Serving Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, and the Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, have joined the list of contenders for the job of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), a position which will be vacant when Sanusi Lamido steps down possibly in March when he proceeds on terminal leave, according to sources close to the presidency.
According to reports, both men are being tipped for the job because of their performance in the trade and investment and finance ministries, as well as their respective backgrounds in investment and commercial banking.
Aganga, who has the confidence of President Goodluck Jonathan, is also currently being adjudged as probably the best minister in the trade and industry portfolio in years.
Another thing going for him is the fact that he bestrides the two geopolitical zones of the South-south and South-west, more so as both the South-east and North have successively produced Professor Chukwuma Soludo and Mallam Sanusi as central bank governors.
Aganga, though originally from Edo State, was born and bred in Lagos, and represents the state as well as the South-west zone in the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Ngama, on the other hand, is from Yobe State and would bring to the job extensive experience as a commercial banker and regulator, having worked for many Nigerian banks and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).
With Aganga and Ngama’s emergence for the CBN job, they will be joining the list of other contenders for the high profile post.
This brings up the numbers to 8 of those been tipped to head the apex financial institution; the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi; the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede; and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FBN), Mr. Bisi Onasanya, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu, Mr. Tunde Lemo and Dr. Sarah Alade, the latter trio being insiders who analysts say will ensure monetary policy continuity.
Whoever succeeds Sanusi as CBN Governor will be the 11th central bank governor in Nigeria.
As specified in the CBN Act 2007, the central bank governor’s principal remit is to provide economic advice to the federal government, while acting as the official banker to the government of the federation.
Apart from signing every currency denomination, 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.