Why Aig-Imhokhuede can’t get CBN top job

Semiu Salami
Semiu Salami
President Jonathan and Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede

There are strong indications that the out going Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Aiggoje Aig-Imhokhuede may fail to clinch his dream job of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

The CBN top job becomes vacant in July 2014 with the current occupant, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi already indicating his desire not to seek a second term in office.

Aig-Imhokhuede, whose tenure in Access Bank also ends the December has been reported to have shown more than passing interest in the job. In fact, very reliable sources say the Delta-borne lawyer turned banker is not leaving anything to chance in the bid to achieve his ambition.

Analysts are of the views that Aig-Imhokhuede’s current moves and orchestrated closeness to President Goodluck Jonathan may not count much in deciding who steps into Sanusi Lamido’s position.

For instance, Vetiva Capital Management Limited said that the four deputy governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria may be among the front-runners to succeed Governor Lamido Sanusi when his five-year term ends next year. The deputies are Sarah Alade, Suleiman Barau, Tunde Lemo and Kingsley Moghalu.

Sanusi, 52, who said in March he won’t renew his contract when it expires in June 2014, has helped to clean up the banking industry during a debt crisis in 2009 and has left interest rates at a record high for almost two years to bolster the currency and keep inflation under control.

President Goodluck Jonathan may name Sanusi’s replacement in the first quarter, and Adedayo Idowu, an economist at Vetiva, wrote in the report that one of Sanusi’s deputies remain possible successor because they share similar views with Sanusi on monetary policy.

“We believe that the president will attempt to seek consistency and reassure markets by nominating someone who will be guided by a sensible economic framework,” Idowu said.

Of the deputies, permutations are said to be in favour of either Moghalu or Lemo, with the latter said to be having strong ratings by virtue of his deep understanding of the workings of the apex bank and by virtue of the fact that he had prior to his appointment, a chief executive officer of a deposit money bank just like Sanusi himself.

Those against the emergence of Aig-Imhokhuede insists that the out-going Access Bank’s conduct does not portray him as a level-headed person capable of piloting the affairs of the CBN.
Besides, the less-than tidy way in which he led Access Bank to acquire Intercontinental Bank is seen as a major albatross that may work against him.

“Aig is an excessively ambitious person. He is arrogant and his idea of banking is more like a cow boy approach. That is not the type of person we want as CBN governor,” said a top banker who does not want his name in print.

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