The Next CBN Governor

The dramatic events that began with the 2007 credit crunch took the central banking world by surprise. It created intense challenges for individual central banks. Immediate responses were necessarily focused on effective crisis action and technical issues. As ingenious as the crises actions were, the situation called for improved management of central banks and regulatory agencies across the globe. Central banks have focused their top level attention on policies and operations, and (relatively speaking) they neglected institutional management.

The functions and priorities of a central bank changes as the economy it serves develops. The management systems that work well at one stage of development can subsequently become an obstacle to good organisational performance. Therefore, changing times demand improved governance and better strategic management. Financial crisis and increased responsibility for financial stability have focused attention on central bank governance. Like all modern organisations they must achieve, and demonstrate effectiveness and efficiency. Attaining effective oversight of specialised technical functions, without undermining institutional independence calls for the right people, processes and culture.

Central banks are unique institutions. This underscores the need for a rare blend of expertise to enhance their governance and make successful strategic changes. The value placed on the office of the governor of the Central banks has necessitated some countries to import and nationalise foreign scholars to manage the affairs of their apex banks. The use of expatriates as central bank governors is gaining more popularity in developing economies as the quest for fiscal liberation intensifies.

The Expatriate Options –a Growing Trend
Countries like Zambia, Jamaica and Israel have adopted expatriate model and it is perceived to have yielded the desired results. In January 2005, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon, the then Prime Minister of Israel approached Stanley Fischer and offered him the position of governor of the Bank of Israel. He took Israeli citizenship and renounced his U.S. citizenship in order to qualify for the job.

Stanley Fischer was born into a Jewish family in Mazabuka, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). He went to the United Kingdom to study after receiving a scholarship from the London School of Economics, and obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in economics from 1962–1966. Fischer then returned to the United States to study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and earned a Ph.D. in economics in 1969.

In 1990, Jacques Bussières, a Canadian citizen was appointed Governor of the Bank of Zambia, which position he held until June 1992.  Mr. Bussières served as Advisor to the Governor of the Bank of Jamaica from 1992 to 1993 before being appointed Governor in 1993. He served until 1996.

A career central banker, Mr. Bussières joined the staff of the Bank of Canada on graduating from the university and worked in several areas of the Bank. In 1974, he was appointed Advisor on Domestic Affairs and in 1980, Advisor on International Affairs before embarking on international banking escapade.

Is Expatriate Central Bank Governor (CBN) an Option for Nigeria?
Since several countries have recorded success in the appointment of expatriates as their central bank governors, it may not be improper if Nigeria tries the option. Understandably, it may be argued that most countries that opted for this model were near economic quagmire, a situation Nigeria is not close to at the moment.

A selected few are of the opinion that ‘’federal character’’ has over the years influenced any federal appointment. And it has not in any ways provided the country with the best hands in the management of the economy. It is believed that the core economic cabal or feudal powers have overplayed their agenda of controlling the banks and overheated the economic system.

Therefore, there is the need to change the dynamics in the appointment of those entrusted with economic control as the economic and structural transformation of Nigeria becomes inevitable. To bring to a halt this age long political instrument, expatriate option is encouraged.

Functions of the CBN Governor
The Governor of the Central Bank is in charge of the official bank of the Federal Government, providing economic advice to the Federal Government. Apart from appending his signature to every denomination of Nigeria’s currency, the Governor functions as the overseer of the country’s banking sector. He sits atop the apex bank which has the mandate of ensuring monetary and price stability. The Central Bank also maintains the country’s external reserve to safeguard the international value of the legal tender.

According to the CBN Act, 2007, the Governor shall formulate, for the approval of the Board, general rules and any subsequent amendments thereto, providing for:
(a) The safe keeping of the common seal of the Bank
(b) The safe keeping of the assets of the Bank and of valuables entrusted to the Bank
(c) The safe keeping of stocks of unissued or redeemed currency and the preparation, safe custody and destruction of plates and paper for the printing of currency notes and disc for the minting of coins
(d) The protection of bank notes and coins in transit
(e) The conditions under which any Zonal Controller, Branch Controller or Currency Officer may be appointed; and
(f) The conditions governing discounts and advances
(g) The exercise of dual control and general security throughout the Bank; and
(h) Such additional arrangement which may be made to ensure the efficient working of the Bank, through proper observance of security and the accuracy of the accounts of the Bank.

