Tinubu's economic council: Tech secures 10% representation with Bosun Tijani, Funke Opeke, Chidi Ajaere

March 29, 2024
2 min read
Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy; Funke Opeke, CEO of MainOne; and Chidi Ajaere, Chairman of Greatman Legend, overseeing GIG Mobility and GIG Logistics

The news: 

  • Nigeria's President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has appointed prominent Nigerian private and public sector officials to the newly formed Presidential Economic Coordination Council (PECC). 
  • One of the 31 members is Bosun Tijani, the founder of CcHub, Nigeria's first tech hub and the country's Minister of Communications, Innovation, and the Digital Economy.
  • Funke Opeke, founder and CEO of Internet company MainOne, and Chidi Ajaere, Chairman of Greatman Legend, the parent company of GIG Mobility and GIG Logistics, are two other Nigerian tech figures on the newly formed Council. 

The Presidential Economic Coordination Council nominations of these three Nigerian tech companies show how much the ecosystem has expanded over time, beyond merely representing the country's tech industry.

For context, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reports that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector contributed up to 16% of the country’s real GDP at the end of the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023.

Besides, a 10% representation of the country's technology sub-sector in a national economic decision-making body like the PECC demonstrates recognition of the ecosystem's contribution to the country's overall economic prosperity. 

President Tinubu's spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, stated on Thursday, March 28, 2024, that creating the PECC will strengthen the country's economic governance frameworks, ensuring robust and well-coordinated economic planning and execution. 

The three tech executives and the other 28 members will serve for one year, as directed by the President.

Meet the officials

Tijani founded the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), an innovation lab. In February 2023, the company unveiled a $15 million edtech accelerator programme to invest an initial $100,000 in 72 startups in Nigeria and Kenya. 

Ajaere is also the founder of JET Motor Company, an African mobility brand. In 2019, the company debuted its flagship brand, the JET MOVER, a multipurpose van designed to increase the adoption of locally manufactured vehicles. 

In 2020, the company introduced an Electric Vehicle (EV) model to boost vehicle production on the continent and promote sustainability. The model was entirely electric, with no emissions.

Opeke, who returned to Nigeria as MTN's Chief Technical Officer (CTO) in 2005, previously worked in the United States as Executive Director of Verizon Communications Wholesale Division for twenty years. She also briefly served as NITEL's interim Chief Operating Officer (COO) following its acquisition by MTN.

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The Senate President Akpabio, Vice-President Shettima, President Tinubu, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors' Forum, and eleven other ministers are among the other members of the PECC. Shettima will chair the group.

The President also nominated 11 private sector players, including Alhaji Aliko Dangote of the Dangote Group, Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, and Segun Agbaje, Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc.  

Additionally, President Tinubu formed a 19-person Economic Management Team Emergency Taskforce to "address immediate economic challenges and ensure the streamlined execution of economic strategies."

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