Exclusive: Tinubu eyes Nigeria’s tech experts for key roles

Jul 21, 2023 | 2023 Elections | 0 comments

President Tinubu is considering IT ecosystem players for important seats in his government.

TechCabal exclusively reports that President Tinubu is considering four Nigerian tech ecosystem leaders for critical posts. The Tinubu government considered Bosun Tijani, Oswald Osaretin Guobadia, Olumide Soyombo, and Idris Alubankudi Saliu for cabinet posts.

Two presidential sources verified that these people had been considered for government jobs. “They’ve all been considered for ministerial roles, but I can’t promise it. An unidentified insider said they may receive new positions.

These four have led large-scale technological initiatives and garnered respect in the African tech industry. Nigerians who have long lobbied for industry-specific specialists in crucial jobs are hopeful that Tinubu’s selection would include technocrats.

Examine their life and work.

Bosun Tijani

CcHub CEO and co-founder Bosun Tijani. He expanded CcHub to Nigeria, Kenya, and Namibia. CcHub, which started in Yaba, empowers young people with the skills, networks, and cash they need to establish influential companies. In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg visited CcHub.

Bosun Tijani
Tijani has a Bsc. in Economics and a Certificate in Computer Science from the University of Jos, Nigeria. He earned a Warwick Business School MSc in Information Systems and Management. In March, Tijani earned a Doctorate in Innovation and Economic Development from Leicester University.

At CcHub, Bosun Tijani advocates for social change. CcHub’s billion-naira growth fund will influence 95 early-stage enterprises, including those innovating Africa’s education and healthcare sectors. Tijani was one of New Africa Magazine’s 100 most important Africans in 2017.

Guobadia Oswald

Buhari’s Senior Special Adviser was Oswald Osaretin Guobadia. He designed and drafted the Nigeria Startup Act (NSA), one of the presidency’s biggest digital ecosystem successes. He co-founded DBH, an African infrastructure and technology firm that delivers advice and specialized solutions worldwide.

Oswald Guobadia
Guobadia earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Wesley College and a Master of Science in Telecommunications and Computer Science from PACE University, a private New York institution. Guobadia’s final American employment was five years after graduation.

Guobadia previously told Techcabal that he entered politics to make Nigerian business simpler. After leading UBA and Renaissance Capital, he became a policymaker and helped develop the NSA to make Nigeria more business-friendly and attract international investment. Globally praised, Nigeria’s 36 states are working to domesticate the startup act. Domesticating the legislation among states has been difficult.

Throughout a decade, Guobadia built banking infrastructure, trading floors, and digital solutions for government and business customers at DBH. This post exposed Guobadia to the public and private sectors, preparing him for national policy leadership.

Olumide Soyombo

Nigerian investor Olumide Soyombo. He invested in Paystack, a pan-African payments startup bought by Stripe for $200 million. Beyond Paystack, Soyombo is one of Nigeria’s most prolific angel investors, shaping the country’s technological sector. Voltron Capital, an early-stage investment organization, has sponsored 48 businesses since 2021.

The University of Lagos awarded Olumide Soyombo a BSc in systems engineering. Aston University, Birmingham, granted him an MSc in Management and Information Technology in 2006. After graduating, Soyombo founded Bluechip Technologies in Nigeria, a data storage and business intelligence firm for Microsoft and Oracle.

Banks and organizations worldwide use BlueChip Technologies’ data solutions and enterprise-level IT consulting. Last year, the data storage leader in Africa expanded to Europe to serve European organizations.

Saliu Idris

Idris Alubankudi Saliu is a longtime Nigerian entrepreneur, investor, and IT champion. Former Interswitch Group CTO. Interswitch acquired Saliu. Interswitch bought Vanso, a software and telecoms firm in Lagos, Capetown, and Wurzburg, Germany, for an unknown amount. Six-figure departure rumours are unconfirmed.

Idris Alubankudi Saliu earned a BSc in Computer Science from Columbia University in New York. He co-founded Arca and the UK-based Ceviant. Ceviant offers global treasury and commerce solutions. Including Dantata and Wakanow.

Saliu has over two decades of experience in telecommunications, payments, and scalable digital infrastructure in the Nigerian IT industry.

Tinubu’s digital portfolios

During his presidential campaign, Tinubu pledged to increase internet penetration, overhaul blockchain policy, and create one million ICT jobs in two years. These stakeholders’ activities demonstrate the need for industry-specific experts to achieve these goals. They might be recommended for further government digital posts.

Technology improves productivity and can transform any ministry. Several ministerial posts demand digital technocrats. These portfolios include communications, the digital economy, research and technology, information and culture, finance, trade, and investments.

This article’s specialists fit the first two portfolios, which shape a nation’s digital destiny. Nonetheless, Nigeria’s science and technology government promotes life and physical sciences. This may expand its ministerial pool.

Job skills?

Technology and digital economy ministries require leaders with expertise in managing huge technical initiatives and using blockchain, AI, and cybersecurity systems. Paula Ingabire, a pro-blockchain MIT graduate, is Rwanda’s information and communications technology minister. Paula attends Rwanda Blockchain Community meetings regularly.

With a new CBN leadership and a pro-blockchain government, Nigeria needs a well-informed expert at the helm. An experienced executor who can guide the country’s growing relationship with contemporary technology and foster development and innovation will fill the shoes.

Trade and finance ministries need leaders who can use technology to optimise trade and finance at all levels. Nigeria’s financial inclusion and digital entrepreneurship are primarily private sector-led and might benefit from government innovation. E-commerce in Nigeria is boosted by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS). A private-sector business veteran with the “innovate and deploy quickly” philosophy of technology businesses may be what the nation needs.

According to local newspapers, unless there are last-minute modifications, Tinubu’s cabinet list will be released this week. One thing is certain: the final appointees must pull their weight around their positions and deliver important improvements to Nigerians—whether they are tech ecosystem elites.

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