As global oil prices are projected to drop to $40 per barrel by 2030, the Buhari administration now appears to be interested in a blueprint that will lay a solid foundation for Nigeria’s economic diversification.
President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, the country’s capital city, on Wednesday charged the new board of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to make more investments that will support economic diversification.
President Buhari gave the charge while inaugurating the third Board of the NSIA, assuring his administration’s commitment to implementing long term projects and programmes that create jobs for Nigerians.
But, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also on Wednesday said Nigerians are not swayed by the antics of the Buhari administration. The party was responding to the sack of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Nanono and his Power counterpart, Saleh Mamman.
According to PDP, Nigerians are eagerly awaiting the exit of the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) come May 29, 2023, as there is no hope in sight under their purview. It described President Buhari resort to sacking two ministers as a ludicrous and infective attempt to cover for his failures in office.
PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said that it is investigating the real reason behind their sack given President Buhari’s public approach to fighting corruption by “easing out” the culprits.
The opposition party also noted that the manifest inefficiency of the Buhari administration is a product of the president’s myopic and divisive approach to governance as well as the impunity and corruption deeply embedded in his administration and party, APC.
PDP argued that even if the best hands are recruited, they will be contaminated by incompetence, impunity, disregard to rules, divisiveness and corruption that have become the hallmark of the APC and its administration.
However, President Buhari said that the full impact of most of the strategic projects started under his watch will only be felt long after he had left office.
He described the appointment of the nine-man board as a call to duty, action and performance, adding that they were eminently qualified for the job, adding, “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.
“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.
“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.”
The Nigerian leader noted that NSIA, which is one of the country’s premier economic institutions, was conceived to be a store of wealth which may be drawn upon at times of economic challenges thereby encouraging external investors and lenders.
“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.
“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”, he said.
New members of the board are Farouk Mohammed Gumel (North West) as Non-Executive Chairman; Sir Babatunde Sobamowo (South West), Non-Executive Director; Isiekwena Ikemefuna Louis (South South), Non-Executive Director; Ali Goni Kadugum (North East), Non-Executive Director; Oniyangi Kabir Sulaiman (North Central), Non-Executive Director; and Ike Chioke (South East), Non-Executive Director.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed,in her remarks said from the base position of $1billion when the administration assumed office in 2015, NSIA now has around US$3.5billion in assets under management.
She explained 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 “using the NSIA Act as its guide, the Board will be required to superintend initiatives that meet the current and future needs of Nigerians.’’
Adding, the minister said, “on our part as government, we will continue to support the Authority with the necessary policies and framework to ensure that the mission of the institution is delivered in a transparent, sustainable and inclusive manner.”