Ms. Aisha Abba-Kyari, the daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, has been appointed as an assistant vice president at the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) under secretive and controversial circumstances, TheScoop can confirm from highly placed sources within the organisation.
Why it matters: Ms. Abba-Kyari’s appointment violates set procedure at the NSIA which is the legally constituted agency that manages Nigeria’s excess crude oil revenues.
- The role was not publicly advertised, contrary to the expectations for such a position.
- An insider said: “She clearly does not meet the criteria for the role.”
- According to information available to TheScoop, Abba-Kyari had just about 5 years working experience at the National Integrated Power Project where she worked up until February 2019 when she got the NSIA role.
- She has been appointed Assistant Vice President (AVP) Level 3, which is the highest level in the organization. The average working experience in that level is 10 years.
What we know: Insiders at the NSIA were infuriated by the appointment. A few of the high level persons privy to the recruitment initially refused to interview Ms. Abba-Kyari. One of such persons include an Executive Director, Stella Ojekwe-Onyejeli who vehemently rejected the suggestion, describing it as “ridiculous” and citing the underwhelming credentials of Ms. Abba-Kyari. The ED was however arm twisted into playing along as the pending confirmation of her appointment to become a second term ED, became an instrument of blackmail. Her appointment was eventually confirmed sometime in March 2019 after she acquiesced. Halima Buba, a board member at the NSIA who was also invited to observe the process, refused to take part.
Benefits: Ms. Abba-Kyari will receive an annual package of of about 32 million Naira. A brand new official car has also been assigned to her. (Most of the other appointees only get their vehicles after six months into their job).
Bottomline: No surprises here. This is not the first time the Buhari government is involved in a secret recruitment scandal involving relatives of highly placed persons in his cabinet. A similar one occurred at the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2017 involving children of some cabinet ministers and a nephew of the president, without repercussions in spite of the anti-corruption rhetoric of his administration.