No other period is the advice of the Nigerian Presidential Aide on economic matters crucial than this period of dwindling economy due to low prices of crude oil in the international market.
The Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters in the office of Vice President is no other person than a seasoned career diplomat and international civil servant, Ambassador Adeyemi Dipeolu.
He says the diversification projects of the present administration require expert knowledge and implementation to achieve pre-determined objectives.
Dipeolu has been working closely with the economic team, headed by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and some ministers.
Dipeolu has stated that the Federal Government will set a time frame for the privatisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the refineries before the end of 2016. This, according to him, is different from the deregulation of the downstream oil and gas sector, aimed at enabling government to make the country self-sufficient in refined petroleum products in addition to becoming a net exporter in times to come.
The Special Adviser, who harped on the importance of value addition to crude oil before exportation, said as part of the government’s strategic implementation plans “we need to pay attention to goods being manufactured here and improve the manufacturing capacity of Nigerian companies.”
He said government was focused on achieving sustainability in tomato paste production this year, while between 2017 and 2018, rice sufficiency and local production of wheat formed the reform targeted at the agriculture sector.
Economic Confidential learnt that Dipeolu was the former Director of the Capacity Development Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) before he joined the Presidential economic team as the Special Adviser in 2015.
Ambassador Dipeolu was also a former Technical Committee member and Head of Secretariat of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa.
The erudite scholar was also in charge of the Regional Coordination Mechanism for UN Agencies in Africa and for UNECA’s work involving the NEPAD Programme and the African Peer Review Mechanism.
Dipeolu oversaw the innovative work carried-out on “Conflict and Development” on “Smart Industrialisation in Africa.”
He started as the Chief-of-Staff at UNECA in 2009 before he became Coordinator of the African Trade Policy (ATPC), where he performed supporting role to the Executive Secretary in repositioning UNECA and expanding strategic partnership with the African Union (AU), African Development Bank (ADB) and development partners.
He supported African nations in international trade negotiations as the ATP coordinator.
Prior to joining UNECA in 2005, Dipeolu had started as a Third Secretary at the Nigerian Foreign Service’s in 1980 and rose to the position of Ambassador where he engaged in overseas missions including Pretoria, South Africa; Geneva, Switzerland; Caracas, Venezuela and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Ambassador Dipeolu had served in the capacity of Special Assistant in the Office of the Chief-of-Staff to the President and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the International Economic Cooperation and African Affairs Directorates.
For his education, Dipeolu, who sits on the boards of many universities, obtained his doctorate degree in economics from the University of South Africa.
He also studied at the University of Cambridge for his M. Phil in Economics and Politics of Development.
He also did diplomatic studies at the Oxford University Foreign Service Programme. At home, Dipeolu studied Economics at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University-Ile-Ife) where bagged two merit scholarship as National Scholar and UAC Nigeria Scholar.