- Petitions Flood Presidency •Race For Emefiele’s Seat Intensifies •The Gladiators, Their Strengths, Weaknesses
Determined to reposition the wobbling economy and worried over allegations of forex deals, wrong fiscal and monetary policies which have pushed the naira to an all-time low, the Presidency is poised to effect sweeping changes in the country’s apex bank.
Major among these changes is the outright sack of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele.
A nationwide search for credible candidates to replace him has begun in earnest.
Information at the disposal of The New Diplomat has it that the presidency is dissatisfied with Emefiele’s handling of the country’s fiscal and monetery policies. Some of Emefiele’s fiscal and monetary policies have also fingered by financial experts as responsible for the freefall of the naira. Some of the policies include ban of Forex sales for certain items, conflicting messaging on execution of foreign exchange policy, restriction of domiciliary account deposits among others.
A group, Enough is Enough, EiE in an open letter to Emefiele requesting his resignation had indicated that the CBN governor lacked the requisite knowledge to manage the affairs of the CBN.
“From Q3 2014, with the slump in oil prices, pending elections and the attendant effect this is known to have on emerging markets, the country needed a CBN Governor with foresight, strong economic understanding of our terrain, and above average knowledge of how financial markets work – locally and internationally. Unfortunately, your response has been to ban things, fix rates, “float” and “un-float” thus giving the impression of deep policy instability and lack of know-how. The result is that the problem keeps worsening, which would imply that you are not equipped for this role,” the group wrote.
Similarly, few days ago, The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), issued Emefiele a subtle query over CBN’s foreign exchange allocation and transactions.
The query, dated February 6, 2017, and with reference number, HAGF/CBN/2017/VOL.1/1, in polite terms and without any form of ultimatum, asked Emefiele to respond to the allegations “to enable us to advise the Presidency and take appropriate measures.”
Titled ‘allegations of racketeering in the Central Bank of Nigeria; disparity in allocation of foreign exchange’, and addressed to Emefiele, the letter was delivered to the CBN governor’s office on Monday, February 6, 2017. The minister, in the letter, said he became aware of the corruption allegations through several petitions.
Four major allegations contained in Malami’s letter to Emefiele include corruption in the apex bank’s “foreign exchange allocation transactions.” The second is “questionable policy” in the apex bank’s allocation and sale of foreign currency to Nigerians.
The third is “arbitrary allotment of different exchange rates for same purposes” by the CBN while the last is allocation of conflicting foreign exchange rates by the CBN.
Recall also that Prof. Itse Sagay, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption in an exclusive interview with The New Diplomat has also pushed for the sack of Emefiele wondering why the government is still retaining him despite his role in the disappearance of several billion dollars from the bank.
“People walk into the CBN with large suitcases, Ghana Must Go bags, pack them full of dollars and walk away. Somebody went in and took $47m cash. Does anybody need to be told that somebody somewhere allowed the money to be taken away who is not fit to be there?” Sagay declared.
With such grave allegations dangling around his neck, sources close to the Presidency squealed to The New Diplomat that it is just a matter of time before Emefiele gets the boot.
Those Being Considered For Emefiele’s Seat
Alhaji Mohammed Hayatudeen, was born on the 15th of September, 1953 in Bama, in present Borno State. He attended Bama Central Primay School from 1959 to 1962, Kofan Doka Senior Primay School from 1966 to 1970, School of Basic Studies, Zaria, from 1972 to 73, and later Ahmadu Bello University, 1973 to 76,
In pursuit of further education, he proceeded to Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, 1998. He started his career at The New Nigerian Development Company and was an economist with the Nigerian Agricultural Promotions Company Limited, Kaduna, 1977 to 79; Investment Executive/Credit Analyst, 1979 to 80 Senior Investment Executive, NNDC, 1980 to 81.
He was a one-time chairman of Nigeria Economic Summit Group, (NESG) and sits atop the board of many conglomerates.
His banking experience is limited to a stint at the Federal Savings Bank. His understanding of the Nigerian economy is a little bit low and is seen as a stooge of Mamman Daura and Abba Kyari who are pushing for his emergence.
