President Bola Tinubu, on Thursday, appointed eight special advisers, less than two weeks after he appointed Femi Gbajabiamila, chief of staff, and George Akume, secretary to the government of the federation.
The list of the new appointees announced a few hours ago include Dele Alake, special adviser on special duties, communications and strategy; Nuhu Ribadu, special adviser on security, and Wale Edun, special adviser, monetary policies.
Others are Olu Verheijen, who was appointed special adviser on energy; Salma Ibrahim Anas, special adviser on health; Yau Darazo, special adviser, political and intergovernmental affairs; Zachaeus Adedeji, special adviser on revenue; and John Ugochukwu Uwajumogu, special adviser on industry, trade and investment.
These eight persons are part of the 20 special advisers Tinubu had asked the senate to approve to achieve the goals of his administration in the next four years.
These names, most of whom are not new to the Nigerian populace, will work with the president and advise him accordingly to improve the different sectors of the nation.
Here is a glimpse of what you need to know about them.
Edun is a seasoned economist with background in public finance, merchant banking and corporate finance at both national and international levels.Edun, who holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of London and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Sussex, England, was Lagos state commissioner for finance from 1999 to 2007.
He has served as the head of treasury and deputy head of corporate finance at Chase Merchant Bank and he was in charge of the bank’s treasury and money market activities. He co-founded Stanbic IBTC Plc and also founded Denham Management Limited. He is currently the chair of Chapel Hill Denham Group, a leading independent investment banking, securities trading and investment management firm.
Other caps he wears include being the chairman of Livewell Initiative, a health NGO, and a trustee of Sisters Unite for Children, an NGO focused on helping children in need, amongst others.
Adedeji was a former commissioner of finance in Oyo state. He is the executive secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC). Adedeji is an expert in corporate tax and public finance development.
He graduated with a first-class degree in accounting from bafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and a certificate in comparative tax policy and administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Adedeji is the co-founder of RTR, a financial consulting firm that provides financial advisory and policy development services to public administrators and private institutions in West Africa.
Verheijen is an energy expert and renewable energy investor with nearly 20 years of experience in the oil, gas, renewables and power sectors across Sub-Saharan Africa. She is the founder and managing director of Latimer Energy, a commercial advisory firm, whose services include advising clients on value optimisation in acquisition, development and management of energy assets.
The energy expert, who has a BA from Long Island University and master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, serves as an advisory council member of the US Millennium Challenge Corporation and also an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Energy for Growth Hub.
Verheijen was formerly a Deal Lead at Shell where she advised on gas commercialisation, merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions valued at over $5 billion. She was a member of the governing board of Shell upstream joint venture.
SALMA IBRAHIM ANAS
Anas is a public health specialist with over 25 years of experience in health sector development, policy formulation, and strategic development.
She is currently the director of Family Health Services at the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) where she leads important divisions like reproductive health, child health and gender, adolescent, school health and elderly care (GASHE), nutrition and health promotion divisions.
She was a two-time Borno commissioner of health where she led the state during the region’s humanitarian crisis – her excellent performance attracted awards such as the best performing commissioner in the northeast on polio eradication.
Ribadu, a retired assistant commissioner of police, became the pioneer executive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2003.
Born on November 21, 1960, in Adamawa state, the former EFCC boss regarded as a “no-nonsense” man, had one of the most remarkable tenures which saw EFCC rise to become one of the foremost anti-corruption enforcement agency in Africa.
Ribadu, during his time, successfully prosecuted many financial crime cases including that of Tafa Balogun, the then inspector-general of police, who was convicted, jailed and made to return about £150 million under a plea bargain arrangement.
Also, during Ribadu’s tenure, the US Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Advisory on Nigeria was withdrawn. The country was also delisted from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), List of Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories.
Alake, a journalist, was the former commissioner for information and strategy in Lagos state from 1999 to 2007.
He was the communication advisor and confidant of Moshood Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
He went on exile and returned to Nigeria in 1995.
He was once the editor of Sunday Concord as well as a senior sub-editor at the Lagos State Broadcasting Corporation (LSBC), before moving on to set up Lagos Television (L TV 8).
Alake was appointed as the director of media and communication in former President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2015 campaign organisation.
Darazo was a senior special adviser on special duties to former president Muhammadu Buhari. He hails from Darazo LGA in Bauchi.
Darazo was one of the supporters who defended Tinubu after the latter’s outburst in Abeokuta, Ogun, during the lead up to the APC presidential primary in 2022.
In a viral video, Tinubu, while addressing party delegates in Ogun, had boasted that he had helped Buhari win the 2015 presidential election.
The report stirred mixed reactions among the entourage of the former president.
However, Darazo defended Tinubu, saying his comment was misconstrued by “mischief makers”.
JOHN UGOCHUKWU UWAJUMOGU
Uwajumogu is an expert in energy and infrastructure, with a masters degree in International Affairs from the Fletcher school, Tufts University, US.
He is partner, strategy and transactions at Ernst & Young, a British multinational accounting firm.
He had worked as director with Grant Thornton from 2012 to 2016 and PwC in 2009 to 2012.