Tinubu appoints Bosun Tijani, Chidi Ajaere, Funke Opeke to the Presidential Economic Council

David Afolayan
Tinubu appoints Bosun Tijani, Chidi Ajaere, Funke Opeke to the Presidential Economic Council

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu has appointed prominent figures in the Nigerian business and public service space to the newly set-up Presidential Economic Coordination Council (PECC). Among the 31 members are two notable players in the Nigerian tech space, Chidi Ajaere, founder of tech-mobility company, Greatman Legent and Funke Opeke, founder of internet company, MainOne.

According to a statement by the spokesperson for the president, Ajuri Ngelale, today, the PECC was established to strengthen the country’s economic governance structures, ensuring strong and coordinated economic planning and execution. These two will serve alongside 29 other members for a period not exceeding one (1) year, subject to the President’s directive.

Other members of the council include the President, the vice-president (who will be chairman), the President of the Senate, the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and 12 other ministers in the president’s cabinet (Finance, Agriculture, Aviation, Budget, Communications, Industry, Labour, Marine, Power, Petroleum, Gas, Transportation and Works).

Bosun Tijani, Nigeeria's Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy
Bosun Tijani, Nigeeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy

The PECC also include 13 nominated players from the organized private sector. The announced members are:

  1. Alhaji Aliko Dangote (founder, Dangote Group)
  2. Mr Tony Elumelu (Chairman of Heirs Holdings),
  3. Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu (Founder, BUA Group)
  4. Ms Amina Maina (Director, MRS Oil)
  5. Mr Begun Ajayi-Kadir (president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria)
  6. Mrs Funke Okpeke (founder, MainOne)
  7. Dr Doyin Salami (Economic adviser)
  8. Mr Patrick Okigbo (Principal partner at Nextier)
  9. Mr Kola Adesina (MD, Sahara Group)
  10. Mr Segun Agbaje (MD, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc)
  11. Mr Chidi Ajaere (Chairman, Greatman Legend)
  12. Mr Abdulkadir Aliu (CEO, Matrix Energy Group)
  13. Mr Rasheed Sarumi (GMD, SARO International).

Similar: “No Nation Can Thrive Without a Serious Economic Plan”- Major Takeaways From #NES26 Day 1

The President also announced the appointment of 19 members of the Economic Management Team Emergency Taskforce (EET). The EET has the mandate to formulate and implement a consolidated emergency economic plan.

Tech representation on the PECC: Bosun Tijani, Chidi Ajaere and Funke Okpeke

3 of the announced 31 members of the Presidential Economic Coordination Council represent the Nigeria tech ecosystem.

Leading the group is the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani. Last August, the 46-year-old tech entrepreneur and investor was appointed as a minister by the president and tasked with driving impactful policies to support the Nigerian tech ecosystem.

The other two are Chidi Ajaere and Funke Okpeke.

Chidi Ajaere, Chairman of Greatman Legend, the parent company of mobility heavyweights like GIG Mobility and GIG Logistics is a young entrepreneur renowned for his resilient approach to business and leadership. As a futurist, he has spearheaded innovation in Nigeria’s technology sector, founding and growing successful businesses over the last decade.

Chidi Ajaere, Chairman of Greatman Legend (formerly GIG Group)
Chidi Ajaere, Chairman of Greatman Legend (formerly GIG Group)

He is also the founder of JET Motors Company, an African brand that leading the drive to accelerate Africa’s dominance in the future of mobility by reshaping the narrative of the mobility space.

In 2019, JET launched its flagship brand, the JET MOVER, a multipurpose van to push the adoption of locally made vehicles. To advance the frontiers of vehicle production on the continent, JET launched an Electric Vehicle (EV) model a year later with a unique quality of being a 100% electric vehicle with 0 emissions.

Funke Opeke is the founder and CEO of MainOne, formerly Main One Cable Company. Ms. Opeke is an experienced telecommunications executive who returned to Nigeria in 2005 as the Chief Technical Officer of MTN after a twenty-year career in the United States. Before her return, she was the Executive Director of Verizon Communications Wholesale Division. After MTN, she advised Transcorp on the acquisition of NITEL and briefly served as the interim Chief Operating Officer, post-acquisition of NITEL.

Funke Okpeke, founder and CEO of MainOne
Funke Okpeke, founder and CEO of MainOne

MainOne is West Africa’s leading communications services and network solutions provider that built West Africa’s first privately owned, open access 7,000-kilometer undersea high-capacity cable submarine, a $240-million-dollar project.

In sum

A 10% representation in the most important economic decision-making body for the country signals a recognition of the ecosystem in the larger economic picture. According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector contributed about 16% of Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the end of Q4 2023.

Read also: Tinubu includes GIG’s Ajaere, Flutterwave’s Agboola, MAFAB’s Bashir, and other tech experts in a 38-man delegation to India conference

Recall that the President invited Flutterwave CEO, Gbenga “GB” Agboola, Interswitch CEO, Mitchel Elegbe, Ceviant’s Idris Bamidele Saliu, and Chidi Ajaere to attend the Nigeria-India Presidential Round Table and conference alongside President Bola Tinubu last year.

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