Patrick Utomi (born February 6, 1956) is a Nigerian professor of political economy and management expert. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria and a former presidential candidate. He is the founder of Centre for Value in Leadership (CVL) and the African Democratic Congress party. He is a professor at Lagos Business School. He has also served in senior positions in government as an adviser to the president of Nigeria and in the private sector.
Prior to the emergence of Mrs. Kemi Adeosun as Minister of Finance, his name came up for mention. This is because he is seen as man of integrity, with a huge sense of purpose and dedication, a commanding speaker, a philanthropist, a board room guru. He has held senior key positions in many banks in the country and his understanding of the Nigerian economy is unparallelled.
He is already being tipped as governorship candidate for APC in Delta State.
Mr. Bismarck Rewane serves as the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Financial Derivatives Company Limited. He graduated from the University of Ibadan with a Bachelors degree in Economics (1972). He worked at several blue-chip financial institutions within Nigeria and abroad holding various senior management positions. Between 1981 and 1989, he was with International Merchant Bank Nigeria Limited and held such positions as General Manager, Assistant General Manager, Head of Development Finance Manager & Divisional and Credit Manager. He was also with the First National Bank of Chicago, Barclays Bank of Nigeria and Barclays Bank International Plc, United Kingdom. An Associate of the Institute of Bankers, (England & Wales), Mr. Rewane has served on the board of several organisations, including Navgas (a Vitol Group subsidiary), NLNG Prize Award Foundation, UNIC Insurance Plc, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, UBA Custodian Limited, Virgin Nigeria Airways Limited, Fidelity Bank Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc and Top Feeds Nigeria Limited.
He is believed to have a good understanding of the Nigerian economy. He has the cognate experience and has delivered many papers on the Nigerian economy.
He is believed to be loquacious and someone who is expected to hold such an exalted position should be someone who speaks less. His understanding of the economy is also believed to be on paper and that his lack of hands-on experience on financial administration may count against him. Critics say he lacks the carriage and demeanor of a CBN governor due to his loquaciousness and might divulge sensitive information.
He is the CEO of Economic Associates ,EA, where he provides strategic direction for ongoing research and consulting on the outlook of the Nigerian economy, focusing on global, national, regional, state, and sector issues. He was a Member of the National Economic Intelligence Committee,NEIC, from April 2009 to April 2012, where he conducted periodic reality checks on macroeconomic, fiscal and monetary developments in Nigeria.
Before becoming the CEO of EA in 2004, Ayo worked as Chief Economist and Member of Editorial Board at ThisDay Newspaper Group (2001-2004), Faculty Member at the Lagos Business School (1995-2001), Head of Research at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce (1993-1995), and Company Economist at UAC of Nigeria (1992-1993).
He has served as consultant to a long list of blue chip companies, Federal Ministry of Information, Senate Committee on Banking and Finance, several state governments, DfID, USAID, World Bank, and was a Visiting Scholar to the IMF Research Department in Washington DC.
His understanding of macro-economic dynamics is considerable. He has consistently advised the CBN on some of its policies and probably with him at the helm of affairs he will implement these policies. He also holds a Ph.D in Economics from Cambridge University.
Critics believe that Teriba has not being an MD of a bank or financial institution.
Mr. Uchechi X. Orji, also known as Uche, is the Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, and Member of the Board of Directors at Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority. He is the CEO of the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund since joining the firm on October 2, 2012 and has global experience in the financial services sector.
Orji was a Managing Director of Equities division of UBS Securities. He was also an Analyst at the firm. He spent six years at JP Morgan Securities from 2001 to 2006, serving as Vice President initially and then as the Managing Director within the Equities division. Prior to this, Orji was at Goldman Sachs Asset Management from 1998 to 2001 as an Analyst/Portfolio Manager. He also worked at Diamond Bank Plc., Lagos Nigeria, and Arthur Andersen & Co. Orji also embarked on his National Youth Service Corp programme in Bauchi in 1991. He studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, graduating in 1990, and also obtained an MBA degree from Harvard Business School in 1998
He has a very rich resume and is highly experienced. He understands the financial sector quite well his experience will stand him in good stead.
