President Buhari named former investment banker, Kemi Adeosun, 48, to the key position of finance minister at a time the Nigerian economy has been hammered by falling oil prices and has left the west African nation struggling to meet some of its recurrent obligations.
Adeosun, A UK-trained accountant who served as a commissioner of finance in the south western state of Ogun where she helped to raise taxes and improve the state finances, was an unexpected choice for the finance ministry.
Here are things you should know about Adeosun
She was born and raised in London
Adeosun was born in 1967 in London, UK. She is the third born in a family of four siblings. She did most of her schooling in the UK, but travelled often to Nigeria with the rest of the family.
Her father was a civil servant
Adeosun’s father was a civil servant in UK and worked as a civil engineer. There is little information on what her mothers occupation was while she was growing up.
She was former Commissioner of Finance in Ogun State
Adeosun served as a commissioner of finance in the south western state of Ogun between 2011 and 2015. She was able to help the state raise taxes and improve its finances.
She’s pro foreign exchange restrictions
A few weeks before being appointed, Adeosun told reporters she supported Nigeria’s decision to devalue its currency and restrict foreign exchanges to help the economy. This did not excite foreign companies that have been trying to lobby Nigeria to reverse some of these restrictions.
She a UK-trained economist and accountant
She graduated in applied economics at the University of East London and obtained a postgraduate diploma in public financial management from the University of London. Adeosun’s career started in 1989 when she was hired as accounting assistant at British Telecom, according to her LinkedIn profile.
No political ambitions
Adeosun never aspire to be a politician, but a friend recommended her for the top finance job at Ogun State, where she did a great job in streamlining the affairs of the State and earned her self a good reputation in the political circles.
Family made her move back to Nigeria
Despite the fact that she had a good job in London, she decided to relocate to Nigeria because according to her, she needed to secure her home and have her family intact. Her husband’s business brought him more to Lagos. He was spending a lot of time in Nigeria and by 2002, she had made up her mind and her family moved back to Nigeria.
The ministerial job is her second public sector job
Her stint at Ogun state was her first in the public sector. All her previous experience was working for financial institutions in the UK.
Some feel she’s inexperienced
Compared to former Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former World Bank managing director who served as finance minister for two terms, Adeosun is seen by some as inexperienced to manage the finance docket in Africa’s largest economy at a time when the country is facing serious economic challenges due to fall in oil prices on the global market.
Her nomination was a surprise for the markets
Adeosun was an unexpected choice for the finance ministry. Many local business pundits were speculating that Buhari will settle on Okey Enelemah, a former Goldman Sachs banker and founder of a Lagos-based private equity firm — African Capital Alliance.