In any list of the world’s thankless tasks, being Finance Commissioner of a State would surely come near the top. Managing the State finance is an herculean task, attracting investors requires an economic development base that guarantees returns on investment, ensuring the financial security of a State is a daunting assignment that requires a leadership and foresight character, acumen and high level of intelligence, but with a stable and focused mindset.
Getting deals done is difficult, as all MDAs in the States needed to agree on financial reforms as a result of paucity of funds. On top of that, the dwindling price of global oil market has made funds availability increasingly hostile to nations who are dependent on this resource, invariably it affects what comes to the States on a monthly allocation from the Central, posing a top strategic fiscal decisions on advising the governor on the States financial and priority direction. Such is the challenge that Mukadam Asiwaju Asiru Idris faces as the Finance Commissioner in Kogi State. But a good challenge is something that the Finance Commissioner Mukadam Asiwaju Asiru Idris, relishes.
His performance has been nothing but impressive. It is absolutely nothing like those of his predecessor who were before him. A testament of what has kept him as the Commissioner of Finance Budget, and Economic Planning for second (2) term in the New Direction Agenda. The first Commissioner to lead a delegate of Kogi State Team to Delaware in the United States to facilitate investment opportunities to the State. His expertise and experience is one of the major standards that has helped the New Direction Administration in preparing a people focused budget for Seven (7) years consecutively with the implementation performances peaked at 95% yearly.
After about 10years experience in Accounting, Financial Management and Administration as a Manager/Branch Head at the Zenit Bank in Obajana, one would have by no means doubt the capacity he has brought to fore. Such was the talent and character the Captain of the New Direction His Excellency Governor Yahaya Bello saw in him and identified him as the right man for the job.
With the situation analysis cut up for the New Direction Agenda, a man in Mukadam Asiwaju Asiru Idris (MAAI) who has the emotional intelligence to maintain and apply a broad understanding of financial management principles to ensure decisions are fiscally sound and responsible, Identifies cost effective approaches to implementing policy priorities, demonstrates broad understanding of financial management principles to direct State actions was needed. A position he never allowed a vacuum by his soft presence but technical capacity for effectiveness.
As finance, budget, and economic planning head, he gained a lot of acclaim for improving Kogi State financial stability and fostering greater fiscal transparency that puts the State finance on a stabilized pedestal. MAAI is an intelligent man who understood the enormity of the job he was taking up. But he is made of stern stuff. He knows his onions and he has always lived up to it serving his dear State as a two time commissioner, with tenacity, and with dignity.
The problem of the role of Finance is more that of a convener and cajoler than of a leader with real leverage. But he does have some striking goals for his job, most significantly is the long term economic growth and sustainable development for Kogi State envisioned in the 32 years development plan, a strategy for finding a way forward on the log-jam of economic downturn and unlocking the key to economic prosperity for each citizens of the State. “It’s a tall order,” he says. But he has faced tall orders before, and triumphed.
MAAI through the mandate of His Excellency Governor Yahaya Bello represents the conduit for financial stability of Kogi State. His humanitarian lifestyle has been exemplary. His servant leadership qualities cannot be quantified, some of which are highlighted as follows.
He spearheaded the Finance Economy, Commerce and Investment during his time as Special Adviser to the Kogi State Governor.
He was then appointed a member of the Ajaokuta Presidential Project Implementation Team by the Federal Government in May 2020 after the recommendation of his principal, Governor Yahaya Bello. He also served as the Alternate Chairman of the Kogi State Economic Management Team and also Chaired the Forum of Commissioners of Finance of Nigeria and Kogi State Forum of Commissioners at different times.
He also worked with the World Bank on Public Governance Reform and Development Project (PSGRDP) to address weaknesses in Public Finance Management (PFM) systems and negotiated on behalf of the State Government Bond to extend and spread the repayment process to a longer tenor in order to ease the burden on the State’s monthly allocation and was able to keep the debt indices of Kogi state, both foreign and local, drastically low despite constraints of Global recession, Covid 19 plague and high inflation.
Asiwaju possesses leadership qualities that has made him outstanding, dependable in the discharge of his duties. He is committed, dedicated, result-driven and diplomatic leader and has shown absolute transparency, Prudency, Accountability and leadership skills during his role as the Commissioner of Finance Kogi State. No doubt the New Direction administration has attained such economic stability and fiscal sustainability. Mukadam Asiwaju Asiru Idris is a man of conscientious ability.