Shamsuddeen Usman

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Shamsuddeen Usman
Shamsuddeen Usman - World Economic Forum on Africa 2012.jpg
Shamsuddeen at World Economic Forum on Africa 2012
Minister of National Planning of Nigeria
In office
August 2011 – 11 September 2013
President Goodluck Jonathan
Preceded by Shamsudeen Usman
Minister of National Planning of Nigeria
In office
January 2009 – 29 May 2011
President Umaru Yar'Adua
Preceded by Sanusi Daggash
Finance Minister of Nigeria
In office
June 2007 – January 2009
Preceded by Nnenadi Usman
Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria- Operations
In office
2004 – June 2007
Preceded by Mahey Rasheed
Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria- Financial Sector Surveillance
In office
June 1999 – 2004
Preceded by None
Personal details
Born (1949-09-18) 18 September 1949 (age 68)
Kano State, Nigeria
Alma mater London School of Economics
Ahmadu Bello University
Kings College Lagos

Shamsuddeen Usman, CON (born 18 September 1949 Kano, Nigeria) is a Nigerian economist and banker. He is currently the CEO of SUSMAN & Associates, an economic, financial and management consulting firm headquartered in Nigeria. Shamsuddeen was the Minister of National Planning between January 2009 to September 2013. He was also the Finance Minister of Nigeria between June 2007 and January 2009.

He was responsible for the development of Nigeria's long-term development strategy, Nigeria Vision 2020 and the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan. During his tenure as the Minister of Finance and National Planning, he was chairman of the Nigerian National Economic Management Team.[1] Shamduddeen represented Nigeria as a Governor on the Governing Boards of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He was a Member of the Federal Executive Council, National Economic Council and the National Council on Privatization.

Usman was the first Nigerian Minister to publicly declare his assets before assuming office as a public officer, an act considered as a sign of accountability and transparency in a country noted for its high levels of corruption.[2]

Education and personal life[edit]

Shamsuddeen Usman was born to a family living in Warure Quarters of Kano State. His Father, an Islamic scholar, died when he was about six years old. He began his education at Dandago Primary School. After a secondary school education at the prestigious Government College Keffi and King's College, Lagos, he gained a BSc. in Economics from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. He later won a National scholarship to study for his MSc. and PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science [3] between 1977 and 1980. His PhD was on "Tax Incentives and Investment in the Nigerian Oil Industry[4]".During his first two years at the London School of Economics,[5] he served as a teaching assistant for the final year class in Public Finance.

Work life[edit]

From 1974 to 1976, Usman worked as the Planning Officer for the Kano State Ministry of Economic Planning. He taught Economic Analysis and Public Finance to students in Ahmadu Bello University, Bayero University Kano and University of Jos between 1976 and 1981. He was a controller at the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB) and then served as the director of budget/ special economic adviser to the Kano State Government between 1981 and 1985. Usman was then appointed the general manager of NAL Merchant Bank (currently Sterling Bank).

Impact of privatisation and commercialisation on Nigerian economy[edit]

From 1989 to 1991 Usman served as the pioneer director general of The Technical Committee of Privatisation and Commercialisation, now the Bureau of Public Enterprises and was responsible for the Phase I programme with the task to reform public enterprises, as an integral and critical component of the International Monetary Fund-led Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), which was started in 1986.

Under his supervision, about 88 public enterprises were either fully or partially privatised without any foreign technical assistance. The programme succeeded in relieving the government of the huge and growing burden of financing public enterprises, minimised the overstretching of government’s managerial capacity through a redefinition of the role of the supervising ministries, created a large body of shareholders and deepened and broadened the Nigerian Capital Market to the position of being the most developed in black Africa. The market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) through which the shares were sold has grown from N8.9 billion in 1987 (before privatisation) to N65.5 billion in 1994 (after the Phase-I). The catalytic effect of the volume of shares released into the market via the privatisation exercise cannot be over emphasised.[6]

The TCPC became the current Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in 1993.

In summary, the Phase-I of the privatisation has given the Nigerian economy some benefits, like:

  • Performance of the privatised enterprises so far has led to a considerable increase in the volume of corporate taxes accruing to the national treasury.
  • The sale of shares and assets realised over N3.7 billion as gross privatisation proceeds from the privatisation of 55 enterprises whose total original investment according to the records of the Ministry of Financed Incorporated (MOFI) was N652 million. This represents less than 2% of the total value of the Federal Government’s investments as at 30 November 1990 which stood at N36 billion.
  • Privatisation has massively expanded personal share ownership in Nigeria.
  • By reducing the reliance of public enterprises on the government for finance, the programme of privatisation has encouraged new investments in the enterprises concerned.
  • The new operational autonomy of these enterprises and their liberation from political interference in day-to-day management has improved the internal efficiency of these enterprises allowing them to liberalise their purchasing as well as rationalise labour practices.
  • Flotation of shares of privatised enterprises have greatly stimulated the rapid growth of the Nigerian Capital Market and helped to deepen and broaden it.


