Round Peg in Round Hole


Chika Mordi, a Nigerian professional banker based in Washington D.C, United States, heads National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria


NIGERIA’S business competitiveness and ability to attract local and international investment will be significantly enhanced with the appointment of ex-banker Chika Mordi as the first chief executive of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria, NCCN.  President Goodluck Jonathan, who recently launched the NCCN, said “This important step, by the National Competitiveness Council, underscores Nigeria’s commitment to rapidly transform the business environment and enhance productivity.”

Michael Porter

Jonathan inaugurated the council earlier this year, with Olusegun Aganga, trade and investment minister, as chairman and Tony O. Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings, representing the private sector, as vice chairman. Other members drawn from the Nigerian and international communities include Michael Porter, a professor at Harvard Business School, Aliko Dangote, chairman, Dangote Group, Lynda Chalker, coordinator of Nigeria’s honorary international investor council and Juan E. Pardinas, director, Mexican Institute for Competitiveness.

Aliko Dangote

Aganga, a leading member of the president’s transformation team, said, ”We are pleased to have Mr. Mordi at the helm of the Council’s affairs. His track record demonstrates that he possesses the intellect, ambition and experience to help Nigeria attain global economic prominence.” Mordi will lead a strategically placed body, part of the Jonathan administration’s wider policy to dramatically improve the ability of local and international businesses to conduct and operate business in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and home to one of the largest global consumer markets. According to Aganga, the success of Mordi’s efforts will be measured by Nigeria’s rise in World Economic Forum’s Global Competitive Index and the World Bank’s Doing Business Index rankings – indices that are internationally acknowledged benchmarks for the openness of a nation’s economy. Countries that successfully implement reforms and overhaul regulatory obstacles experience better economic outcomes, job creation and improved standards of living, according to the World Bank.

Lynda Chalker

Elumelu, who is also the founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation  which has provided a take-off grant for the council, said, “Competitiveness is a prerequisite for a country’s development. The NCCN is working to create an enabling environment for the private sector to flourish. This is the only sustainable solution for Nigeria’s and Africa’s development. Mr. Mordi brings a skill set and track record that make me feel highly confident that our objectives will be realised.”

The Council selected Mordi through an internationally advertised recruitment process, which identified a series of extremely talented individuals. He is the founder of Accender Africa, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organisation that seeks to use the new media to increase transparency in government, with the objective of poverty reduction.

Juan Pardinas

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to contribute in a significant way to Nigeria’s development and its global business profile. The private sector is instrumental in creating sustainable growth, reducing poverty and boosting collective prosperity for Nigerians. The NCCN is intrinsic to ensuring that the right conditions are in place to secure Nigeria’s strong future; I am looking forward to the challenge,” Mordi said.

Mordi, a professional banker, spent more than two decades in the finance industry and was instrumental in the dramatic transformation of Nigeria’s financial services industry, including repositioning of the United Bank for Africa Plc into one of Africa’s leading financial institutions. He has also helped incubate several businesses in Nigeria and Ghana, and in his investment banking career, managed landmark transactions in sub-Saharan Africa in equities, fixed income, corporate finance, debt conversion, and privatisation.

Mordi is a trained economist and holds degrees from the University of Ilorin, IESE Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, American University’s Graduate School of Communications and John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He also completed an advanced management program at Harvard Business School.

— Sep. 20, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

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