The race for the successor to the outgoing governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has kicked off in earnest with the commencement of security screening of five possible candidates for the job, according to sources close to the presidency.
THISDAY gathered at the weekend that the Managing Director/CEO of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mr. Stephen Olabisi Onasanya; serving Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga; immediate past Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede; founder and pioneering Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC Plc, Mr. Atedo Peterside; and current Managing Director of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, have been discreetly screened by the Department of State Security Service (DSS) for the job.
Peterside is a member of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and Chairman of the NCP's Technical Committee. He is also a member of the National Economic Management Team, which is headed by President Goodluck Jonathan. In addition to his current positions, he has served as chairman of the board of directors of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc since 2007. Prior to this, he was Managing Director of the bank, which he founded, in 1989.
He holds a Bachelors degree in Economics from City University London and a Masters degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is also a member of the Board Nominations Committee.
Analysts however say Peterside may not take up the position if he is eventually selected, going by his antecedents of rejecting government appointments in the past. His preference is to serve government on an ad hoc basis, hence his membership of the NCP and Economic Management Team, which are not full-fledged appointments. Until now, many names had been touted for the job, following the declaration by Sanusi last year that he was not seeking a second term as governor.
Other contenders for the job include CBN Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Dr. Sarah Alade; Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu; and the immediate past Deputy Governor Operations, Mr. Tunde Lemo.
THISDAY had exclusively reported the growing list of possible candidates for the job and the rift between the central bank governor and the presidency.
But the selection process, which would have commenced later in the year, may have started earlier in order to have a replacement by March 1.
Whoever succeeds Sanusi will be the 11th central bank governor in Nigeria, following in the footsteps of Roy Pentelow Fenton (1958 - 1963); Alhaji Aliyu Mai-Bornu (1963 - 1967); Dr. Clement Nyong Isong (1972 - 1975); Mallam Adamu Ciroma (1975 - 1977); Mr. Ola O. Vincent (1977 - 1982); Alhaji Abdulkadir Ahmed (1982 - 1993); Dr. Paul A. Ogwuma (1993 - 1999); Chief (Dr.) Joseph O. Sanusi (1999- 2004); Prof. Chukwuma C. Soludo (2004 - 2009); and Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (2009 to date).
As specified in the CBN Act 2007, the central bank governor is in charge of the official bank of the Federal Government of Nigeria and provides economic advice to the federal government.
Apart from appending his signature to every denomination of Nigeria's currency, the governor among other duties, oversees the country's banking sector. Alongside the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN, the governor also determines the monetary policies of the country, which have an impact on the financial system and the macro-economy.