These functions have been attempted by over nine different governors since independence. Some were able to write their names in the heart of Nigerians because of their proactive measures to stabilise the economy while most of them were passive and may not be historically relevant.

The most controversial Central bank governors thus far in Nigeria’s history are believed to be Lamido Sanusi and his immediate predecessor, Charles Soludo. In the past nine years, these two CBN governors, have helped to shape and reshape the banking industry, either positively through robust reforms aimed at strengthening and sanitising the banking sector, or otherwise through act of omission or commission. However, they have contributed immensely to the present stage of development in the banking sector. To get more insight about this conjecture, let us wade briefly into their profiles and times as CBN governors.

Detailed Profile of the Last Two CBN Governors (Soludo & Sanusi)
Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR, (born 28 July 1960) is a professor of economics and the immediate past Governor and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He was named Governor on 29 May 2004 and he relinquished the office on 29 May 2009 in pursuit of political career. He is also a member of the British Department for International Development's International Advisory Group.

Prior to his May 2004 appointment, he held the positions of Chief Economic Adviser to former President Obasanjo and Chief Executive of the National Planning Commission of Nigeria.  Soludo is a core professional in the business of macroeconomics. He obtained his three degrees at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, Enugu State. He graduated with a First Class Honours degree in 1984, M.Sc. Economics in 1987, and a Ph.D. in 1989, winning prizes for the best student at all three levels.

Soludo studied and taught multi-country macro econometric modelling, techniques of computable general equilibrium modelling, survey methodology and panel data econometrics at many Universities, including Oxford, Cambridge and Warwick. He has co-authored, co-edited and authored about ten books on this subject matter. In 1998, Soludo was appointed to the position of professor of economics at the University of Nigeria, and in 2009, he became a visiting professor at Swarthmore College Pennsylvania, US till date.

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, CON, was born in Kano Northern Nigeria, on July 31, 1961. He has a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the Ahmadu Bello University in 1981. He pursued a Masters Degree programme in Development Economics and came out with a Distinction. He also taught Economics at the Ahmadu Bello University between 1983 and 1985. He embarked on a banking career, starting at Icon Limited, Merchant Bankers, where, over a period of seven years, he held a variety of positions spanning from Corporate Finance, Treasury Services, Credit and Marketing. He left banking in 1991 as Area Manager (Kano) to pursue further education, and in 1997, he graduated with a First Class Degree in Sharia and Islamic Studies from the International University of Africa, Khartoum, Sudan, where he also studied Arabic.

Sanusi returned to banking in 1997, joining the newly privatised United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc as Principal Manager in the Credit Risk Management Division. By March 2005, he had risen to the post of a general manager, while building a reputation as an expert on Risk Management. In September 2005, he was recruited by First Bank of Nigeria Plc and appointed to the position of Executive Director, Risk and Management Control. In January 2009, he was appointed to the position of Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First Bank, but after only six months, he got a higher national calling with his appointment as the 10th Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria in June 2009.

Choosing the Next CBN Governor
The Nigeria’s dream CBN governor is someone with deep understanding of the economy. The history of Central Banks shows that ideas are crucial. The fact that monetary policymakers’ views have played such a central role in determining the success of policy in the past suggests that the key characteristic to look for in future policymakers is a realistic understanding of how the economy works.

An obvious fact is that monetary policies have been so much more successful under some central bank governors than others. Why do such situations exist? This question has taken on new urgency since the current governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi will be completing his tenor in the next 15 months. At this point, it is critical to understand what has determined policy success in the past and to identify factors that help predict success. Only by learning the lessons of history will we be able to choose a new CBN Governor who is likely to replicate policy triumphs and avoid policy failures.

