be screened by the National Assembly under the President Buhari led Administration. That resulted to his position as Minister of Budget and National Planning, at least to meet the nation’s challenges.