Monday, 4 May 2015
Inside Buhari's Transition Committee
By Nuruddeen M. Abdallah
At last President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has ended the weeks-long speculation about the composition of his transition committee by unveiling its members.
As expected, the 18-member committee is indeed lean and populated by technocrats not politicians as he promised.
Buhari would inaugurate his 18-member transition committee to be headed by Malam Ahmed Joda within the week, Daily Trust has learned.
The president-elect appointed people on the committee that were least expected. Observers say the Buhari committee is impressive because its members are Nigerians of high intellect with unblemished record in their professional endeavour.
The committee headed by elder statesman and former super permanent secretary, Malam Ahmed Joda, has a development economist Dr Doyin Salami, as deputy, while a University of Columbia-trained journalist, Malam Adamu Adamu, serves as secretary.
Other members of the committee are seasoned financial experts, business administrators, lawyers, civil servants, oil and gas experts, former military chiefs, and few politicians.
During an interview in his hometown Daura, Buhari had explained the nature of his transition committee thus: "Personally, I will make sure that it is not too big because if it is big, they will start thinking of how to influence the choice of ministers either for themselves or for those they want to be ministers."
The president-elect added that "my hope and idea is to get knowledgeable and experienced technocrats that are really patriotic to study the handing over notes by ministries and make recommendations. I want them to be completely detached people who are patriotic Nigerians; who are knowledgeable and experienced."
Nigerians believe that Buhari has kept to his words by appointing technocrats with untainted records of corruption, according to university don and former member of the House of Representatives Dr. Haruna Yerima.
Yerima said, "it is now clear to all doubting Thomases that it is not going to be business as usual under President Buhari."
The president-elect has "blended public service experience with deep intellect in finance, business, law, oil and gas as well as those with unblemished records of service in the transition committee membership," the don said.
The former lawmaker and APC chieftain said, "the near perfect assembly of the committee provides an insight into the nature of President Buhari's cabinet. The professional competence of the majority technocrats will make up for any shortcomings of the few politicians on the committee."
Also, the executive director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, said the transition committee is Buhari's "first signal that he heeded to the civil society's call for more technocrats with unblemished records than politicians."
"We are happy that no member of the transition committee has a pending graft case with EFCC or ICPC. This indicates that the cabinet will also be peopled by competent Nigerians with integrity," Rafsanjani said.
An analysis of the committee shows that of the 18 members, only six are active politicians. They are APC national chairman and former Edo State governor Chief John Oyegun, Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, former PDP national chairman and minister of agriculture Chief Audu Ogbeh, APC presidential campaign director of mobilisation Boss Mustapha, Senator Hadi Sirika, as well as former ANPP national chairman and Abia State governor Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
There are also about five corporate finance and development economy experts on the committee. They are development economist Dr Doyin Salami, corporate finance expert Wale Edun, business development guru Dr Festus Odimegwu, finance expert Mrs Bola Adesola and ace banker and investment specialist Mrs Nike Aboderin.
Others are senior lawyer Alhaji Abubakar Malami, SAN; former military attaché to the United Nations retired General Lawal Jaafaru Isa, financial and investment expert Muhammad Hayatuddeen, activist and lawyer Solomon Dalung, and former minister of petroleum under Buhari's regime, Prof. Tam David West.
Even among the politicians in the committee are professionals such as Chief Ogbeh who is foremost agriculturist, Senator Sirika, a pilot and aviation expert; while the likes of Oyegun, Onu and Amaechi come to the committee with vast experience as former and outgoing governors respectively.
The committee will liaise with federal government's committee headed by Vice President Namadi Sambo as well as study and work on the handover notes preparatory to May 29.
The Joda committee will also design the blueprint that would assist the incoming government take off smoothly with a clear understanding of the challenges at hand.
Ahmed Joda, an elder statesman, is an administrator, journalist, politician who is a former permanent secretary in the Northern Nigerian Public Service, Federal Ministry of Information, Education and the Federal Ministry of Industries.
He was among a class of super permanent secretaries in the 1970s.
In the 1960s, he worked with Sir Ahmadu Bello, Premier of the Northern Nigeria.
In 1999, he headed a Committee on Assessment of Federal Government parastatals and also a panel on poverty alleviation.
He is a close friend of former President Obasanjo and former chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
He served as the chairman of ABTI-American University of Nigeria, Yola and is the principal founder of Benue Valley Farms.
He is one of the few retired civil servants that command tremendous respect from Buhari.
Joda is believed to share same ideals with the president-elect when it comes to civil service, policies and governance.
He is also a no-nonsense person like Buhari.
Dr Doyin Salami
Doyin Salami is a full time member of the faculty at the Lagos Business School (LBS), Pan-Atlantic University where he is an associate professor.
In addition to teaching, he works as a principal consultant in Edward Kingston Associates.
His consulting activities have included assignments for the Department for International Development (DFID), World Bank, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Dr Salami is a past member of the Federal Government's Economic Management Team. He serves as a member of the Advisory Board of CBO Investment Management.
He is an accomplished economist and has a doctorate degree from Queen Mary College, University of London.
A foremost journalist and writer, was Buhari's personal assistant during his period at the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF).
The University of Columbia, United States-trained journalist is one of Buhari's confidants.
In the last 16 years of PDP administration, Adamu reportedly rejected appointment to serve as minister.
He is said to be very upright and shares so many things in common with Buhari in terms of public service, good governance and policy making.
Edun is the deputy head of corporate finance at Chase Merchant Bank.
He has over 25 years experience in merchant banking, corporate finance, economics and international finance at national and international levels.
At the World Bank, Edun worked on economic and financial packages for several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago as well as Indonesia and India in the Far East.
In 1989, he returned to Nigeria as co-founder and executive director of Stanbic IBTC Plc (formerly Investment Banking & Trust Company Limited).
He was Lagos State commissioner of finance throughout Governor Bola Tinubu's administration from 1999 to 2007.
He holds a Bachelors Degree in Economics from the University of London and a Masters Degree in Economics from the University of Sussex, England.
Mrs Bola Adesola
Mrs Adesola is the managing director and chief executive of Nigeria's Standard Chartered Bank Plc and former Executive Director of First Bank Plc.
She was a former executive director, Corporate Banking at First Bank of Nigeria Plc.
A seasoned financial services expert, she spent nine years in Citibank Nigeria, (Nigeria International Bank, a member of Citigroup). She was also part of the start-up team for Citibank Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, where she served as pioneer Treasurer.
Called to the Nigerian Bar in 1985, Bola holds a law degree from the University of Buckingham UK and has attended numerous industry-related and personal development courses in Nigeria and overseas.
Dr Festus Odimegwu
Dr Festus Odimegwu was chief executive of Nigerian Breweries and former chairman of the National Population Commission.
Nigerian Breweries became the most capitalized stock on the Nigerian Stock Exchange under his leadership.
He was severally a director at Dangote Cement Plc; Union Bank of Nigeria Plc; Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc.
He graduated with B.Sc Chemistry from the University of Nigeria Nsukka and M.Sc Brewing from Beriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK.
Mrs Nike Aboderin
Mrs Aboderin is the Group head Large Corporates; and assistant general manager in Skye Bank Plc.
She was a special adviser on trade and investment in the Ogun State government