Usman was head-hunted to become the executive director of United Bank for Africa in charge of the International and Investments Sector,this included direct supervision of the New York Branch and due to his strong performance, their biggest rival at the time, Union Bank of Nigeria appointed him to become their executive director and Head of Corporate and International Banking. His time at Union Bank was short-lived as NAL Merchant Bank recruited him to become their managing director and chief executive officer, a post that he kept for over five years. He was also a member of the Committee on Vision 2010.

At the return to democracy in Nigeria in 1999, Usman was appointed as the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria in charge of Domestic Monetary and Banking Policy, later modified to Financial Sector Surveillance. He was also responsible for heading Project Eagles, the Central Bank of Nigeria's reform programme, responsible for converting the organisation into one of the most efficient, effective and goal-focused institutions in Nigeria. From January 2004 to June 2007 he was the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria in charge of the Operations Directorate. From 2005, he served as chairman and then alternate chairman of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited (NSPMC). In this role, he oversaw the introduction of N500 and N1000 notes and the reorganisation of the Mint into a more profitable company with greater operating efficiency.

He has served as the chairman of the Abuja Stock Exchange, Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) and Financial Institutions Training Centre. Usman has also served as a president of the Nigerian Economic Society and is a fellow of the Society. He is also a board member of the African Economic Research Consortium and the African Export-Import Bank.

Economy and finance[edit]

Usman was appointed as the Minister of Finance of Nigeria from May 2007 to January 2009. In this role, he served as the head of the Economic Management Team and as the vice chairman of the National Council on Privatisation. Usman introduced a system of performance-based budgeting and pursued various economic reforms such as reducing the average Nigerian Ports Clearing time from approximately 2 months to approximately 14 days during his tenure; increasing the capitalization, trust and effectiveness of the insurance sector together with pursuing the implementation of the Insurance Act; cancellation of illegal waivers and concessions which led to revenue leakages of over $2 billion; reducing Nigeria's external debt; and easing customs charges and capital market charges for operators to promote a vibrant and hassle-free environment for investment in the economy.

In times leading to the presentation of the government`s budget by the President (Umaru Musa Yar'Adua) to the National Assembly, Usman did not enjoy a cordial relationship with a few Members of the Senate and House of Assembly as both, on all occasions during the preparation of the budget, were pushing for increased government spending against Usman's wishes, particularly as the Nation was suffering from dwindling oil revenues. Usman claimed the reason for this is that the Economy of Nigeria lacked the capacity to take this increased spending, given its deflated revenue base and in order to control inflation and curtail corruption and improper implementation as in the Power Sector during the Obasanjo administration; this should be avoided. Usman blamed the low level of execution of the 2008 budget partly to the delays caused by the National Assembly in approving the Budget, a statement that the Members of the National Assembly were very unhappy with.

In preparing the 2007 (appropriation), 2008, 2008 (appropriation) and 2009 budgets, Usman also introduced a system of budgeting based on Medium Term Development Plans as opposed to misguided annual budgeting which showed coherency with respect to national development plans in succeeding years, as was done in the past.

In a similar manner to Trevor Manuel, the previous Finance Minister of South Africa, Usman was appointed as the minister/deputy chairman of the National Planning Commission of Nigeria and as the chairman of the Steering Committee on Nigeria Vision 2020 in January 2009. In this role, he is responsible for Economic and Developmental Strategy of the Nation through the formulation of a Medium Term National Plan/Policy Framework, a Long-Term National Plan (Nigeria Vision 2020) and working with the Ministry of Finance to set the overall objectives of the Annual Budget (Short-Term Plan).

He is also responsible for supervising the Monitoring and Implementation of these National Development Plans, the European Development Fund (EDF) Country Strategy Paper (CSP) and the National Indicative Programme (NIP). As the Minister of National Planning, he also oversees the National Bureau of Statistics, the Centre for Management and Development and the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER).

He was mentioned as one of the major individuals that made a tremendous impact in Nigerian economy and their contributions at the moment will help alleviate the current economic recession by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

He is also a member of the Presidential Steering Committee on the global financial crisis.

