Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Medium Net Worth

There's been a tornado in a teacup since Kayode Fayemi's declaration of assets a couple of days ago, including many a comment to Kayode Ogundamisi's Facebook note:

"When he became governor, Fayemi said he had in his local and foreign accounts N27million, with buildings and undeveloped property he owns with his wife in and outside Nigeria valued at N474 million.

They include a compound of three buildings in Ibadan valued at N73 million, a compound of eight buildings at Isan-Ekiti valued at N120 million, a three-bedroom duplex in London valued at 280,000 pound sterling and a four-bedroom detached duplex at Atlanta, Georgia, USA, worth US$250,000.

Others are a six-bedroom detached house at East Legon, Ghana, valued at US$650,000, an undeveloped plot of land at Guzape District in Abuja valued at N30 million, an undeveloped plot of land at Lekki Phase 1 in Lagos valued at N25 million and an undeveloped plot of land at Ambassadorial Enclave, Legon, Ghana valued at US$250,000.

There are nine vehicles valued at N73 million. Fayemi’s business, Amandla Consulting, is valued at N50 million and his household items such as generating sets, electronics, furniture, equipment and others, are valued at N80 million."

Let's ust pause to reflect on what an asset base of £3m amounts to in the case of the Ekiti State Governor:

1. A £280,000 property in London is a very modest affair. The average price of a home in London is over £400,000. Our poky flat in untrendy New Cross Gate is worth £260,000.
2. Again, a US$250,000 house in the US is hardly a palace

3. A c
onsulting company valued at 50 million is at the bottom end of what would be classified as a 'small' business - in fact it sits between the category of micro and small. There are hundreds if not thousands of larger consulting companies in Nigeria

4. The land in Lekki, Abuja and Ghana are again investments similar to those many thousands of people have made. 

As others have pointed out, some or most of the properties may have mortgages, which means there are liabilities associated with the assets.  We should not forget in all this that his wife Bisi has held high ranking positions throughout.

I could go on but I hope you get the picture. Having a net worth of £3m/N750m is hardly unusual in Nigeria and most likely puts Kayode Fayemi straight in at the bottom in a ranking of net worth of his fellow governors. There are tens of thousands of wealthier Nigerians than Kayode Fayemi. Given that we now know Reps and Senators make millions of dollars each year and also know that there is no formal accountability mechanism attached to the billions of dollars of Excess Crude dividends paid to State Governors in the past few years, we should direct our outrage where it is better spent.


Ikhide 5:49 pm  

I am eminently unqualified to comment on Dr. Fayemi's finances; I know nothing about them. However, net assets of 3 million pounds is nothing to sneeze at and the disclosures are a legitimate focus of inquiry. If his liabilities are not stated in his financial disclosure form, they should, because they may or may not inflate his net worth. If he has matching mortgages, then the question becomes, at least in England and America, what was the source of income that qualified him for those mortgages. From my bitter experience over here Jeremy, they are significant mortgages, sorry. I do applaud his prompt financial disclosure. I just don't understand it much. One needs more information to draw meaningful conclusions.

- Ikhide

Anonymous,  9:46 pm  

Ikhide, gimme us a break abeg! Kayode and Bisi have been working for many years and have earned legitimate money for their work. They no doubt had enough to make some savings and investments. Do you expect them to be paupers?!

Anonymous,  2:34 pm  

I beg to differ. £3 million net worth is clearly rare in Nigeria, enough to place him amongst the richest 500. I can't believe Jeremy is trying to pass him off as some middle class guy.

I don't know much about the guy but amidst so much poverty,I am tempted to think that "Behind every great fortune there is a great crime"

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