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Meet CBN’s new Monetary Policy Committee members

Naira rebound: Under-pressure Cardoso has a burden of sustaining the feat

As the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) prepares to host its much-awaited Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting next week on Feb. 26-27 – the first – since Yemi Cardoso assumed office as governor, the Senate has now approved 12 members who will participate in that meeting going forward as required by law.

The screening and subsequent approval by the Senate on Thursday followed a formal request by President Tinubu last week that the nominees be confirmed.

Their appointment is critical and comes at a time of great focus on how the CBN can, through sustainable policy measures, pull the economy out of its present doldrums, especially as inflation surges and the naira weakens unabated – two crucial challenges for the committee. Headline inflation rose record high in January to 29.90 percent from 28.92 percent in December 2023. On Wednesday, the naira which many expect the committee to battle and save, weakened to N1,542/$ at the official widow and N1,900/$ at the black market.

Read also: BDC operators back CBN move to fix FX market

Tinubu in his letter proposed 12 members, with five of them who are already CBN officials, including Olayemi Cardoso, CBN governor who will chair the MPC, and his four Deputy governors -Mohammed Abdullahi, in charge of Economic Policy; Bala Bello, Corporate Services; Emem Usoro, Operations; and Philip Ikeazor, Financial System Stability as members of the committee.

Other members as approved by the senate include Lamido Yuguda, director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); Jafiya Lydia Shehu, who is permanent secretary of the Ministry of Finance; Murtala Sabo Sagagi; Aloysius Uche Ordu; Aku Pauline Odinkemelu; Mustapha Akinwumi; and Bamidele Amoo. BusinessDay understands that the new committee members will be inaugurated next Monday before the start of the meeting.

Here is what to know about the seven members who will be joining Cardoso and his four deputies, as members of the MPC.

Lamido Yuguda

Lamido Abubakar Yuguda is the Director General of the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) Nigeria and has over 3 decades of experience in Banking, Accounting, Finance, Economics and Investment Management.

He spent 32 years at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in various roles. For 16 of these years, he led the team that managed reserve assets that grew to billions of US dollars. In 1997, he joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, on a four-year stint as an economist in the Africa Department where he worked on the assessment of economic policies and management of balance of payment support programmes in IMF member countries. He served in several departments of the CBN, and retired in 2016 as Director of Reserve Management.

Yuguda holds a B.Sc. (Accounting) from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, and an M.Sc. (Money, Banking and Finance) from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He also holds a Certificate in Financial Asset Management and Engineering from the Swiss Finance Institute, Geneva, and a Certificate in Investment Performance Management from the CFA Institute. He is a holder of the CFA charter, and a Fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

Read also: CBN: MPC nominees pledge swift action to tackle FX crisis, inflation

He has attended leadership training programmes at leading business schools including Harvard, INSEAD, IMD, Oxford Saïd, Wharton, Haas, Kellogg, Chicago Booth, and London. Yuguda has also served as a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), and Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

Lydia Shehu Jafiya

Lydia Shehu Jafiya is the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance, an office she assumed in January 2024. Born in 1967 in Gulak, Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State, she holds a B.Sc. Business Administration (specialising in Banking and Finance) from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from same university.

Jafiya joined the Federal Civil Service as Finance Officer II in 1990 under the pool of the Office of Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) and was deployed to Federal Ministry of Works and Housing. She served in various capacities among which were: Assistant Director (Accounts) in The Presidency (OSSAP-MDGs); Deputy Director,(Budget) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Director,(Finance and Accounts) at the Pensions Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), and was appointed Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in August, 2022.

Jafiya is an Alumnus of the prestigious National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, an Associate of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), and a Fellow, Certified National Accountants of Nigeria (FCNA); among others. She has attended several courses, both locally and internationally. Mrs. Jafiya is married with children. Her hobbies include reading, travelling, listening to the radio, and mentoring young people.

Murtala Sabo Sagagi

Born on October 10, 1968, Murtala Sabo Sagagi, a Professor and board director at the CBN hails from Kano State.