An economic belief which is the link between ideas and policy outcomes is one of the key determinants in choosing a successor to Sanusi. How then does the country go about finding a CBN governor with shrewd vision? While some education and training in economics, experience on Wall Street, and largely non-partisan public service may increase the odds that a nominee will be guided by prudent views, they provide no guarantee. The writings and public statements of each nominee prior to his or her appointment must be critically analysed.

Each of the past CBN governors expressed quite clearly the views that dominated policy making on or before their confirmation hearing. At this point they revealed their beliefs about how the economy functions and what monetary policy they may initiate. This is supposed to be a crucial strategy for evaluating potential candidates. People evaluating a candidate need to ask them about their model of the economy and listen very carefully to the answers. They must engage in an intellectual discussion and must be willing to reject a candidate whose views and frameworks are worrisome and likely to lead the country astray.

Who then is the Next CBN Governor?
The appointment of central bank governors are among the most sensitive decisions for all governments, as these policymakers play a crucial role in communicating with international markets. In arriving at who the next Central Bank Governor may likely be, we made the following realistic assumptions:

  • The likely and unlikely reappointment of Sanusi
  • Professional background
  • Regional consideration
  • International exposure and experience
  • Appointment within the CBN itself
  • The President’s sentiments for women

The Likely & Unlikely Reappointment of Sanusi: In reference to his cordial relationship with the president and his perceived impute in banking reforms, there is the possibility of his reappointment. However, he has over time drawn the sword with the national assembly and consequently fallen out of favour with some of the powers that can affirm his reappointment. And with his current dwindling popularity which was aggravated by his recent unpopular policy to redesign the nation’s currency, he may not enjoy the overwhelming support he garnered during his initial appointment.

Indications have also emerged that Sanusi is showing top shelf desperation for the Emir of Kano stool. His body language is also giving credence to this conjecture as he has severally reiterated his princehood. In his recent media interaction, he revealed that he will not renew his contract when his five-year term expires in 2014. “It was never my intention to stay longer than one term”, Sanusi said. Is this a statement of fact or a mind game? Time will tell.

Professional Background: Given the extreme market reactions to changes on who heads the central bank in some emerging markets, the professional background of the central bank governor must suggest that he or she has the experience to device and run an effective monetary policy for the country.

Regional Consideration: Going by “federal character” provisions in any Federal appointment in Nigeria, the next central bank governor is doubtful to come from the Northern region. A critical look at the table showing all the past CBN governors and their tenure suggests that regional consideration plays an active role in the appointment of the central bank governor. If we are to go by this pattern, the next CBN governor may probably emerge from the South-South or South-West region.

International Experience and Exposure: Over the past two years, the president has appointed experts from multilateral corporations who have diverse international experience to control the affairs of some regulatory bodies. For instance, Oscar Onyema before his appointment as Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange was Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Vice President of American Stock Exchange. Arunma Oteh was Vice President for Corporate Management at the African Development Bank (ADB) prior to her appointment as the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Mustafa Chike-Obi, the Managing Director/CEO of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), was previously the founder and managing partner of Madison Park Advisors, a financial service advisory and consulting firm in New Jersey, U.S.A. He has also held senior positions in various Wall Street firms including Goldman Sachs. Chances are that the president may also maintain this trend in the appointment of the next central bank governor.

Appointment within the CBN Itself: Currently, there are four deputy governors of the Central bank. Since inception, the central bank has had ten governors till date. Three out these were deputy governors prior to their appointment. It may not come as a surprise if the president decides to look inwards at this auspicious moment.

The President’s Sentiment for Women: Since Jonathan’s assumption of office as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he has made frantic effort to run a gender sensitive government. Under his administration, Nigeria has recorded all time high in the number of women as head in government ministries, parastatals and agencies. This, analysts believe is in response to his 30% women inclusion in governance which he promised during his political campaign. In his characteristic manner, he may decide to appoint a woman, for the first time, as the next Central Bank governor just as he recently appointed Justice Aloma Mukhtar as the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

The Next CBN Governor: Resume of Potential Candidates
Dr. Temitope W. Oshikoya is the Chief Executive Officer of West African Monetary Institute. He has previously served as Chief Economist of the Africa Finance Corporation, a Director at the African Development Bank (ADB), and an economic consultant to the World Bank. He has served on the board of directors of the East African Development Bank (Uganda), African Capacity Building Foundation (Zimbabwe), Africa Regional Technical Assistance Centre (Tanzania), Governing Council of the Nigerian Economic Society, Nigeria 2025 Scenario Project, and the Policy Support Group of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.

