Re-engineering Nigeria’s Ailing Economy Through Technocrats and Uzoka-Anite’s Ministerial Nomination

August 7, 2023
doris Uzoka-Anite

By Ifeanyi Okonkwo

As Africa’s largest economy by GDP, Nigeria has for so long been faced with challenges of achieving sustainable economic growth and efficient public sector management for reasons that are very obvious, chief of which is the issue of lack of committed technocrats and administrators to manage specific sectors of the economy. This is aside from the issues of institutional corruption and lack of political will by successive administrations.

Whilst the last administration led by Muhammadu Buhari could not tackle headlong some of the significant challenges faced in the economy and in the public sector, the new administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu has promised to renew the hope of Nigerians by taking pragmatic steps to solve the worrisome economic situation of the nation.

So far, one of the steps worthy of applause is that of the nomination of prominent Nigerians with track records in the private sector and technical capacity for screening as ministers. These persons will be charged with the task of helping the administration achieve the lofty goal of eradicating the devastating economic challenges as well as reforming the public sector.

As should be the case, the process of deciding and concluding on those to be nominated for ministerial positions is an audacious task with many conflicting interests; however, what has been seen so far is seemly careful attention paid to the contending issues of inclusion of youths and women in the administration. It does not stop at that; what can also be deciphered from the entire process is that efforts were made to inject enough thoroughbred technocrats into the list of ministerial nominees.

Among the very few and carefully handpicked ministerial nominees is Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, a nominee from Oguta Local Government Area in Imo state. She is a celebrated and thorough-breed technocrat and her nomination presents an interesting opportunity for the country to maximize her talent and vast knowledge in financial engineering and even as a trained medical doctor.

She, by every standard, represents an enviable new chapter in our national development and growth agenda. Those who know her look forward to seeing the transformative leadership and ideas she will offer to reform our economy and public sector. This is evident in her versatile wealth of experience and proven capacity in her previous roles.

With her profound talents and illustrious career as a finance and public sector management professional spanning over 20 years, with expertise in strategic financial management, she is definitely one of a few deeply rooted technocrats to look out for in the new dispensation.

As a Commissioner for Finance in Imo State, Doris has won a special place in the Imo state political sphere by exhibiting cutting-edge skills in revenue optimization, revenue retention, and human resource optimization by identifying all revenue sources and potential ones through a careful critical and analytical ability.

She has carried out profound enumeration and census of properties and businesses to identify taxable assets as well as project profitable revenue targets.

In addition to her rich portfolio, she mastered the art of combining efficiency and effectiveness with her excellent team-building talent, which can be tracked in Imo state, where she developed cross-organizational and cross-cultural cooperation with the Federal Government agency that collects taxes to get data and information easily and also established relationships and partnership with other talented professionals who could support the system including other commissioners, civil servants, and consultants, A methodology which was proven sustainable with increasing revenue generation climbing from a low of 600 million naira to current a level of 1.6 billion.

Doris Uzoka-Anite, a distinguished financial analyst, as the group treasurer of Zenith Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s largest financial institutions, contributed more than 36% growth to the Bank’s gross revenue and recorded an 8% YoY Trading Profit for FYE 2020 from N232.1bn to N257.1bn by proffering systematic strategies and finite solutions for the Treasury management some of which includes strategies around cash flow, borrowings, debt, and liquidity management for the bank’s asset base, from Advising executive management and the board on investments and policy implications to managing local and foreign currency asset and liability management for the bank Head Quarters as well as foreign subsidiaries. No doubt, her hard work and excellence earned her the position of the Senior Manager of the Human Resources department in 2011, and later got promoted to the position of General Manager and Group Treasurer in 2019.

She has championed remarkable successful transactions worth recalling, such as the conclusion of a $1bn Eurobond repayment, including a $500m Eurobond early redemption, recorded as the first of its kind by any African corporation, reported success rate of 79.52% accounting for a $398m out of a $500m Eurobond via a tender offer.

Successfully, she refinanced the Eurobond at a cheaper interest rate and determined the course of action and trade execution to align the bank’s loan-to-deposit ratio with new Central Bank regulations, leading to a cost saving of N234b and the creation of Financial Institutions and Treasury Sales units with an annual turnover of $12bn.

Her growth trajectory clearly shows that she possesses an unquenchable passion for organizational growth and poise to contribute to the overall economy and national development with a view to discovering new ways and smarter processes in accomplishing collective institutional objectives.

With a resounding commitment to excellence, she has achieved remarkable successes in both the private banking sector and the public sector, where she currently oversees the finances, revenue, strategic planning, and administration of a very important portfolio of government as the Commissioner of Finance charge with the task of coordinating the economy in Imo State.

Amidst the challenges affecting the economy, there are shining cases of individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and expertise in the fields of finance and public sector management, one such distinguished example is Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite, a versatile and detailed technocrat with a remarkable track record in finance and public service. And having been nominated on the ministerial list for screening, Nigerians perhaps have at their disposal a rare gem and icon of national transformation. The days ahead will be interesting.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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