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Raise MOFI’s portfolio to N100trn in 10 years, Buhari tells new board members

Muhammadu Buhari Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the governing council, board of directors and executive management team of the ministry of finance incorporated (MOFI).

MOFI is a corporation solely vested with the responsibility to manage all federal government investments, interests, estates, easements and rights.

The ceremony was performed before the commencement of the federal executive council (FEC) meeting at the state house, Abuja, on Wednesday.

Two weeks ago, Buhari approved the appointment of the members of the board and the executive management team of MOFI.

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Buhari, speaking at the event, asked the new board, chaired by Shamsudeen Usman, a former minister of finance, to raise the value of MOFI’s portfolio from the current N18 trillion to N100 trillion by 2033.

He said the governing council was fully set up as a world-class investment company with a new management and board, with core professionals with specialisation in portfolio management.

According to Buhari, the new leadership would take steps to mobilise capital and invest same in assets that are critical to the federal government’s revenue drive.

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This, he said, would involve turning the country’s current assets into aggressive cash flow generating entities.

Buhari said the inauguration of the governing council, board and executive management team became necessary to optimise returns on existing investments.

The governing council is chaired by Buhari, with Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, as vice-chair.

Its members include Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources; Hadi Sirika, aviation minister; Niyi Adebayo, trade minister; Mu’azu Sambo; transportation minister; Godwin Emefiele, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor; and three experts appointed by the president: Muhammad Sagagi, Ayo Teriba, and Ken Ife.

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The board members include Umar as chairman, permanent secretaries of the ministries of finance and petroleum resources, and acting accountant-general of the federation.

Others are Olawale Edun, Fatima Mede, Ike Chioke, Muhammad Nda, Alheri Nyako, and an executive from the CBN.

Members of the executive management team are: Armstrong Takang as managing director; Eric Ojo as executive director, portfolio; Sani Yakubu as executive director, investment; and Oluwakemi Owonubi as executive director, risk.

‘MOFI WILL FOCUS ON MAKING ASSETS BENEFIT NIGERIANS’

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Also speaking at the inauguration, Usman said although their task is mighty and difficult, they are relying on three things: the quality of the people that have been appointed to the board and to the governing council; the amount of initial work that has been done already; and the experience of other countries.

Stressing on the amount of initial work done, he said consultants have been appointed and they have done a 10-year strategic plan that has identified most of the key things that need to be done.

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The new board chairman said there are many examples of countries that have turned their national investments into assets that are generating income.

“Unfortunately, for us, MOFI has been a very silent and more or less lazy owner of some of the biggest assets that we have in this country, estimated value currently of about N18-19 trillion. And clearly these assets can be turned around with good corporate governance, with corporate restructuring to produce, first of all to enhance their value, as well as to unlock other opportunities for cooperating with the private sector,” Usman said.

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“So I think the nuance is slightly different. You remember the earlier, privatisation, commercialisation, which I participated, I was the first director-general of TCPC, we started the first privatisation. Then the point was now two elements, selling some of the assets by restructuring companies like NEPA, NITEL, at the time to turn them around. Unfortunately, along the line, we lost direction. So now, the focus is not so much on the selling of these assets, but on turning them around for the benefit of Nigeria.”

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