A commonwealth scholar, Dr. Oshikoya has PhD, MA, and B.Sc. First class honours degrees in Economics, MBA (Finance), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (FCIB) England and Nigeria; and a member, Institute of Certified Management Accountants, USA.

Obiageli Ezekwesili is the immediate past Vice President of the World Bank's Africa division.  Prior to this, she had served as a minister in the Federal Ministry of Education and of Solid Minerals (Mines and Steel) during which time she led a vibrant reform program that led to Nigeria's global recognition as a credible mining investment destination.

She was also the Chairperson of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and led the first ever national implementation of the global standards and principles of transparency in the oil, gas and mining sector. Obiageli Ezekwesili was the Pioneer head of the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence and the architect of the Bureau for Public Procurement legislation under President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.

Ezekwesili holds a Masters degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos, as well as a Masters degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She trained with the firm of Deloitte and Touche and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Prior to working for the Government of Nigeria, Ezekwesili was working with Professor Jeffrey Sachs at the Center for International Development at Harvard. She was a co-founder of Transparency International, serving as one of the pioneer Directors of the global anti-corruption body based in Berlin, Germany.

Tunde Lemo is currently serving as Deputy Governor in charge of Operations at the Central Bank of Nigeria. He provides strategic direction and supervises five departments of the bank including Reserve Management, Banking and Payments System, Currency Operations, Branch Operations, and Information Technology departments. Prior to this, he was Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Surveillance. He is an experienced and versatile public officer and financial manager. His contributions to public policy include the implementation of the Banking Sector Consolidation, formulation and implementation of the Microfinance Policy and Supervisory Framework both under the supervision of the Governor.

He led the restructuring of Abuja Security and Commodities Exchange and Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM), as the Chairman of both institutions. As Vice Chairman Technical Committee for the establishment of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), he participated actively in the establishment of the Pan-African investment institution where he still serves as a Director. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Governor, he had led the transformation of Wema Bank Plc as MD/CEO between 2000 and 2003 resulting in the bank’s superlative performance which made it rank as one of the top ten most profitable commercial banks in Nigeria in 2003.

Tunde Lemo is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria as well as fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers with significant leadership and top management experience in both the public and private sectors spanning over 26 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy (first class division) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1984 where he won seven academic laurels, including the Best overall graduating student in the Faculty. He attended Advanced Management Programme (AMP) at the Wharton College, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, U.S.A in 2002. He has also attended several executive training programmes in world class institutions including Harvard University, INSEAD, Fontainbleau, France, Brandies University, Boston.

Dr. Sarah Alade is the current Deputy Governor on Economic Policy, at the Central Bank of Nigeria. With B.Sc in Economics, M.Sc and Ph.D in Management Science, she commenced her working career in 1977 with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ilorin, Kwara State. She was formerly, a Lecturer in University of Ilorin, Nigeria before joining the Central Bank of Nigeria. She was appointed Director, Banking Operations Department in May 2004.

She has served on the teams of major economic policy studies, and has been involved in the preparation of Central Bank of Nigeria's Monetary and Credit Policy Proposals over the years. She was actively involved in the drafting of the Medium Term Economic Programme (MTP) for Nigeria and the IMF staff Monitored Programme/Standby Arrangement.

Alade was a member of the Technical committee of the Vision 2010 and currently a member of the Technical Committee of Vision 2020 and member of the National Economic Management Team (EMT). She is also a member of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES), and has several publications to her credit. She is currently carrying out a research on Interest Rate Policy and Monetary Policy Implementation in Nigeria.

