President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the Governing Council, Board of Directors and the Executive Management Team of the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoFI) with a charge for it to raise the value of its portfolio from the current N18 trillion to N100 trillion ($233m) by 2033.
The President performed the ceremony just before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.
He said the new leadership will take steps to mobilize capital and invest same in assets that are critical to the federal government’s revenue drive.
According to him, this will entail reviving and restructuring non-performing assets; turning them into aggressive cashflow-generating entities.
He added that the inauguration of Governing Council, Board and Executive Management Team became imperative to optimize returns on existing investments.
The President tasked the new board to, “be the clearinghouse for the management of Federal Government investments and assets in line with global best practices with a view to ensuring that these investments are delivering superior risk-adjusted returns to the government.”
He also called on the new MOFI to, “work with other MDAs to create a consolidated national asset register with a view to converting these assets into cashflow-generating entities to support the government’s revenue drive and; partner with the government with a view to using government-owned investments and assets to support the government in delivering on its social and economic obligations to the citizenry.”
To this effect, he directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, to commence the process of amending the MOFI Act and other legislations to further institutionalize this reform and ensure that MOFI is restructured and repositioned to become a trusted custodian and manager of Federal Government investments and assets.
President Buhari said the event was significant as the restructured MOFI will help identify “what we own” and how to get the best out of them.
According to him, the MOFI Act of 1959 now Cap. 229, Laws of the Federation, 2004 “explicitly empowers MOFI to enter into commercial transactions of any description on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria in its own name.
“As a result, MOFI was used as a Special Purpose Vehicle across different sectors, to invest in commercial entities over the last 64 years. To put this in context, MOFI was created even before Nigeria’s independence.”
Speaking further, the President said “MOFI was not structured to be governed or resourced to deliver on the mandate that was expected of it. MOFI’s peers, on the other hand, that were deliberately set up with the institutional framework, governance structure, and execution capacity have gone on to make major social and economic impacts in their respective nations. Many of which have become global brands for investing domestically and internationally.
“As part of the governance structure, there will be a Governing Council headed by me, a Board of Directors under the leadership of a former Minister of Finance, Dr Shamsudeen Usman, and an Executive Management Team headed by Dr Armstrong Takang,” the President said.
President Buhari reminded members of the Governing Council as well as Board of Directors that his administration expected much from them.
Specifically, he tasked Ministers who are members to “create an enabling environment that will facilitate the creation of a National Asset Register that will be harnessed to strengthen our fiscal and economic realities and the optimization of our investments and assets that will be under the purview of MOFI.”
In her remarks, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning thanked President Buhari for his support and approvals that have made the restructuring and repositioning of MOFI possible, assuring him that Council members and Board will ensure that the new MOFI delivers on its mandates.
The Governing Council is chaired by the President, with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Ahmed, as Vice Chair.
Members include the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Minister of Industry, Minister Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo; Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and three experts appointed by the President including Prof. Muhammad Sagagi, Dr Ayo Teriba and Prof. Ken Ife.
The Board members are former Finance Minister, Shamsudeen Umar (Chairman), Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Finance and Petroleum Resources, acting Accountant-General of the Federation, 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 (Managing Director), Eric solo (Executive Director), Chief Portfolio Officer), Sani Yakubu (Chief Investment Officer), Oluwakemi Owonubi (Chief Risk Officer).