Minister of National Planning (January 2009 to September 2013)[edit]

As Minister of National Planning, Usman:[7]

  • Created the Nigeria Vision 2020 document with input from a wide variety of stakeholders (e.g. Youth, States, Women, Engineers, People with Disabilities)
  • National Strategy for the Development of Statistics which is to generate data for national planning
  • Developed a national framework which is to be used for the evaluation of Ministries, Departments and Agencies’ performance
  • An evaluation of the 7-point agenda and other government policies
  • Four-year implementation plan for the Vision 2020 document
  • A medium-term expenditure framework on which the national budget is based

Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund[edit]

In the years preceding 2008, Nigeria benefitted from the surge in oil prices, which allowed the government to build up excess reserves and increase public expenditure. However, Usman had identified that oil price volatility posed very high risks to growth in Nigeria’s oil-dependent economy, and as such pushed for the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund, which will serve as a long-term saving fund for future generations and also as a development fund for socio-economic projects It was planned to be similar to the Government Pension Fund of Norway. Normally, excess revenue (i.e. actual revenue less budgeted revenue) was saved in the excess crude account, to prevent overheating the economy, though as there is no legal arrangement for the management of the excess crude account, and no mandate for it to be used as a future generations fund, a Sovereign Wealth Fund was necessary to enhance efficiency in the management of the country’s reserves. Usman constituted a Presidential Technical Committee on the Establishment of the Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund, which submitted its report to the National Economic Council and the President. However, due to Usman’s redeployment to the Ministry of National Planning, efforts to establish the Sovereign Wealth Fund have been put on hold.

Re-nomination: battle with the Mafia and local politicians[edit]

Following the dissolution of the cabinet by Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan, Usman was one of nine out of a total of 42 ministers re-nominated to serve as a government Minister in the new cabinet. This was due to his neutrality on political issues and good working relationship with the Acting President.[8] Usman’s re-nomination was not viewed favorably by members of the Kano State PDP chapter, as they perceived Usman to be a technocrat and not a politician, and as such would not serve the self-interests of the People’s Democratic Party in Kano State.[9] This led to political lobbying from several interest groups to prevent his nomination. As a result, the Presidency instructed the Senate to delay his screening, and by the next morning, the local newspapers were reporting that he had been dropped as a Minister due to political interests against his appointment as a Technocrat.

However, on the same morning of the newspaper reports, Usman was the first to be screened by the Senate where he answered a variety of questions on the economy, and answered questions on his performance as a Minister of Finance and National Planning.[10] It was here where he made his famous statements on his battles with the economic mafia in Nigeria who sabotage the government’s revenue generating ability.

I had taken on so many mafia; I had taken on the customs mafia, I had taken on the tax concession mafia who are draining this country out of its revenues. Everybody knows the Committee I set up under Senator Udoma saved this country billions of naira. I took on the oil importation mafia; I took on the ports system mafia because I was trying to achieve 48 hours clearance.[11]


Usman is the chairman and one of the founding members of the Kano Peace and Development Initiative (KAPEDI), a group of concerned indigenes of Kano State individuals driven to resuscitate the economic activity of Kano State especially after the religious conflict in 2004.

He also started Gidauniyar Alheri, an NGO in the Garangamawa area of Kano city that provides human resource development training to youth in Nigeria, and particularly in Kano State. OICI has trained some of their staff in microenterprise development, and they now assist in providing microenterprise training to OICI's Nigeria JOBS beneficiaries. The NGO also comprises The Gidauniyar Alheri Enterprise and Development Centre, Gidauniya Alheri Microfinance Bank Limited and a community hospital. It also plays a huge role in microcredit schemes particularly to women in the local area; IT training and extra-tuition for youths in the local area.


  • ThisDay Minister of the Year 2007
  • Vanguard Banker's Award: Banking Icon [12]
  • Honorary Fellow, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) [13]
  • ThisDay Tomorrow's 50 Leaders (2004) [14]
  • Fellow, Nigerian Economic Society
  • 3rd place National Winner John F. Kennedy Essay Competition (1969)
  • Fellow, Society for corporate Governance Nigeria[15]


  1. ^ "Usman Presents Roadmap to Economic Reforms". Wikileaks. 4 September 2007. Retrieved 2014-10-25. 
  2. ^ "Usman Declares Assets Prior to Ministerial Confirmation". Wikileaks. 24 August 2007. Retrieved 2014-10-25. 
  3. ^ "Alumni - Alumni - Home". Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  4. ^ S., Usman, (1980). "Tax incentives and investment in the Nigerian oil industry (1966-1977)". 
  5. ^ "Alumni - Alumni - Home". Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Account Suspended". Archived from the original on 4 April 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  8. ^ [2][dead link]
  9. ^ "Saturday Tribune". Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  10. ^ [3] Archived 4 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ " Nigeria: How I Tackled Import Mafia - Usman". Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  12. ^ " Nigeria: Vanguard Honours 12 Banking Icons April 18". Archived from the original on 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  13. ^ " Nigeria: Falalu Bello, 8 Others Become CIBN Fellows". Archived from the original on 24 May 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "Account Suspended". Archived from the original on 6 June 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  15. ^ "Former minister tasks Nigerians on integrity to mitigate corruption". Retrieved 2018-01-24. 

External links[edit]

Relevant presentations and press briefings[edit]