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Arunma Oteh becomes World Bank’s first Nigerian treasurer

World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, announced Arunma Oteh, the immediate past Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as Vice President and Treasurer of the World Bank. Oteh may have thus emerged the first Nigerian to be made treasurer of the 71-year-old global institution with 188 member countries, headquartered in Washington DC, United States.

Oteh may also be the first African ever to hold that position. She is yet another Nigerian female to hold such high office at World Bank. Others before her were Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili (VP) and Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (MD). This news further polishes the international image of Nigeria and its citizens.

Announcing the appointment in a press release yesterday, Yong Kim said, “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Arunma Oteh as VP and Treasurer of the World Bank. Oteh was selected for this position through an international competitive search. Her appointment is effective from September 28, 2015.”

Yong Kim’s statement captured her profile with these words: “Arunma, a Nigerian national, was most recently the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria. Appointed to a five-year term by the President of Nigeria in 2010, she led the transformation of the country’s capital markets industry into a major global presence. She was a member of the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the Chairperson of the Africa Middle East Regional Committee of IOSCO.

“Prior to joining the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria, Arunma was Group Vice President, Corporate Services, at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB). In this role she oversaw a number of departments, including human resources, information and communications technology, and institutional procur-ement. From 2001 to 2006 she held the role of AfDB Group Treasurer, where she led AfDB’s fund-raising and capital market activities across the world. Earlier roles at the AfDB, which she joined in 1992, included trading room management, investment portfolio coverage, and public sector lending. She also held other positions in capital markets and lending during the course of her career at the AfDB. Arunma began her career in 1985 at Centre Point, where she executed debt and equity offerings in the Nigerian capital markets.

“She earned her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Nigeria and her Masters of Business Administration from Harvard University. As VP and Treasurer, Arunma will manage and lead a large and diverse team responsible for managing more than $150 billion in assets. Her top priorities will be to:

(i) Maintain the World Bank’s global reputation as a prudent and innovative borrower, investor and risk manager; (ii) manage an extensive client advisory, transaction and asset management business for the Bank; (iii) engage, in her capacity as one of the World Bank’s key representatives, with outside stakeholders including global private sector financial institutions, the financial media and the sovereign debt and reserve managers in client countries, as well as ratings agencies; and (iv) collaborate extensively with the Finance Partners throughout the WBG, including with IFC and MIGA, expanding shared approaches, in particular around innovative financing for development and for key new projects.”

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