CBN Governors: Their Career and Schools they Attended

Does the school/university you graduated from really matter? Does it affect your chances of getting a job? Not really! While the school you attended might give you more prestige, your chances of getting a job boils down to what you have to offer and who you know. However, the school you attended might help bring out the best in you but more often than not it’s the person–not the school–that is responsible for professional success.

Below are current and past Central Bank governors of Nigeria; a brief history of their career and the schools (universities) they attended. Some had a humble beginning but rose to the pinnacle of their career. You can start today irrespective of your current status.

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Present and Former Central Bank Governors, Brief Career History and Education

 Alhaji-Aliyu-Mai-BornuMallam Aliyu Mai-Bornu (1919 – 23 February 1970) was a Nigerian economist, and the first indigenous Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Mai-Bornu was born in 1919 of Kanuri origin, Borno State. He attended Yola Middle School, and was admitted to Kaduna College in 1938, graduating in 1942 as an English language teacher. Mai-Bornu taught English at Yola Middle School (1942–1946) and then Kaduna College (1946–1954). He was briefly House Tutor at the Veterinary School in Vom in 1954. He then studied Economics at Bristol University in the United Kingdom (1954–1957).
Mai-Bornu returned to Nigeria and obtained a post as Administrative Officer with the Northern Nigeria Public Service (1957–1959). He was seconded to the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1959 as an Assistant Secretary, rising through the ranks until being appointed Deputy Governor in 1962. Mai-Bornu was Governor of the Central Bank (1963–1967). After leaving the bank, he was appointed Director and General Manager of the Nigerian Tobacco Company (1967–1969). He served on the Board of Directors of the company until his death on the 23rd of February, 1970. His portrait features on the 1,000 Naira note brought into circulation of October 12, 2005.

Clement Nyong IsongDr. Clement Nyong Isong (20 April 1920 – 29 May 2000) was a Nigerian banker and politician who was Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (15 August 1967 – 22 September 1975) during the military regime of General Yakubu Gowon.
Isong was born on 20 April 1920 in Eket, Akwa Ibom State. He studied at University College, Ibadan, Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, USA and the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences where he obtained a Ph.D. in Economics. He taught Economics in the University of Ibadan before joining the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as Secretary, later becoming Director of Research. He was seconded to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as an Adviser in the African Department.
After retirement from the CBN, Isong entered politics and was elected the first civilian Governor of Cross River State from 1979 to 1983 on the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) platform.

adamu_ciromaMallam Adamu Ciroma (born 20 November 1934 in Potiskum, Yobe State) is a Nigerian politician and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He was Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria between 24 September 1975 and 28 June 1977.
He was enrolled at the Fika Elementary School in 1943 and his educational career saw him through the University College in Ibadan where he studied History till 1961 and the Cite Universitaire in Besancon, France, where he undertook postgraduate studies between 1962 and 1963.
In 1979, Ciroma was one of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) presidential aspirants who contested in the party’s presidential primary. Ciroma was briefly the secretary of the NPN and he later served at various times as Minister for Industries, Agriculture and Finance. As a senior cabinet minister in the Shagari administration, he played pivotal roles in the implementation of the president’s agenda especially in the areas of food production and working with international agencies to develop an Agricultural Development Project (ADP). In September 1983, he was made the chairman of a presidential transition committee, which further demonstrated the trust the president had in his capabilities. The committee was mandated to make proposals on how to re-structure the federal government which was going through a crisis of confidence
Ciroma is a founding member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which has been ruling Nigeria since 1999. He served as Minister of Finance in the government of Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2003.

