SaharaReporters has learned from sources close to President Goodluck Jonathan that Aigboje I. Aig-Imoukhuede, the controversial head of Access Bank Plc, has been tipped to succeed current Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi at the helm of Nigeria’s Central Bank.
“If all goes as planned, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede will become the next Governor of the Central Bank,” one of our sources said. Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, also enjoys the support of Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said one source.
The banker, whose closeness to both Mr. Jonathan and Ms.Okonjo-Iweala is well known, is regarded within Nigeria’s financial circles as a controversial figure who has remained unscathed because of his high-powered political contacts.
Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede’s ties to Mr. Jonathan and Nigeria’s Finance Minister have helped him obscure his bank’s widespread and obscene involvement in the $6 billion oil subsidy scam that rocked Nigeria last year.
A top level Nigerian financial analyst with deep knowledge of the oil sector told SaharaReporters that Mr. Aig-Imoukhuedeand his bank “should have been on the hot seat over their role in the fuel subsidy fraud.” Instead, the analysts said, President Jonathan appointed the banker to a committee that enabled Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede and Access Bank to escape critical searchlight
A source told SaharaReporters that current CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has expressed a desire not to seek a second term at the end of his current five-year tenure.
Mr. Sanusi’s term as Nigeria’s current governor of the CBN is due toexpire in April, 2014. Last year, President Jonathan appointed Mr. Aig Imoukhuede to chair a committee on fuel subsidies. The appointment helped the banker to cover up his bank’s involvement in the oil subsidy scam.