Photo Collage of Nigeria’s Class Of Post-independence Finance Experts Who Have Gone Into Politics by AllNews Nigeria
A good number of economists have transitioned into politics since independence. Many who support them hope they bring their wealth of experience in managing wealth to managing the country.
From forecasting consumer demand to monitoring economic trends, these experts metamorphosed into shouting party slogans and promising the citizenry stars.
AllNews Nigeria presents to you some prominent finance experts who have turned politicians. Have they made significant impact? Please let us know in the comments section at the end of the article.
Before venturing into politics, Falae joined the civil service as the assistant secretary of the National Manpower Board. He later became a principal assistant secretary of the board. In 1971, he was transferred to the Central Planning office and by 1975, he was a director at the planning office.
During his stint at the planning office, the department was actively involved in producing the third national development plan for the country and conducting a revision exercise after a change in government.
In 1977, Falae was appointed permanent secretary (Economic dept), Cabinet office. In 1981, he became the Managing Director of Nigerian Merchant Bank (NMB), formerly United Dominion Trust.
Falae returned to public service in 1986 when he was appointed Secretary to the Government. However, after Babangida banned 'old breed' politicians, who were mostly people who had held elective office in the past such as Bola Ige and Lateef Jakande. Chief Samuel Oluyemisi Falae soon became the candidate of choice for followers of Awolowo and some progressives within the Social Democratic Party.
The late Adamu Ciroma rose from the position of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) to become a presidential aspirants under the umbrella of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in 1979.
During the administration of Shehu Shagari, Ciroma 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)
Adamu Ciroma later served at various times as Minister for Industries, Agriculture and Finance between June 1999 – May 2003 under the government of Olusegun Obasanjo.
Clement Isong rose from the position of a secretary to become the CBN governor from August 1967 to September 1975. He went on to become Cross River State’s first civilian Governor from 1979 to 1983.
Isong used only one term, as his then political platform, National Party of Nigeria (NPN), was against his re-election. His lifetime achievement earned him a place on the N1,000 note.
Since Isong became a state governor in 1979, no other CBN head has travelled the same path until Charles Soludo tried his hands twice, losing the first in 2009, as a candidate of PDP in Anambra State.
Soludo, who became the CBN governor from May 29, 2004 to May 29, 2009, contested again for the Anambra governorship seat in November 2021, and was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Willie Obiano is one of the prominent names that left the banking sector to test the political terrain in Nigeria, leaving behind, his career at Fidelity Bank.
Obiano was brought into politics by his former bank chairman, Peter Obi, to become the governor in 2014. Having retained the seat in 2017, he will be retiring soon, as Chukwuma Soludo won the recent governorship election in that state.
The outgoing governor had also worked for First Bank of Nigeria where he began his banking career in 1981. He had also worked for Chevron Oil Nigeria as its Chief Auditor.
After 19 years roaming the banking sector, Yuguda decided to switch his bank job for political ambition, quitting his chief executive job at defunct NAL Merchant Bank in June 2000 to become Minister of State for Transport.
But his political thirst was beyond being a minister under President Obasanjo, as he contested twice to become governor of Bauchi State, and got elected on both occasion, from 2007 to 2015.
Prior to his political journey, Yuguda had worked for the Federal Mortgage Bank, Savannah Bank, and headed both Inland Bank and NAL Merchant Bank.
The Chartered Accountant was brought into politics by Godswill Akpabio in 2013, quitting his job at Zenith Bank to become Secretary to the State Government of Akwa Ibom after over 10 years in the financial sector.
Following his appointment, he contested to replace Akpabio as governor of the state in 2014, and has since held the position since 2015 till date. His second tenure is expected to end in 2023.
Aside from Zenith Bank where he was the Chief Financial Officer, Emmanuel was also on the payroll of Diamond Bank and Price Water House Coopers.
Ahmed is one of the senior Nigerian bankers that made it into the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. He became the governor of Kwara State after over 10 years rolling up his sleeves in the banking industry.
He was first appointed into the political sector as Finance Commissioner in 2003 by Governor Bukola Saraki, before he took over the wheels of the state from May 29, 2011 to May 29, 2019.
Before his journey into the political sector, Ahmed worked for defunct District Savings and Loans, Guaranty Trust Bank and Societe Generale Bank Nigeria, which is no longer in operation.
He was also a bank executive director, serving at the defunct Societe Generale Bank Nigeria, reportedly owned by his father, Olusola Saraki.
His first step into the top floor political corridor was facilitated by Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former President, who appointed Saraki as Special Assistant to the President on Budget.