Dr. Kingsley Bosah Chiedu Moghalu is a Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and head of the Bank's Financial System Stability directorate, responsible for regulation of banks and financial institutions, and the development of finance programs for the CBN. He studied law at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and was admitted as a Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1987 after obtaining a Barrister of Law degree at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos. He worked as a corporate lawyer with Shell Petroleum Development Company (Nigeria) Limited and Newswatch Communications Limited in Lagos.  Moghalu was a special correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, and the Africa News Service, and columnist for The Guardian, Nigeria's independent newspaper.

In 1991, he attended graduate school as the Joan Gillespie Fellow, at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, Massachusetts, USA, where he obtained a Master of Arts degree in 1992. He later obtained a Ph.D. at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in the United Kingdom, and holds an International Certificate in Risk Management from the Institute of Risk Management in London.

Moghalu was appointed to the United Nations Secretariat in May 1992. He was UN Human Rights Officer in Cambodia, Political Affairs Officer in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and Political Advisor to the UN peacekeeping mission in Croatia. He served as Legal Advisor at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania, and in the World Health Organisation as Director of Global Partnerships and Resource Mobilisation at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Geneva, Switzerland.

He served as a member of the Risk Management Committee of the Global Fund, and on the Senior Management Group, which sets corporate policy and strategy for the international public-private partnership development finance institution. Moghalu was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as a member of the Redesign Panel on the United Nations Internal Justice System in 2006, which undertook a comprehensive evaluation and redesign of the transparency, accountability and regulatory compliance systems within the UN as part of major management reform of the United Nations. He was Executive Director of the Swiss-Africa Business Roundtable, a Senior Associate at the Sustainability Advisory Group in Dubai, and was a member of the Board of Directors of Opportunities Industrialisation Centers International (OICI).

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede has been Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc since 2002. He has enjoyed a distinguished banking career of over two decades. He also served as a Director of Africa Finance Corporation. He is a fellow of the African Leadership Institute under the auspices of Aspen Institute, Colorado USA. He is also honorary fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN). Aig-Imoukhuede, an Alumnus of Harvard Business School –Executive Management Programme, holds an LLB and a BL degree from the University of Benin and the Nigeria Law School respectively.

He has led the African delegation to the UN Millennium Goal Summit in New York where Access Bank made a donation of $1 million to the Global Fund ‘Gift from Africa’ project. His acquisition in 2011 of Intercontinental Bank Plc coming on the heels of the successful acquisition of Capital Bank and Marina Bank in 2005, has positioned Access Bank as one of Africa’s top 10 banks. His achievements have led to his high profile appointments, including membership of the Commonwealth Business Council, member of Nigeria’s Economic Management Team and Chairman of the Banker’s Committee sub-Committee on Economic Development and Sustainability. He recently headed a 15-man presidential committee on subsidy verification.

Stephen Olabisi Onasanya is the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Plc. He has over 23 year’s post-qualification experience and previously was Executive Director of Banking Operations and Services of the bank. He joined the Bank in 1994 as Senior Manager and was previously Deputy General Manager/Group Head, Finance & Performance Management Department; Coordinator, Century 2 Enterprise Transformation Project, as well as founding MD/CEO of First Pension Custodian Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the Bank.

A qualified Chartered Accountant since 1983, Onasanya is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Taxation, and honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria. He is also the Chairman of Kakawa Discount House Limited and Director of FBN Bank (UK) Limited.

Bola Adesola is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank. Prior to taking up this role, she was Executive Director, Corporate Banking at First Bank of Nigeria Plc. Before that, she was, for six years, the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Kakawa Discount House Limited, a financial services institution. She is an Alumnus of the Harvard Business School. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1985, and has over 20 years of banking experience with exposure both in local and international financial markets. Mrs. Bola is an honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers Nigeria and has served in various capacities in the development of the Nigerian Money Market, the Interbank Settlement Systems and the Discount house sub-sector

Funke Osibodu is the immediate past Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. She was the Chief Executive Officer of Vigeo Capital Limited as well as head of the Financial and Investment services arm of the Vigeo Group, a conglomerate involved in various sectors (oil & gas, shipping, power, financial services) of the Nigerian economy.