Olatunde Olabode VincentOlatunde Olabode Vincent (16 May 1925 – 3 September 2012) was a Nigerian economist and banker who was Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria between 28 June 1977 and 28 June 1982. He was born in Lagos State.
He attended CMS Grammar School, Lagos (1936–1939). He served in the Nigerian Armed Forces between 1942 and 1946, and then worked in the Financial Secretary’s Office, Lagos between 1946 and 1956. In 1951 he attended the Administrative Staff College in England, and from 1953 to 1956 he studied at the University of Manchester. From 1957 to 1960 he was a part-time lecturer in Economics at the University of Ibadan.
Vincent was Senior Assistant Secretary in the Nigerian Ministry of Finance (1959–1961) and then moved to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as an Assistant General Manager, becoming a General Manager at the CBN from 1963 to 1966. He was a Director at the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (1964–1966). Vincent was appointed a Vice President at the African Development Bank, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (1966–1973). He returned to the CBN in 1973 as an Adviser, becoming Deputy Governor in 1975 and Governor from 1977 to 1982. Vincent was named a Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) in 1982.
Following Vincent’s retirement from the CBN, in 1983 he recommended establishment of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), which occurred in June 1988. The NDIC provides a safety net for depositors in the newly liberalized banking sector.
Vincent chaired a seminar on Ethics and Professionalism in the Nigerian Banking Industry in August 1992. He was a director of the Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) in 2008, when he received a prestigious lifetime achievement award. He is a life member of the Nigerian Economic Society and the Society for International Development.

Abdulkadir AhmedAbdulkadir Ahmed (born on 31 October 1940 in Jama’are, Bauchi State) was a Nigerian businessman and civil servant who was Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria between 27 June 1982 and 30 September 1993.
He held office for over 11 years during democratic government of Shehu Shagari and interim government of Ernest Shonekan, and the military regimes of Generals Muhammadu Buhari and Ibrahim Babangida.
He was the first chairman of the board of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation when it was established on 15 June 1988.
He attended Barewa College, Zaria in 1955. He joined the New Nigerian Development Company in January, 1960. Ahmed studied at the University of Ife in 1961. He graduated from South West London College in 1972. Ahmed became Commissioner of Finance for Bauchi state (March 1976 – June 1977). He was appointed a Deputy Governor with the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1977.
Ahmed was a fellow of the Institute of Chartered and Certified Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.

Paul Agbai OgwumaDr. Paul Agbai Ogwuma (born on 24 April 1932 in Abayi, Imo State.) is a Nigerian banker who was Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria between 1 October 1993 and 29 May 1999.
He started his early education St. Barnabas School, Thie, St. Michael’s School, Aba and St. Gregory’s School, Mbusi. He then proceeded to New Bethel College, Onitsha and Bradford Institute of Technology. He also studied at the Bradford University in the United Kingdom from 1959 to 1962.
Dr. Ogwuma, a seasoned banker, Chartered Accountant and Administrator, has held various posts in organizations both in the United Kingdom and Nigeria. He was an accountant at the Board of Trade in London (1966 – 1977), and also worked at the Industrial and Commercial Corporation. He was the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank of Nigeria prior to his appointment as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria in September, 1993.

Joseph Oladele SanusiChief (Dr.) Joseph Oladele Sanusi (born 24 September 1938) is a Nigerian chartered accountant who was Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2004.
Sanusi was born on 24 September 1938 in Ogbagi-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria. He studied at South-West London College and Kingston College of Technology, England from 1962 to 1965, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. He became a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in 1969, and became a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Bankers in 1987.
Sanusi worked first as an Accountant in England, then with the Board of Customs and Excise in Nigeria. He joined the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 1966 as a Deputy Manager. He became a Departmental Director in 1977, Chief Executive of the Securities and Exchange Commission (1978–1979), Executive Director, Monetary and Banking Policy (1979–1984), and Deputy Governor (1988–1990). Sanusi left the CBN to become Managing Director and Chief Executive of United Bank for Africa (1990–1992), then Managing Director and Chief Executive of First Bank of Nigeria (1992–1998). He was also Vice Chairman of Nigeria Merchant Bank and Chairman of Banque Internationale du Benin.
On 7 October 2004 he was appointed to the Board of Directors of Lafarge Cement Wapco, a cement manufacturing company in Nigeria owned by Lafarge of Paris. Other post-CBN appointments include Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, First Pension Funds Custodian, Santrust Securities, STI Consulting and Global Biofuels, and Director of West African Portland Cement and Marina Foods.

