FG yet to be officially notified of Amina Mohammed’s appointment by UN

The Nigerian government said on Sunday that it was yet to be formally notified of the appointment of a serving minister as deputy UN Secretary General.

The presidency said Amina Mohammed is comfortable in her current position as the minister of environment.

A tweet posted by Garba Shehu, a media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, described reports that Ms. Mohammed had been named as a deputy to Antonio Guterres, the recently-appointed Secretary General, as containing elements of “exuberance.”

PREMIUM TIMES broke news of the appointment on Sunday afternoon, prompting the statement from the Buhari administration.

Multiple sources including Nigerian government officials and persons close to Ms. Mohammed confirmed the appointment to PREMIUM TIMES. However, the appointment is yet to be formally announced by the UN or communicated to the Nigerian government.

“There is a lot of exuberance on the net concerning a UN job for Mrs Amina Mohammed. She remains our Minister of Environment,” Mr. Shehu said.

Nonetheless, “If there is anything on this that is released officially, we will let Nigerians know,” he added.

Ms. Mohammed, from Gombe State, was named as the Minister of Environment late last year. She is widely acknowledged for her competence and agility.

In May, she coordinated the launch of a major cleanup effort in Ogoniland, where residents have grappled with deadly environmental hazards for decades as a result of oil exploration there.

A profile of Ms. Mohammed on the UN Sustainable Development website said she served three Nigerian presidents as the Senior Special Assistant on the Millennium Development Goals over a period of six years.

In 2005 she was charged with the coordination of the debt relief funds ($1 billion per annum) towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria.

Her mandate included designing a Virtual Poverty Fund with innovative approaches to poverty reduction, budget coordination and monitoring, as well as providing advice on pertinent issues regarding poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development.

From 2002-2005, Ms. Mohammed served as coordinator of the Task Force on Gender and Education for the United Nations Millennium Project. Prior to this, she served as Founder and Executive Director of Afri-Projects Consortium, a multidisciplinary firm of Engineers and Quantity Surveyors (1991-2001) and worked with the architectural engineering firm of Archcon Nigeria in association with Norman and Dawbarn UK (1981-1991).

Ms. Mohammed is expected to assume her new position in the UN after the Antonio Guterres assumes office as the Secretary General of the world body by January 1, 2017.

Her departure will leave another seat vacant in Mr. Buhari’s cabinet, since the president has not replaced James Ocholi, a former Minister of State for Labour and Productivity who died on March 6, 2016.

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