Udoma is gearing up to become one of the most powerful and influential ministers in the new cabinet.
His portfolio, the ministry of Budget and Planning, though appearing ‘low-key’, could be the real powerhouse and one of the cores of Buhari’s machinery.
In his capacity, Udoma will play the role of gatekeeper because he will have to accede to every project before it is executed.
This is more so because all public finances will be bottled up in the Treasury Single Account, and it will require sufficient approval before funds are dispensed from it.
Even the new ‘super-minister’, Babatunde Fashola will not be able to pick a pin from the ground without Udoma’s budgetary approval.
In the same vein, all other ministers will have to secure Udoma’s approval before their project receives the required funding for execution.
His role is particularly interesting, given the fact that the functionality of Government Budgeting seems to have been stripped away from the Ministry of Finance and handed over to his office.
Udoma’s office will now also be in charge of developing the national plans on which the Medium Term Expenditure Framework will be based.
It will seem that the new finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, will not have as much influence over the budgeting system in this new dispensation as her predecessor Ngozi Okonji Iweala. She could be limited to financial supervision, Fiscal policy management, and government debt management.
Career (public sector)
Elected as an Akwa-Ibom Senator at the start of the Nigerian Fourth Republic in 1999 on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) platform, he served on the committees on Public Accounts, Judiciary, Banking & Currency, Science & technology, Privatization and Drug & Narcotics.
In 2010, he became the chairman of the Governing Board of the Securities and Exchange Commission, whilst also being the Chairman of UACN, Director of Unilever and Vice Chairman of the Board of Linkage Assurance, all publicly traded companies.
Udoma declared his interest in these companies before being appointed, and as required by the law, excused himself from meetings where issues directly related to these companies were being discussed.
Udoma advised the Technical Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation and the NNPC on the sale of 20% of the Government’s 60% equity interest in Africa Petroleum Limited.
He acted as a principal consultant and lead technical adviser to a State Governors’ forum on the socio-economic implications and potential consequences of the Petroleum Industry Bill in 2012.
He also helped advise the Ministry of Finance on the structuring and establishment of a $140,000.00 sovereign wealth fund; and was part of the team that drafted the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (Establishment) Act, No 15 of 2011
Career (Private sector)
Udoma is the founding partner of Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie Barristers and Solicitors.
As a legal practitioner, he has been involved in general corporate transactions, as well as developed specialisations in oil and gas, mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions.
he has also been involved as:
Consultant, Shearman and Sterling, Paris
Member, implementation team, Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Project
Founder of Udo Udoma & Co (now Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie)
Consultant, Nigerian Liquefied Nigerian Gas (LNG) Project
Associate, Chris Ogunbanjo & Co (Solicitors)
Investment Analyst, Chase Merchant Bank, Lagos
Lecturer in Law, University of Lagos
Inaugural member, Nigeria Economic Summit Group
Nigerian Bar Association
International Bar Association
It is expected that Udoma’s vast legal, board room, and public sector experience will be brought to bear in ensuring a proper national and budgetary planning.