To meet with the 60 days constitution requirement for appointments of ministers in Nigeria, the Senate on Monday began the screening of proposed 28 ministers nominated by President Bola Tinubu for undisclosed portfolio.
The list includes former governors, economists, finance experts, health experts, lawyers and loyalists of President Tinubu, who became president on 29 May. However, this 28 individuals are reportedly from 25 of country's 36 states; the Nigerian constitution requires that the President to appoint at least one minister from each of the 36 states and the FCT.
On Wednesday afternoon, President Tinubu through his chief of staff Femi Gbajabiamila submitted supplementary ministerial list comprising of 19 individuals including Bosun Tijani, co-founder and CEO of Co-Creation HUB (CcHub), a leading tech and innovation hub on the continent with operations in Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda.
Last month, an anonymous source told TechCabal that the president is considering some Nigerian tech experts for ministerial roles; the publication named Tijani, Oswald Osaretin Guobadia, Olumide Soyombo, and Idris Alubankudi Saliu, as the possible choices. “I can’t guarantee they will get it, but they’ve all been considered for the ministerial role. It’s possible they get other roles too,” the source said.
Although ministerial nominations are not accompanied with portfolios, President Tinubu is possibly considering Tijani for a role in one of the following existing ministries; communications and digital economy; or science, technology and innovation. However, his role remains unconfirmed, the aforementioned predictions are based on his antecedent as a tech entrepreneur.
He holds a masters degree in digital communication and networking and also has about eighteen professional qualifications in ICT, including an ethical hackers certification from Royal Britannia IT Training Academy.
Meanwhile at the time of this report, Soyombo, Saliu and Guobadia; who served as senior special assistant to former President Muhammadu Buhari are yet to be nominated for roles in the Tinubu administration.
Who is 'Bosun Tijani?
After his elementary and secondary education, 'Bosun Tijani bagged a diploma in Computer Science and B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Jos between 1996 and 2002. In 2003, Tijani joined the Lagos Business School, Accenture and Junior Achievement for an MBA Course, Venture in Management.
Between 2006 and 2007, he went to Warwick Business School for an MSc in Information Systems and Management. Tijani also did an executive programme in Innovation for Economic Development at the Harvard Kennedy School. He also holds a doctorate degree in Innovation and Economic Development from the University of Leicester.
In December 2010, Tijani co-founded CcHUB with Femi Longe. The hub is described as “Nigeria’s first open living lab and pre-incubation space designed to be a multi-functional, multi-purpose space”. CcHub was where Tijani hosted Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2016, a visit he initiated. This was Zuckerberg's first-time to Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.
Two months ago, he moderated a conversation with Bill Gates during his visit in Nigeria, as part of the Pan-African Youth Innovation Forum 2023.
Across Africa, CcHUB boasts of a network of more than 1100 startups who can trace their roots to the hub's innovation-focused programs and interventions, more than 7,300 direct jobs created by its portfolio companies, 35,000+ indirect jobs have been created by portfolio companies through their value chain, more than $10,000,000 invested in direct startups by CcHUB and over $150 million in external funding attracted by the startups in their portfolio.
In 2020, CcHub acquired eLimu, a leading Kenyan edtech company and digital educational content provider. The goal of the acquisition at the time, according to CcHUB, was to transform eLimu into its digital education platform arm.
Prior to this acquisition, CcHUB partnered with Nigeria's premier university of education, Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) in 2019, to launch an Edtech Centre of Excellence.
And in August 2020, iHub—acquired by CcHub in 2019—opened the iHub Teachers’ Lounge to equip teachers with 21st-century teaching skills and online teaching tools for richer methods of teaching and collaboration in classrooms.
This is a developing story