From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the new board of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to make more investments that support economic diversification as global oil prices are projected to drop to around $40 per barrel by 2030.
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the president reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to implementing long-term projects and programmes that create jobs for Nigerians.
He noted that the full impact of most of the strategic projects started under his watch would 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.
‘‘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.’’
He recounted that NSIA, which was one of Nigeria’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.
He expressed delight that so far the institution had discharged its mandate dutifully.
‘‘This is why we prioritised 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 thanked the last Board of Directors whose tenure ended in May.
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.
Others are 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, said from the base position of one billion dollars when the administration assumed office in 2015, NSIA now has around 3.5 billion dollars in assets under management.
She explained that the Board would, on behalf of the Nigerian people, guide and oversee the NSIA Management’s activities towards delivering outcomes to transform the fortunes of the country.