He has spent most of his life abroad and only recently returned to the country to take up the job of CEO at Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund. Critics believe this might work against him. He is also seen as a Jonathan mole and spy in the government as he was brought in during Jonathan’s time by Dr Ngozi Okonjo-iweala.
Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede is a banker, entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist.
After qualifying as a lawyer, Aig joined Continental Merchant Bank (Chase Nigeria) then Prime Merchant Bank and then to Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) in 1991 where he remained for 11 years, being appointed Executive Director in 2000.
He resigned from GTB in 2002, and with his business partner, Herbert Wigwe, arranged the financing and acquisition of Access Bank Plc. During his tenure, the bank acquired Intercontinental Bank, a large but failing bank. Standard & Poors upgraded the bank’s credit rating in September 2013, and Access Bank became the fifth largest bank in Nigeria.
In December 2013, Aig voluntary retired as CEO, handing over to Wigwe. Aig is the founding Chairman of the FMDQ an Over-the-counter exchange that specialises in fixed income securities and derivatives. Aig sits on the boards of WAPIC Insurance Plc, Associated Discount House and African Finance Corporation.
He is a boardroom guru and highly experienced. He has also been tipped for the position before Emefiele piped him to the position.
Critics believe he has missed the opportunity when he was overlooked for Emefiele. The fact that he also owns a bank may also count against him as nobody who owns a bank should become CBN Gov. His closeness to Jonathan is also expected may count against him.
Mr. A. Olawale Edun served as Head of Treasury and Deputy Head of Corporate Finance at Chase Merchant Bank and was responsible for the bank’s Treasury and Money Market activities and had major responsibility for Capital Market and Financial Advisory operations on behalf of the local subsidiaries and affiliates of major multinational companies. During his time at Chase, he gained international experience while on secondment to the Wall Street firms of Lehman Brothers and Chase Manhattan Capital Markets Corporation in New York, USA. From 1980 to 1986, he worked at Chase Merchant Bank (later Continental) in Lagos. He has over twenty-five years experience in merchant banking, corporate finance, economics and international finance at national and international levels. He joined the World Bank/IFC in Washington DC, US through the elite Young Professionals program in September 1986. At the World Bank, Mr. Edun worked on economic and financial packages for several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic and Trinidad as well as Indonesia and India in the Far East.
He has been the chairman of Chapel Hill Denham Group since March 2008. In 1989, he returned to Nigeria as Co-Founder and Executive Director of Stanbic IBTC Plc (formerly Investment Banking & Trust Company Limited). In 1994, he founded Denham Management Limited.
Having spearheaded the growth of the company, he responded to the call to civic duty in 1999 by accepting an appointment as Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State, a position he held for an unprecedented two terms. He also sits on the boards of a number of other companies.
His experience with World Bank stands him in good stead. He is also highly experienced and as a former commissioner of finance in the commercial capital of the country, he has what it takes to perform creditably well.
He is believed to be Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s stooge and this may count against him. His close link with Stanbic IBTC is another factor that critics believe may work against him.
It is believed that in the long run, whichever of these people emerges as the new CBN Governor will have a daunting task to replicate the feat of Dr. Clement Isong, who is regarded by many as one of the best CBN Governors Nigeria ever produced. The Harvard trained economist headed the CBN during the Nigerian Civil War (July 1967 – January 1970) and during the subsequent oil boom. During his tenure Nigeria avoided running up unsupportable debts.
Dr. Doyin Salami is a full-time member of the faculty at the Lagos Business School, LBS and the Pan-Atlantic University where he is an Associate Professor. In addition to teaching, he works as a Principal Consultant in Edward Kingston Associates. His consulting activities have included assignments for the Department for International Development, DFID, World Bank, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO and United States Agency for International Development, USAID. He is also a past member of the Federal Government’s Economic Management Team. He serves as a Member of the Advisory Board of CBO Investment Management. He is an accomplished economist and has a doctorate degree from Queen Mary College, University of London.
He has a sound understanding of the Nigerian economy as he is a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, of the Central Bank of Nigeria
He has really not been involved in management and critics believe this will count against him as he lacks hands-on management experience.