Patience Oniha Replaces Abraham Nwankwo As DMO’s D-G

The federal government has appointed Ms. Patience Oniha as the new Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO) following the retirement of Dr. Abraham Nwankwo yesterday after serving his full term of ten years.

An unsigned statement from the DMO said the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo approved Oniha’s appointment, which was announced by the Minister of Finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun in Abuja.

Oniha, who hails from Edo State, takes over from Nwankwo who retired after serving for two terms of five years each.

A highly experienced banker and chartered accountant, the new DG with over 30 years experience in financial sector had worked with Ecobank Nigeria, Standard Chartered Bank, and KPMG, among others.

The handover formalities between her and Nwankwo took place in a brief ceremony at the DMO headquarters in Abuja yesterday, the statement said.

Oniha retired as a director in the agency, served in the Efficiency Unit of the Ministry of Finance before her latest appointment as the DMO chief executive.

The statement described her as part of the success story the DMO recorded in the past 10 years.

It noted: “During that period, DMO scored a number of firsts in its operational efforts to manage the country’s debt profile. These include the establishment of 37 sub-national Debt Management Departments for the 36 states and the FCT, culminating in the construction of the first-ever comprehensive and reliable Domestic Debt Database for all the states and the FCT in 2012.”

It also said other achievements included “putting in place Primary Dealing-Market Making (PDMM) system for the FGN Bonds, enabling two-way quotes in the trading of FGN Bonds and, therefore, the introduction of a vibrant and liquid Secondary Market for FGN Bonds; listing of FGN Bonds on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.”

Others are the inclusion of Nigeria’s Sovereign Bond in Global Market Indices, the JP Morgan Index and the Barclays Capital Index; issuing of Nigeria’s Eurobond in the International Capital Market and its listing and trading on the London Stock Exchange; issuing of Nigeria’s Sovereign Retail Bonds, the FGN Savings Bond and listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and on the FMDQ OTC Exchange.

The achievements also included issuing of Nigeria’s Diaspora Bond and the first-ever registration of Nigeria to access the United States financial market under the stringent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules and regulations; designing and implementing Nigeria’s National Debt Management Framework; introducing the soon-to-be launched first-ever Nigeria’s Sovereign Non-Interest Bearing Bond: the Sukuk as well as exporting of Public Debt Management services through capacity-building support to other African countries, including the Sudan, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda.

Oniha is expected to consolidate on these achievements, the statement added.

By Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

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