President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reappointment of Patience Oniha as the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO) for the second term of 5 years with effect from Friday, July 1, 2022.
In a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, on Thursday, he stated that the reappointment was in accordance with Section IV (9-i) of the Debt Management Office (Establishment ETC) Act, 2003.
The reason for Patience Oniha’s appointment was because of her successful issuance of Nigeria’s debut USD500 million Eurobond in January 2011. The debut Eurobond opened a new source of funding for the Federal Government and Corporates. In 2013, she also managed the issuance of the dual-tranche USD1 billion Eurobond which was subscribed to the tune of about 400%.
Furthermore, she was responsible for the inclusion of FGN Bonds in the J.P. Morgan Government Bond Index – Emerging Markets (GBI – EM) in October 2012 which made Nigeria the second country in Africa, after South Africa to have its local currency sovereign bond included in the Index. The inclusion of FGN bonds in this Index attracted foreign investors to the domestic bond market as a whole. This was followed by the inclusion of FGN Bonds in the Barclays Capital Emerging Markets – Local Currency Government Bond Index (EM – LCBI) in March 2013.
While still at the DMO, Oniha was appointed as the Head of the Efficiency Unit at the Federal Ministry of Finance. To execute the mandate of the Unit which was to moderate the Government’s Overhead Expenditure and generate savings from the procurement process.
Oniha introduced a number of initiatives. Amongst them was the issuance of 7 Circulars to control expenditure on specific Overhead items and the negotiation of discounts with airlines. These delivered savings estimated at N17 billion to the Government. She was working on the introduction of new processes for payment and procurements when she was appointed Director-General of DMO with effect from July 1, 2017.