He holds a B.Sc in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA), all obtained from Bayero University, Kano, in 1990 and 1996 respectively. He equally holds a a PhD in Strategic Management from Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto which he obtained in 2006, as well as Graduate Research in (International Business & Global Economics) from Brandeis University, Boston (2004/2005).

Read also: Banks sell $172m as CBN, EFCC go heads-on with currency speculators

Earlier, Sagagi served as the Adviser for Sustainable Inclusive Economic Growth at FSSP/Global Affairs Canada between 2021 and 2023. He was also a Special Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture (‪2019 – 2020‬); Senior Policy Adviser of the ministry in 2020; and Secretary Ministerial Advisory Board (‪2019 – 2020‬). From 2019 to 2022, he assisted the Policy Development Team of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development which produced the current National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Plan (NATIP). He was a member, of the Steering Committee on National Agricultural Mechanisation (2019 – 2020); and an Adviser, in Investment Promotion and Investment Climate (‪2007-2018‬).
Sagagi was the Pioneer Dean of the Dangote Business School at Bayero University (‪2014-2019‬).

He also served as the Director of the Centre for African Entrepreneurship Research and Training (2011 – 2014) and editor-in-chief of the Journal of African Entrepreneurship Research (‪2015 – 2018‬), and led the design of the National Entrepreneurship Education curriculum and the creation of Centre for African Entrepreneurship Research and Training to support youth employability and enterprise development, among other engagements.

Serving as Chairman of the Kano State Institute for Entrepreneurship Development (‪2011 – 2013‬), Sagagi showcased his commitment to education and entrepreneurship. In the course of his career, he provided professional services to the World Bank, IFAD, British Council, DFID/FCDO, and GIZ, among others in the field of Inclusive Economic Growth, Foreign Direct Investments, Employment, Women Empowerment, and Private Sector Development.

Aloysius Uche Ordu

Aloysius Uche Ordu currently serves as the Senior Fellow & Director, the Africa Growth Initiative at The Brookings Institution. He began his career as an Economist at The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU) in 1983 where he worked until joining Midland Bank Ltd as an International Economist. By 1988, he joined the World Bank as a Manager until 2007. Following that, Ordu worked at the African Development Bank Group as Vice President from 2007 to 2011, later returned to the World Bank, but this time as a director between 2011 and 2014. In 2015, he became the Managing Partner of Omapu Associates LLC, where he worked until 2020.

Read also: Whitecrust Investment Secures CBN’s Approval in Principle for Whitecrust Finance Company Limited.

Ordu attended the University of Wales in 1976, where he pursued a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Economics and Law. He later went on to obtain a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Quantitative Economics by 1981.

Building on his knowledge and qualifications, Ordu then pursued a Ph.D. (Economics) at the University of Sussex from 1981 to 1990.

In addition to his academic achievements, Ordu obtained a certification in the Corporate Finance Leadership Program from the prestigious Harvard Business School in July 2000.

Aku Pauline Odinkemelu

Aku Pauline Odinkemelu is a Non-Executive Director, Board Member, and Audit & Finance Committee Chair with about fifteen years of board-level experience and particular expertise in the Banking, Insurance, Oil & Gas, and Education sectors.

Trained as a lawyer, she currently serves as an Independent Non-Executive Director and Chair of the board Finance, Risk and Audit Committee, Nord Oil APS & Energy Services Group. She is also an Independent Non-Executive Director at Klasha Technologies Inc. – Lagos and San Francisco-based tech startup company that builds multiple cross-border e-commerce solutions for Africa. She is a member of the Pioneer Board of Trustees, at Spiritan University Nneochi.

Between 2015 and 2019, she served as a board member of, the Audit & Risk Committee, Nigerian Interbank Settlement System, and board member, the Credit and Risk Committee
Guaranty Trust Assurance Plc (Now AXA Mansard) between 2009 and 2011.
From October 2022 to January 2024, she served as Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Board Credit Committee, Polaris Bank Limited.

