Dr. Nelson Olalekan Magbagbeola, a Nigerian economist and development expert born on 27 April 1968 is the current Secretary General of ECOWAS Parliament. He was selected through a competitive recruitment process and appointed by the Bureau of the Parliament. His appointment took effect on 11 February 2016.
Before his appointment, he was Acting Director of Multilateral Surveillance in the Department of Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Research at ECOWAS Commission in Nigeria. At the Commission, between August 2004 and January 2016, he worked on a number of regional integration issues including macroeconomic convergence, monetary and fiscal issues, and regional legislature. In addition, he was involved in the implementation of the ECOWAS single currency programme which involves macroeconomic stability and convergence, macroeconomic policy harmonization, financial system development, establishment of a common central bank and launch of a regional single currency in 2020.
Moreover, he was Chairman of an Inter-institutional Committee on the Implementation of the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme. The Committee comprises Directors of Research/Policy Departments in all the eight (8) Central Banks in ECOWAS, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), UEMOA Commission, West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) and West African Monetary Institute (WAMI). He was also Head of Secretariat of the ECOWAS Convergence Council, which consists of Ministers of Finance and Governors of Central Banks.
Another achievement he recorded at the Commission was his successful co-supervision of the production of the Commission’s flagship publications, ECOWAS Interim Report and ECOWAS Annual Report for eleven unbroken years. The Reports were usually presented to the Council of Ministers and Authority of Heads of State and Government.
Dr. Magbagbeola is both a teacher and researcher. He studied Economics and obtained Bachelor’s degree in 1989, Masters degree in 1991 and Ph.D. degree in 2000. He has facilitated meetings and workshops for national and international organizations such as National Centre for Economic Management and Administration (NCEMA), Central Bank of Nigeria, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and International Monetary Fund (IMF). In the area of research, he has conducted research on macroeconomic policy analysis and management, environment and sustainable development, regional integration, and parliamentary affairs. He has over twenty academic publications to his credit.
He joined the ECOWAS Commission after a distinguished academic and civil service career both in Nigeria and overseas. He had a successful work experience at NCEMA between 1994 and 2004 culminating into a position of Senior Fellow (Research and Training). He has received a number of academic awards including three scholarships in 1993, 2001 and 2007 to the United States of America, Sweden and Germany respectively. In addition, he was awarded PhD Thesis Grants in 1997 by African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) and Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA). Dr. Magbagbeola is well traveled across the globe. In fact, he has traveled to thirty eight (38) countries in all the continents except Australia.
His vision is to see the ECOWAS Parliament become a full-fledged democratic and legislative institution as soon as possible. Under his watch as the Secretary General of ECOWAS Parliament, he hopes to bring regional integration closer to the people within a democratic framework. Moreover, he hopes to strengthen relations between ECOWAS Parliament and other parliaments, whether national or regional, in areas of mutual interest.