Konga founder Sim Shagaya steps down as CEO
Nigerian tech entrepreneur Sim Shagaya has announced he is stepping down as the CEO of Konga, which is one of Africa’s leading ecommerce companies.
In an email sent to the company’s staff, Shagaya said he is stepping down to assume the role of the chairman of the company’s board of directors. Former Konga COO Shola Adekoya has been appointed acting CEO, who will be in charge until in interim until the board has made a new appointment.
Shagaya launched Konga in 2012 and has been in charge of the company since its inception. Under him, Konga grew to become one of the continent’s ecommerce powerhouses, competing with Jumia in Nigeria. Shagaya is also known for championing KongaPay, one of major efforts to encourage Nigerians to pay upfront for ordered goods instead of the cash on delivery payment option.
But indications that Shagaya may step down emerged when the company sacked some of its staff earlier this year. Insiders told Ventureburn that those who were sacked were regarded as the pillars of ecommerce in Nigeria. Ventureburn also gathered that the layoffs were not directly ordered by Shagaya but by the company’s investors, who are allegedly trying to take control of the company’s daily operations.
Coincidentally, Shagaya’s decision to step down as CEO was reached at the end of a meeting with the company’s investors in Amsterdam. He was given a new role in which he confirmed he wouldn’t be directly responsible for the daily operations of the organisation.
Speaking to Ventureburn shortly after Shagaya announced he was stepping down, Onyeka Akumah, the company’s former VP described Shagaya as one of Nigeria’s heroes in the tech space. “Shagaya is one of the smartest Nigerians I’ve met or worked with,” he said.
“He is also very intelligent about the decisions he makes and I’m quite sure, he has weighed all the factors before making this decision,” Akumah continued. “Although, there were moments when the pressure of running a retail ecommerce business in Nigeria may have taken hold of him. I can emphatically say that Sim is a great leader at Konga.” According to him, Shagaya was modelling Konga after China’s Alibaba.
Even though Shagaya just announced his resignation, Akumah said the decision might have been reached since last year.
“In all, it’s a very wise decision from Sim to allow him build Konga beyond the pressure of running its day-to-day operations. He is also a products guy and no wonder, even as chairman of the board, he’ll oversee product development. Way-to-go Sim! We are learning from people like him everyday.”
Nigeria: Reps Query Communications Minister Over Suspension of NITDA Boss
THE Joint Committees of Information Technology Communication, ICT and Telecommunications in the House of Representatives, yesterday, queried the Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, for the comment he made on the suspension of the Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Peter Jack, over an alleged misconduct.
The minister, who appeared before the joint committees, said: “I do not know the reason why I am before this committee, I am blank about this meeting.”
He further appealed that he had an international conference to attend, begging to take his leave.
Breaching further rules and conventional practice of the parliament, Shittu, who said he was a lawmaker at the Oyo State House of Assembly from 1979 to 1983, said he had no information whatsoever why he has invited..
He said: “My name is Abdulraheem Adebayo Shittu. I’m almost blank as to why I’m here. I don’t have information why I was asked to come. And I’m hoping that members will tell me. As I speak, there’s a conference at Transcorp where I’m to represent Nigeria in the midst of many international bodies and foreign players.
“I also have another meeting with Mr President and some foreign investors. And as you all know, Nigeria lacks the necessary capacity to fund investment in the ICT sector, so I’m appealing that I have all the questions so I can go and look at them, get necessary information and provide answers as appropriately on another date.”
His excuses and comments irked members of the committee who told him that he erred by saying he was blank on a meeting that was properly communicated to his ministry.
Chairman of the Committee on ICT, Mohammed Onawo, however, told him that “this committee is mandated by the House to look into the perceived injustice done to the D-G of NITDA.”
He added that the Clerk of the committee had told him that the letter was personally handed over to him.
Members of the committee, Wole Oke, Tajudeen Yusuf, Linus Okorie and others speaking separately expressed their displeasure at the minister’s statement, saying: “For him to say that he doesn’t know why he is here is an insult to the National Assembly.
“Mr. Minister knows why he is here, Mr. Chairman may give him another opportunity to express himself. We will not be part of anything that will undermine the National Assembly.”
On the allegation that he was not informed of the reason he came, co-chairman of the committee, Hon, Saheed Akinade Fijabi from Oyo displayed a letter sent to the minister’s office and which was received and duly acknowledged with a copy of it sent back to the committee.
Linus Okorie also frowned at the liberty taken by the minister to make his case when he was only invited to introduce himself.
He said: “The committee chairman was supposed to have opened the discussion before the minister would have responded by making his appeal as appropriate.”
He expressed dismay that the minister would feign ignorance of the reason for his presence, adding that either the minister was playing pranks on the committee which is tantamount to disrespecting the National Assembly, or some people in his office were simply being incompetent as to keep him informed.
Kehinde Odeneye concurred with Linus Okorie but pleaded with his colleagues to give the minister another opportunity to prepare and then brief the committee properly.
At this point, the minister, realising the full weight of his indiscretion, admitted receiving the letter of invitation, saying: “I want to apologise for any misconception. A letter was brought to my office yesterday with a heading relating to the suspension of the DG NITDA.
“I liaised with my Permanent Secretary to get back to the committee’s Clerk so as to work out the possibility of re-adjusting the date, given the number of engagements I’m to have with several groups on behalf of the President.”