”Council a critical catalyst for transforming nigeria’s business environment and this appointment is an important step closer to demonstrating that nigeria is open for business” – President Jonathan
ABUJA, Nigeria, September 17, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – President Goodluck Jonathan said Nigeria’s business competitiveness and ability to attract local and international investment will be significantly enhanced with the appointment of ex-banker Chika Mordi as the first Chief Executive of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN).
President Jonathan, who recently launched the NCCN, said, “This important step, by the National Competitiveness Council, underscores Nigeria’s commitment to rapidly transform the business environment and enhance productivity in Nigeria.”
President Jonathan inaugurated the council earlier this year, with Trade and Investment Minister, Olusegun Aganga as Chairman and Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, representing the private sector as Vice Chairman. Other members drawn from the Nigerian and international communities include Michael Porter, Aliko Dangote, Lynda Chalker, and Dr Juan E. Pardinas, Director, Mexican Institute for Competitiveness.
Aganga, a leading member of the President’s transformation team, said, ”We are pleased to have Mr. Mordi at the helm of the Council’s affairs. His track record demonstrates that he possesses the intellect, ambition and experience to help Nigeria attain global economic prominence.”
Mordi will lead a strategically placed body, part of the Jonathan administration’s wider policy to dramatically improve the ability of local and international businesses to conduct and operate business in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and home to one of the largest global consumer markets. Results of which will be measured by Nigeria’s rise in World Economic Forum’s Global Competitive Index and the World Bank’s Doing Business Index rankings – indices that are internationally acknowledged benchmarks for the openness of a nation’s economy.
Countries that successfully implement reforms and overhaul regulatory obstacles experience better economic outcomes, job creation and improved standards of living, according to the World Bank.
Elumelu, who is also the Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation (http://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org), which has provided a take-off grant for the council, said, “Competitiveness is a prerequisite for a country’s development. The NCCN is working to create an enabling environment for the private sector to flourish. This is the only sustainable solution for Nigeria’s and Africa’s development. Mr. Mordi brings a skill set and track record that makes me feel highly confident that our objectives will be realised.”
The Council selected Mordi through an internationally advertised recruitment process, which identified a series of extremely talented individuals. He is the founder of Accender Africa, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that seeks to use new media to increase transparency in government, with the objective of poverty reduction.
“I am honoured to have the opportunity to contribute in a significant way to Nigeria’s development and its global business profile. The private sector is instrumental in creating sustainable growth, reducing poverty and boosting collective prosperity for Nigerians. NCCN is intrinsic to ensuring the right conditions are in place to secure Nigeria’s strong future; I am looking forward to the challenge,” Mordi said.
Mordi, a professional banker, spent over two decades in the finance industry and was instrumental in the dramatic transformation of Nigeria’s financial services industry, including repositioning of the United Bank for Africa Plc into one of Africa’s leading financial institutions. He has also helped incubate several businesses in Nigeria and Ghana, and in his investment banking career managed landmark transactions in sub-Saharan Africa in equities, fixed income, corporate finance, debt conversion, and privatisation.
Mordi is a trained economist and holds degrees from the University of Ilorin, IESE Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, American University’s Graduate School of Communications and John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.