Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), the leading infrastructure development finance institution in Africa, has announced the appointment of Samaila D. Zubairu as the Corporation’s third president & CEO.
He succeeds Andrew Alli who comes to the end of his tenor, having successfully served in the position since 2008. Samaila Zubairu is a distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and an accomplished Infrastructure development finance specialist with over 29 years of professional experience.
He is the CEO of Africapital Management Limited, in which position he established a joint venture with Old Mutual’s African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) to develop the Nigerian Infrastructure Investment Fund1(NIIF1) for infrastructure private equity across West Africa. He also recently coordinated the US$300m acquisition of Eko Electricity Distribution Plc.
He was the pioneer CFO for Dangote Cement Plc, during which he launched Africa’s largest syndicated project finance facility for a local corporate to actualize the Obajana Cement project and managed the watershed unbundling of Dangote Industries Limited to listed subsidiaries on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. He has led finance transactions for over US$3bn covering: green-field project finance facilities, acquisitions, corporate transformation initiatives, privatization and equity capital market transactions.
Samaila is an Eisenhower Fellow and sits on the Eisenhower Fellowship’s Global Network Council as well as the President’s Advisory Council. He is also an Advisory Board member for KSE Africa a leading Operations and Management provider of captive power plants in the mining sector of Botswana and Nigeria and is the Chairman of MDSA Nigeria Limited, a fintech company providing micro loans across sub-Saharan Africa.
Samaila is the Independent Director and Chairman Statutory Audit Committee as well as a member of Finance and General-Purpose and Establishment and Governance Committees of Aiico Insurance Plc. He also serves as an Independent Director and Chairman of the Finance Committee for New Nigeria Commodity Marketing Company. The appointment of Mr. Zubairu follows a six-month search process that saw over 100 candidates apply for the role. Mr. Zubairu will formally take the post imminently.
Dr. Okwu J. Nnanna, Chairman of AFC said: “On behalf of the Corporation, I am delighted to welcome Samaila Zubairu to AFC. In Samaila, we have identified an individual with the exceptional qualities across deal origination, execution, and capital raising that will continue to facilitate AFC’s ability to deliver transformational change through infrastructure investment as it moves into a new era.
“His track record of operational excellence will be of huge benefit to AFC and all its stakeholders as we build on a decade that has seen AFC become a market leader in Africa’s infrastructure space, positively impacting millions of lives every day. I would like to thank Andrew Alli, who over the last decade has turned AFC from a start-up into the world class institution that it is today. His departure is truly our loss, and I am confident in saying I speak for all stakeholders to AFC in wishing Andrew the very best in his future endeavours.”
Mr. Samaila Zubairu, AFC’s incoming President & CEO commented on the announcement: “Africa Finance Corporation is one of the most dynamic organisations on the continent. In the last decade, we have seen the organisation grow its balance sheet by a remarkable 400%, produce competitive returns, whilst transforming African economies through innovative infrastructure development and financing. I am therefore immensely humbled by the distinct honour of this appointment to lead such a distinguished organisation”.
“As the incoming President & CEO, I am confident of AFC’s market position as being best placed to surmount Africa’s multi-sectoral infrastructure challenges, and no doubt this success has been achieved in no small part, because of AFC’s outgoing President & CEO, Mr. Andrew Alli and his team of exceptional professionals. I therefore look forward to joining AFC’s highly reputable team, and together, enhancing AFC’s position as an extremely capable project partner, able to deliver sustainable development projects across the Continent.”
Alli, AFC’s outgoing President & CEO also commented on the announcement: “Serving at the helm of AFC has been the highest privilege of my career. However, having served my tenor, I am leaving assured that in Samaila Zubairu, the Corporation will gain a truly confident self-starter and an industry heavy-weight ideally suited to lead AFC into the next chapter of its growth story. I wish him, and the AFC family, all the success for the future.
“As I depart, I am proud to look back on all the things we have been able to achieve across the width and breadth of the Continent, none of which would have been possible without the incredible colleagues I have been honoured to work with, the shareholders who gave me the opportunity to serve and the Board, which has given me support and direction. I shall remain forever grateful to all of them.”