Charles Chukwuma SoludoCharles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR (born 28 July 1960 in Aguata, Anambra) is a Nigerian economics professor and the Governor and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from May 29, 2004 to May 29, 2009. He was named Governor on 29 May 2004.”Board of Directors”. Central Bank of Nigeria. He is also a member of the British Department for International Development’s International Advisory Group.
Soludo is a core professional in the business of macroeconomics. He obtained his three degrees and then professorship at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, Enugu State. He graduated with a First Class Honors degree in 1984, an M.Sc. Economics in 1987, and a Ph.D. in 1989, winning prizes for the best student at all three levels.
Dr Soludo has been visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund, the University of Cambridge, the Brookings Institution, the University of Warwick and the University of Oxford and a visiting professor at Swarthmore College (USA). He has also worked as a consultant for a number of international organizations, including The World Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the United Nations Development Programme.
In 1998 Soludo was appointed to the position of professor of economics at the University of Nigeria; the next year he became a visiting professor at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, US.

Sanusi Lamido SanusiHRH Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was born into the Fulani Torodbe (Sullubawa) clan of Kano on the 31st of July 1961. He was Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 3 June 2009 to 2 June 2014. Sanusi obtained a degree in Economics from Ahmadu Bello University in 1981. In 1997, He also obtained a degree in Sharia and Islamic Studies from the African International University in Khartoum, Sudan.
In 1985 Sanusi joined Icon Limited (Merchant Bankers), a subsidiary of Morgan Guaranty Trust Bank of New York, and Baring Brothers of London. He moved to the United Bank for Africa in 1997 in the Credit and Risk Management Division, rising to the position of a General Manager. In September 2005, he joined the Board of First Bank of Nigeria as an Executive Director in charge of Risk and Management Control, and was appointed Group Managing Director (CEO) in January 2009. Sanusi was the first northerner to be appointed CEO in First Bank’s history of more than a century.
He was crowned on the 8th of June 2014 as the Emir of Kano, succeeding his late great-uncle Dr Ado Bayero (who died on Friday 6 June 2014).

Godwin EmefieleMr. Godwin Emefiele (born August 4, 1961), Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria since June 3, 2014, hails from Ika South LGA in Delta State. He served as Chief Executive officer and Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc. Mr. Emefiele served as Deputy Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc. since 2001. He served as Executive Director in charge of Corporate Banking, Treasury, Financial Control and Strategic Planning of Zenith Bank Plc. and had been Management team since inception. Mr. Emefiele has over eighteen years of banking experience. Mr. Emefiele serves as Director at Zenith Bank Plc and Zenith Bank (Gambia) Limited. Before commencing his banking career, he has lectured Finance and Insurance at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, and University of Port Harcourt, respectively. Mr. Emefiele serves as Director of ACCION Microfinance Bank Limited. He is an alumnus of Executive Education at Stanford University, Harvard University (2004) and Wharton Graduate Schools of Business (2005). Mr. Emefiele holds a B.Sc Degree in 1984 and an MBA Degree in Finance in 1986, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

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Andy is the co-Founder of Ngcareers, Nigeria's Top Job Search and Career site. You can follow him on twitter via @andychukse


  1. kayode says:

    But you have not been detailed enough about their educational qualifications. I was expecting to see all of them, their 1st, 2nd, and maybe 3rd degrees and where they obtained them.

  2. Abubakar Muhammad Jamilu Jega says:

    I appreciated your effort and it was educative. But, you fail to mentioned Alhaji Aliyu Mai-Bornu and Olatunde Olabode Vincent where they were born and their State of origin like others.

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