CBN Job Race: Aganga, Yerima – Technocrats or Politicians 

Bank chiefs who thought the vacancy at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) being left by one of their own would automatically be their slot better have a re-think. Not even the astute Mustafa Chike-Obi of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) is sure of the coveted position.
Men in the corridor of power, who rob shoulders with the chief occupant of Aso Rock have also indicated their interest. Nobody is sure any longer where the table will tilt.
But the question on the minds of most Nigerians is that: who will the cap fit? Technocrat or politician? And as a matter of fact, are the ministers who are indicating their interest technocrats or politicians?
The out-going occupant, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was the group managing director of foremost bank, First Bank of Nigeria (FBN). He was largely seen as technocrat, until his open romance with culture and tradition , which in most cases is not too separable from politics in Nigeria put a slur on which side of the divide he actually belong.
One of the major contender, currently, minister of Trade, Investment and Industry, Segun Aganga will also be difficult to situate. His fellow contender for the position, Yerima Ngama, currently, minister of state for finance is also difficult to place.
For one, Aganga is a product of the private sector. Not only that, he wears the cap of an international finance and investment chief, though with little knowledge about Nigeria banking industry as an operator. Aganga previously worked in Arthur Young in Nigeria, Ernst & Young in London UK, and Goldman Sachs International in London, where he was Managing Director, Hedge Funds.
Also, Yerima is said to have worked with a number of high profile Nigerian banks and may know the terrain, but hides under the canopy of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and so relatively unknown.
On the other hand, Aganga seem to have worked out some enviable credentials for himself as minister of Trade, Investment and Industry, and so might be appealing to President Jonathan.
Born Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga in 1955, he was first nominated by Jonathan as Minister of Finance in April 2010. In July 2011, Aganga was redeployed by the president to the Ministry of Trade and Investment, to make way for Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to return as the Minister of Finance.
He was educated at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria where he obtained a B.Sc Degree in Biological Sciences in 1977 and the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, where he obtained a degree in Theology in 2000 just like the outgoing governor who has a diploma in Islamic studies. He is also a Chartered Accountant.
As finance minister, one of his key accomplishments was the establishment of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), better known as the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).
Born in 1961, Ngama obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from the University of Maiduguri and Masters of Science in Accountancy from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, United Kingdom.
He also obtained a second Masters’ degree and Ph.D in Money & Banking and Finance from the University of Birmingham, where he received the coveted Ashley Prize award for producing the best thesis in his faculty.
In addition to his academic qualifications, Ngama has significant training in Islamic Banking and Islamic Capital Market Products.
Another favorite, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, retiring group managing director of Access Bank appears to be in the good books of the president also. His active role in the Bankers’s Committee is believed will give him some added advantage if considered.

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