By Chris Nomjov
Newly appointed Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, on Wednesday formally assumed duty at the headquarters of the ministry of finance in Abuja; a few hours after receiving her ministerial portfolio.
Adeosun, who arrived at the ministry at about 3:30pm, was warmly received by directors and other top officials in the ministry.
The minister, as soon as she entered the ministry, left no one in doubt that she was out for business as she immediately went into a closed door meeting with directors in the ministry.
It was learnt that the meeting, which lasted for about an hour, was held to familiarise herself with the workings of the ministry.
Shortly after the meeting, the minister received the handing over note from the Director, International Economic Relations Department, Haruna Mohammed, at about 4:45pm.
In a brief chat with journalist shortly after she received the handover note, the minister said she would work with everyone to ensure that the promises made by President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigerians were achieved.
She said, “Thank you for welcoming me and I appreciate it. I look forward to working with you and getting to know all of you and am sure that over the next few months, we are going to be working closely together.”
Former banker Kemi Adeosun has been appointed Nigeria’s new finance minister by the country’s president Muhammadu Buhari. She faces an uphill struggle to shore up Africa’s largest economy, which has been battered by a 40% fall in the price of oil.
GDP growth has slowed to 4% this year, and the government may have to push through more unpopular cuts to subsidies and infrastructure investments to plug the holes in its finances. Oil makes up around 60% of the government’s budget.
Adeosun, who has been the finance commissioner for Ogun State since 2011, is a former managing director at Chapel Hill Denham, a Lagos-based investment bank.
“Adeosun’s appointment to head the most important ministry during a time of economic crisis will stir some controversy. She is relatively inexperienced, especially compared to her immediate predecessor Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a political heavyweight,” says Malte Liewerscheidt, senior Africa analyst at Verisk Maplecroft.
“Adeosun has a strong background in the UK’s private financial sector but may struggle to navigate federal politics as the only post she previously held in Nigeria was Commissioner of Finance in Ogun State.”