A seasoned banker, Odinkemelu served as the Executive Director, South Directorate, Fidelity Bank Plc (2014–2020); General Manager and Divisional Head at Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (2004–2014) and Deputy General Manager at Access Bank Plc (2000–2004).

She holds an LL.B. Hons from the University of Nigeria (1986). Additionally, she has a Dual Executive MBA, from IMD Business School, Switzerland, and CKGSB, China, and completed the Advanced Management Program (AMP174) at Harvard Business School.

Read also: Again, CBN raises Customs import duty rate by 4.5% despite criticism

Mustapha Akinkunmi

Mustapha Akinkunmi is a seasoned economist with decades of experience in using data mining and econometrics to decipher and predict financial and economic outcomes.

For ten years, he has served as a Principal Consultant to the CBN assisting the
Deputy Governor of Economic Policy in identifying, formulating, and implementing new fiscal and monetary policies.

In 2004, he obtained a Ph.D. in Economics from Fordham University, New York, USA, building on his earlier Master’s degree (MA) in Economics from the same institution. He equally holds an MS in Computer Science and a BSc in General Studies with a concentration in Electrical Engineering, both from the New York Institute of Technology.

Currently serving as an Associate Professor at the American University of Nigeria, Yola, within the School of Business and Entrepreneurship, Akinkunmi concurrently holds the position of Senior Research Associate at the Centre for International Policy Studies, Fordham University, Bronx, NYC, since 2017.

Akinkunmi’s diverse professional journey includes his recent role as the Executive Vice Chairman of Funds & Electronics Transfer Solutions Limited (fets) from 2019 to 2023.
He was the Commissioner of Finance, the Lagos Ministry of Finance (2015 – 2016).

He is a member of the board of Allied Foods (Franchisee of Burger King in Nigeria), and Non-Executive Director; Wow Creamery (Subsidiary of Ice berry), as Non-Executive Director; Moody’s Group / GCR Credit Rating, as Non-Executive Director, December; and Macrothink Institute as a member.

Akinkunmi’s involvement extends beyond academia and finance; he serves on the boards of Allied Foods (Franchisee of Burger King in Nigeria), Wow Creamery (Subsidiary of Ice berry), Moody’s Group / GCR Credit Rating, and Macrothink Institute in various non-executive capacities.

Amoo Bandele Alabi Ganiyu

Amoo Bandele Alabi Ganiyu, a native of Kwara State, is presently the Managing Director at EcoDonini Solutions Ltd, a private practice he undertook after retiring from the CBN as the Director of Research in 2018.

EcoDonini Solutions Ltd specializes in clearing and forwarding services. His educational background includes a BSc in Economics from the University of Ibadan (1981–1984), an MSc in Banking & Finance from Bayero University Kano (1991–1993), a second MSc in Economics from the University of Abuja (2005), and a Ph.D. in Economics also from the University of Abuja (2012).

Read also: CBN, ONSA partner to probe, penalise dollar speculators

Other schools attended are Kwara State College of Technology(Now Kwara State Polytechnic), Ilorin 1978 – 1980; Saka Tinubu Memorial High School, Orile–Agege, Lagos 1973 – 1977; and Ansar-ud-Deen (Primary) School, Alakoro – Lagos1966 – 1971; and the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate.

Ganiyu began his career at the CBN in 1986 as a senior supervisor from where he rose to become the Deputy Director of Research at CBN between 2009 and 2018.

While at the CBN, he was a member of, the Micro-Finance Policy Committee (Interdepartmental Committee), CBN Research, Other Financial Institutions and Development Finance Departments; member, CBN/NBS Project Committee on Quarterly GDP and Business Conditions, amongst others.

He has also been an Editor, of CBN Bullion Journal since 2019 -till date.

Ganiyu has also contributed to academia, serving as an associate Lecturer at the University of Abuja on financial Management and international finance courses; and as a part-time senior lecturer at the Abuja Business School (‪2002 -2004‬).

His professional journey also includes the role of an assistant manager at Niger-Hope Enterprises Nigeria Limited in Lagos (‪1985-1986‬); and Clerk, at Union Bank of Nigeria Limited (1980).