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Government & Politics

The Man Godwin Obaseki, Edo Governor-Elect

Godwin Obaseki
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Mr. Godwin Obaseki was born in Benin City, Nigeria to the famous and illustrious Obaseki family.

He had his early education in St. Matthews Anglican Primary School Benin City from where he proceeded to Eghosa Anglican Grammer School, Benin City for his secondary school education. He attended the University of Ibadan where he obtained a BA in Classics.

Obaseki attended the Columbia University and Pace University in New York and has an MBA in Finance and International Business. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers, Nigeria and an alumnus of the Lagos Business School Chief Executive Programme.

He was nominated a Global Leader for Tomorrow (GLT) by the World Economic Forum in 2001.

Obaseki began his career over 30 years ago and has established track records in Investment Banking, Asset Management, Securities Trading and the Public Sector both internationally and in Nigeria. He started out in 1983 with Capital Trust Brokers Limited Lagos as a stockbroker where he excelled and subsequently worked with International Merchant Bank (an affiliate of First Chicago Bank).

In 1988 he joined AVC Funds Limited, Lagos where he served as a project manager and led the core team that set up two of the new generation banks which eventually reshaped the face of the banking industry in Nigeria.

Between 1993 and 1995 he worked in New York as a principal of Equatorial Finance Co, a financial advisory firm with a focus on Africa and providing structured trade finance for African related transactions through credit, financial advisory and risk insurance.

He founded Afrinvest West Africa Limited (formerly Securities Transactions & Trust Company Limited (SecTrust)) in 1995 as the pioneer Managing Director. The firm has since grown to become a leading Investment Banking and Investment Management firm in Nigeria.

In 1995 SecTrust was appointed the correspondent stockbroker for Nigeria by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). In 1996, SecTrust established the first derivative product, the Nigerian International Debt Fund (NIDF) on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which allowed Nigerians invest local savings in US Dollar instrument. This fund has outperformed projections on returns.

SecTrust pioneered and was local adviser on the first global offering by a Nigerian bank through the issuance of Global Depositary Shares (GDS) to raise UD$50 million from the international Capital market. Afrinvest has acted as advisers on some of the largest and most significant transactions in the Nigerian capital market since 2005.

Afrinvest is one of the most trusted advisory firms in the domestic corporate finance market, pioneering major innovations and providing leadership in the Nigerian Securities market. The Firm has advised on numerous landmark transactions including the first Eurobond Issue by a Sub-Saharan Africa Corporate (outside South Africa); the first ever simultaneous merger and tender offer transaction in Sub-Saharan Africa and the largest ever listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Afrinvest has been ranked as a major Investment Research firm which is at the forefront of playing instrumental roles in the introduction of new financing products such as Eurobonds and Global Depository Receipts to Nigerian Companies.

Obaseki is presently the chairman of the board of directors of the firm which won the Best Asset Management Firm in Nigeria (2014) award by the Wealth & Finance International Magazine Finance Awards.

Obaseki currently serves as the Chairman of the Edo State Government’s Economic and Strategy Team (EST), a position he has held since March 17, 2009 Pro bono publico.

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Key achievements as chairman of the economic team of Edo State government include: Documentation of State Economic Development framework through Sectors’ Strategic Planning which is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis; introduction and enculturation of retreats as a platform to ensure all parties engagement not only in planning and executing state development initiatives but also in monitoring and evaluation of outcomes; N25 billion Infrastructure Development Bond from the Nigerian Capital Market in 2010; $225 million concessionary rates development loan from the World Bank with the 1st Tranche of $75 million already accessed; successfully hosted sector based economic summits and policy dialogue series including the power round table in 2010, 2011 Education Round Table and 2012 Agribusiness Round Table.
These summits have translated in measurable and desired outcomes including:

Azura-Edo IPP project with over $1 billion in FDI currently under development in Ihovbor, Uhunwode LGA; Education Reforms which have translated to significant improvement in Educational Infrastructure and student performance in WAEC and other Exams; following the 2012 Agribusiness Summit, the state has attracted investment in the Rubber Sub-sector for the development of the single largest Rubber Plantation project in Nigeria in Sokponba in Orhiomwon LGA under a privately developed and financed initiative and a framework for Local Economic Empowerment through out-growers schemes is being finalised to attract funding into the development of key crops for which Edo State has natural endowment including oil palm, rubber, cassava, cocoa, rice and other grains
Other Committee activities in Edo State Government include, Tax Assessment Review Committee for Edo State Internal Revenue Service (TARC) – chairman; committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Chairman; committee on the Implementation of the Law Establishing the Edo State University of Science and Technology, Uzaire – Secretary

Others include; Committee on Contributory Pension Scheme – Member;  Edo SEEFOR/DPO Steering Committee – Member; Committee on the Report of the Audit of the Credentials of Teaching Staff in Public Schools in Edo State; Land Use Charge Committee, Chairman, as well as state steering committee on the European Union Assisted Niger-Delta Support programme (NDSP) Component 3 (Development of Edo State Water & Sanitation Policy and Law.

Professionally, Obaseki has served on the presidential committee on the reform of the Nigerian pension system. He also served on the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission Committee on the Re-activation of the Nigerian Bond Market and the review f the Investment and Securities Act.
He served as a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Council between 2006 and 2009, as well as on the board of some companies such as Dorman Long Engineering Limited, Pillar Oil Limited, Seric Impianti International Limited.

He was the founding secretary of a New York based US Africa Chamber of Commerce in 1992, which promoted US organisations doing business in Africa.

Obaseki was a director in Junior Achievement of Nigeria, the local affiliate of the worldwide not for profit organisation which trains students to appreciate market economy values.
He also participates actively and serves as trustee, in the Dr. Jackson Owen Obaseki Foundation, a family owned NGO which is involved in providing free educational and health services to the less privileged.

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