Rabiu Olowo: Meet Nigeria’s young commissioner who made 40 under 40 list

Young African leaders are introducing creative ideas into governance with the aim of solving social problems and making African countries one of the best places to live in the world.

One of such is the 37-year-old Rabiu Olowo, the commissioner for Finance for Lagos State, who recently emerged as the winner of the governance category of 40 Under 40 Africa Awards organised by Black White Hover Law Practices in South Africa.

The Black White Hover Law Practices, which celebrates the continent’s most influential and accomplished young business leaders under the age of 40 who are committed to business growth, professional excellence, and community service, selected Olowo for his work across revenue, expenditure, debt, and investment management, for the 5th largest economy in Africa.

Under the leadership of Rabiu Olowo, the Lagos State international rating attained an unprecedented height of triple A (AAA) as issued by Fitch, an International Ratings Agency – a reflection of the State’s improved accountability, transparency, and integrity especially in the management of public funds for the purpose of delivering infrastructural projects through deficit financing.

Olowo spearheaded the raising of the N100 billion Series III Bond at 12.25 percent – the biggest bond issuance ever embarked upon by any sub national entity in the country. He also enabled the raising of N150 billion syndicated loan at a competitive rate of 14 percent in his first three months in office as a timely intervention to finance gaps in funding state’s infrastructure.

He has also demonstrated his commitment to making Lagos State the best city to live, work and do business by providing strategic collaboration through the arrangement of the financial and technical close of West Africa’s first metro line – Lagos Blue Line which will move hundreds of thousands of people as an intermodal option daily in Lagos State.

Olowo also worked with Ministry of Agriculture to deliver Imota Rice Mill, the biggest rice mill on the African continent.

He championed the ministry towards increasing the state’s revenue by double digits, evidenced by a CAGR of about 12 percent.

Olowo, who was also recently named the 2022 Public Finance Administrator of the Year at the Leadership Excellence awards, has contributed immensely to public policy development and the implementation has impacted several sectors like Education, Agriculture, Transportation, Health and all other areas of Governance.

Under Olowo leadership, there was a review of the Land Use Charge with the enactment and implementation of a new law towards delivering a more liberal tax regime to promote voluntary compliance, among many others.