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Weeks After Attempt To Transfer NSIPs to Ministry of Finance, Wale Edun’s Company Gets Lucrative Contract From FG

Nigeria has hired investment banks including Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to advise it on the West African nation’s first eurobond issue since 2022.

Africa’s largest oil producer may raise as much as $1 billion in external borrowing in 2024 to meet its spending needs.

The government also hired Standard Chartered Bank and Lagos-based Chapel Hill Denham as advisers.

Wale Edun, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, is the founder of Chapel Hill Denham Group, an investment banking, securities trading, and investment management firm.

On its website, the firm says it provides comprehensive advisory services to a diverse client base, including financial institutions, multinationals, and governments.

The firm getting the contract while Edun is the current finance minister, is a clear case of conflcit of interest, according to Nigerian public service rules.

Recall that Edun relocated the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIPs) from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to the Ministry of Finance and Coordinating Economy few weeks ago, without presidential approval.

Media reports indicated that a panel hurriedly set up by the minister recommended that the programmes should be resumed to alleviate the sufferings of poor and vulnerable Nigerians.

But, curiously, the panel recommended that a new board under the leadership of Edun should oversee the social investment programmes.

Following the suspension of the humanitarian minister, Betta Edu, the previous overseer, the decision to shift NSIP to the Ministry of Finance and Coordinating Economy has been raising concerns in government circles.

Government officials fear that the move may lead to significant changes within the programmes, potentially involving the dissolution of the current board, removal of state coordinators, and the appointment of new leaders.

One of the concerned officials told SaharaReporters anonymously: “This is not a good move. The social investment programmes are currently domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

“They are implemented by the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA) by law.

“The executive bill sent by the Muhammadu Buhari administration to the national assembly placed the NSIPA, which is in charge of these social programmes, in the federal ministry of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation.

“A bill would have to be sponsored to amend the principal act.

“Anything outside of that is illegal and against the laws setting up the NSIPA.”

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