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Gone with the founders! These silver spoon kids could not save their late fathers’ business empire

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Gone with the founders! These silver spoon kids could not save their late fathers’ business empire

Gone with the founders! These silver spoon kids could not save their late fathers’ business empire
May 20
16:51 2016

By Niyi Olaiya

Great dynasties have been seen to collapse after the death of their founders. In the face of such abject reality, many superrich patriarchs today, struggle to reinvent measures by which their fortune would not be squandered by prodigal family members soon after they depart the world of the living.

Today, the desire of most superrich patriarchs is to raise children and grandkids that would work hard to improve upon and sustain their family wealth.

As much as it would be advisable for some patriarchs to take extreme measures such as willing off all of their fortune to charity or leaving an errant heir with lots of conditions attached to their inheritance, the dread of having their family engage in interminable disputes maliciously garlanded with expensive lawsuits, instils fear into the heart of many family heads.

History is littered with foremost families’ sob stories; particularly the descent of dynasties that disappeared with the death of their founders. Many notable Nigerian families have been seen to experience such a decline in fortune no sooner than their patriarchs died. Some of them include the Abiola family. Few years after Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (M.K.O) Abiola died, the family of the late businessman, philanthropist and politician engaged in protracted dispute over the illegitimate sale of some of the property he left behind.

M.K.O’s flourishing business empire eventually suffered an awful decline soon after his death. Examples of his failed business concerns include the Concord Group of newspapers, Abiola Farms, Concord Airlines, Abiola Bookshops, Wonderloaf, and Radio Communications Limited to mention a few.

Then, there were the Odutolas. The Odutola Business Empire was the fruit of the dreams and industry of two blood brothers; Alhaji Jimoh Odutola and Timothy Adeola Odutola. Although the brothers allegedly laid the foundation for modern commerce and industry in Nigeria, their legacy failed to survive because none of their children was interested in revivifying their businesses, which started to decline, even before their demise.

Other failed dynasties include that of Sir Joe Nwankwo, industrialist and politician whose beverage factory, which produced GINA soft drink perished alongside his other businesses soon after his death. A good number of reasons have been adduced for this malaise afflicting many superrich households particularly deceased patriarchs’ inability to evolve reliable succession plans capable of serving generations of their lineages, long after their demise.

Others are Sir Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Lawrence Omole, Sir Mobolaji Bank-Anthony, Igwe Mathais Ugochukwu and J. K. Ladipo. Chief Israel Adebajo. In the late 1960s, the name Chief Israel Adebajo was synonymous with Stationery Stores Football Club. Alhaji Haruna Kassim, Alhaji Baballe Ila, Alhaji Mamman Goda, Alhaji Adamu Muri and Alhaji Sule Garo. Borno State has the likes of Alhaji Mai Deribe, Alhaji Umar Ali, Alhaji Inuwa Usman and Alhaji Ali Koloko. While Jos, Pleateau State also boasts of names like Danboyi Zang, Alhaji Ali Illya, Alhaji Bakari and Alhaji Namata.

Chief G.A.D. Tabansi, founder of the Tabansi Group. Analysts have blamed poor succession plans of many business owners in Nigeria on this recurrent anomaly. Rasheed Gbajabiamila, CEO, Strategic Business Networks, an Ogun State-based business consultancy said businesses have to be institutionalised before the CEOs die in order to avoid the sad fate that has befallen many of Nigeria’s notable family dynasties. According to him, succession planning should not just be an after-thought to the corporate strategy. Business continuity management system should influence all aspects of the company’s strategy, programmes, projects and operations

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5 Comments

  1. Jennifer
    Jennifer May 20, 17:46

    The difference btw the western world and us. They have a good succession plan. If the child is not interested in the business or realistically assured of not having any business acumen, then the board of directors step in and hire a competent CEO who will lead the company and not stop. See ebony magazine, rockefellar etc. Sad about MKO abiola

    Reply to this comment
    • ay
      ay May 20, 20:24

      Most times business is dead before the owner dies.just living on past glory and goodwill.

      Reply to this comment
    • Tayo
      Tayo May 21, 21:49

      There nothing to be sad about MKO. Nothing could have been done short of the man being alive himself. A business that was deliberately crippled by Abacha junta. Every single one of the companies where shut to weaken the mans economic base. Then you have family members who want to reap where they have not sown. Then you deal with all sorts of law suits, which makes the task of executors implementing a will very difficult. If these men were living in our world today , things would have been different. So each sensible child hustles for his own.Thats life. At least they’ve been given good education and good legacy. Trust me, even a Dangote cannot survive a fight from Federal Govt.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Bukola Ajisola
    Bukola Ajisola May 20, 19:19

    Africans aversion to the culture of charity and the rapacious desire to acquire incestuous wealth at the expense of others is a big disincentive to dynasty extension.
    Me myself and I as seen in Abacha-gate and Dasuki-gate.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Femi
    Femi May 22, 08:22

    There is a lot more than succession planning involved. First the family itself must be cohesive – for this to happen. The family must have a vision, belief and culture that is clear so that the children sign up to it. Biology is not enough. Each child must make a definite decision to subscribe to the families goals. Without family cohesion and even with good succession there will still be board squabbles and potential legal disputes that drain the family and the business management of focus. Always start with cohesion. It begins before the first child is even born.

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