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Buhari inaugurates NSIA board, asks them to boost economic diversification

Author:
Wasilat Azeez

President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated a 9-member board of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the statement, Buhari described the board appointment as a call to duty, action and performance, adding that the members were eminently qualified for the job.

He charged the new NSIA board to make more investments that support economic diversification, as global oil prices are projected to drop to around $40 per barrel by 2030.

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‘‘This government operates on the agenda for long term change which we all agree is inevitable. Change happens whether you are ready for it or not,” Buhari said.

‘‘As representatives of the federation, you are required to continue to drive the performance of the authority to deliver benefits to all Nigerians.

‘‘You must bear in mind that the national economic council, your governing council and Nigerians as a whole will hold you accountable for this mandate.

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‘‘Periodically, you will be required to provide evidence of your stewardship at the governing council Meetings where your performance will be assessed.

‘‘The bar before you is very high and all of us are counting on you to deliver. If you do, I assure you that government and indeed all Nigerians will be unflinching in their support for you.”

Buhari recounted that the NSIA was conceived to be a store of wealth which may be drawn upon at times of economic challenges thereby encouraging external investors and lenders.

He expressed delight that so far the institution has discharged its mandate dutifully.

‘‘This is why we prioritized the appointment of a new board to ensure that the authority does not lose steam and can continue to benefit from the oversight it needs to deliver on its mandate,” Buhari explained.

‘‘The new Board we assembled has a crop of seasoned, eminently qualified, and experienced professionals.

‘‘We expect these individuals to bring their wealth of experience to bear, in the next phase of NSIA’s journey.”

The new board members are Farouk Mohammed Gumel (north-west) as non-executive chairman; Babatunde Sobamowo (south-west), Non-Executive Director; Isiekwena Ikemefuna Louis (south-south), non-executive director.

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Others include Ali Goni Kadugum (north east), non-executive director; Oniyangi Kabir Sulaiman (north-central), non-executive director; and Ike Chioke (south east), non-executive director.

In her remarks, Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, said from the base position of $1billion when the present administration assumed office in 2015, NSIA now has around US$3.5billion in assets under management.

She said that the board will, on behalf of the Nigerian people, guide and oversee the NSIA management’s activities towards delivering outcomes to transform the fortunes of the country.

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