President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in State House, Abuja, charged the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) to grow its Assets Under Management from the current value of N18trillion, to at least N100 trillion in the next 10 years.
President Buhari gave the charge at the launch of the new MOFI and inauguration of the Governing Council and Board of Directors of the body shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting.
The President also tasked the new board to, “be the clearing house 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, Zainab Shamsuna 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 this 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.