With over 27 years of banking experience, she has been Managing Director of Union Bank, MBC, and Ecobank Nigeria Plc. In addition to an excellent banking career, she has held various positions of prominence in the business community and has served in various governments appointed committees.

Osibodu serves as Chairman of Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc as well as a Director at Africa Finance Corporation. She was also a director of ValuCard, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Consolidated Discount House Limited, First Securities Discount Limited, MBC Securities Limited and ESL Securities Limited. She is currently the Vice Chairman of Nigeria Economic Summit Group. She is also a Director, Enterprises for Development International, a Non-Governmental Organisation, and the Centre for Law and Business –a private law university. Mrs. Osibodu studied Economics at the University of Ife and also an Alumna of the prestigious Harvard Business School.

Alex Otti is the current Chief Executive Officer and Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank Plc. A position he assumed in March 2011. Prior to his appointment, he served as Executive Director of Public Sector, South, at First Bank of Nigeria Plc. He served as Deputy General Manager for Energy Group of First Bank of Nigeria Plc. He also served in the capacity of an Assistant General Manager of First Bank of Nigeria.

Otti started his banking career with Nigeria International Bank Limited, a subsidiary of Citibank where he served in Operations department. At Intercontinental Merchant Bank, he was at various times in the Treasury and Financial Services department and Corporate Banking. In 1996, Mr. Otti moved to United Bank for Africa Plc, where he was responsible for Corporate Banking Sector, South.

He has attended several local and offshore courses. He has gone through the Executive Development Programme of the Columbia Business School, New York and also trained in the prestigious Stanford Business School. At the University of Port Harcourt, he was the best graduating student in the department of Economics and won the subject prize. He was also the best graduating student in the Faculty of Social Sciences and won the Dean's Prize, as well as the overall best graduating student for the year and the valedictorian. Mr. Otti graduated from University of Port Harcourt with a first class honors in Economics. He received an MBA from University of Lagos.

Faith Tuedor-Matthews is a Harvard Business School alumnus and holds an MBA from the Aston University, Birmingham, UK. She has extensive experience working with leading banks in Nigeria. She started her career with the United Bank for Africa in 1985 after her Youth Service. She then joined Ecobank Transnational Inc. in 1992 where she rose to the position of General Manager before taking up an appointment as Executive Director with Standard Trust Bank/United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA). She left UBA as Deputy Managing Director in 2011. She has over 26 years of banking experience which spans through all the facets of banking from junior to Executive management levels. Faith Tuedor-Matthews is a highly accomplished Banking Executive, with a track record in driving complex, high-level business transformation and change. She has been able to deliver results for large private and public sector organisations. She is today on a national assignment as the turnaround Group Managing Director/CEO of Mainstreet Bank Limited.

As Nigeria is anticipating to play in the league of the 20 most developed economies by the year 2020, we expect that the next central bank governor will be a seasoned professional with the potential to correctly predict where the global economy is headed and act to hedge the spillover on the domestic economy. He/she may not be able to control what happens in other economies, but can be in command of the domestic monetary policy.

In line with the central bank’s price stability objective, the governor must be able to bring back and maintain headline inflation in the target band together with a flexible exchange rate, in order to improve the stability of the macro economy. Since the data available to policymakers at the time policy decisions are made are imperfect and subject to substantial revisions, the historical analysis of monetary policy decisions as well as the evaluation of alternative policy strategies must be based on the information available in real time.

Looking forward, the challenge of the next central bank governor will be to continue to run a prudent monetary policy in the face of continued long-term structural economic problems as well as maintaining the momentum of fiscal consolidation through the political cycle. There is the need to be conscious of the fact that the demands of the future are very different from those of the past. Central banks now need to achieve excellence managerially, not just technically. We are hopeful that in the wisdom of the Federal government, primordial sentiment, regional interests and political permutation as it were, will not come before national interest in selecting an impeccable candidate as the next CBN governor.