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The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.

Bringing Back Sanusi Lamido As CBN Gov Will Marginalise North-Central and Southern Zones



Owing to a recent unfounded claim made by one Imran Muhammad who identified as a Buharist and the All Progressive Congress’s (APC) member, that Bola Tinubu, the Nigeria President-Elect will reinstall Mallam Lamido Sanusi as a replacement for Godwin Emefiele in Central Bank of Nigeria, PIJAlance wrote that this may be the first administrative error of the President-Elect.

Nigeria is a State, often, regarded as a nation with multifaceted ethnic groups and religions. These should be factored out whenever division of political and administrative positions are concerned as entrenched in Chapter II, Section 14, Subsection 3 and 4 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended which reads:


“(3) The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.


“(4) The composition of the Government of a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation.”

Supporters Storm Tinubu Presidential Campaign in Kwara
Bola Tinubu, 2023 President-elect FRN.

If Mallam Sanusi is not from the south, he is a Muslim, and if Nigerians had reluctantly watch the Muslim-Muslim ticket of Tinubu-Shettima took a pew to the presidency ease, it is best for the purpose of the national security, unity and interest that Muslim Sanusi not be reinstated back as the CBN Governor. He may be reinstated as the Emir of Kano—that suits him, well.


Meanwhile, reinstating Sanusi will be a taboo as he will be the first CBN governor who would be reinstated after their expired term in office. His reinstatement will communicate incompetency to other prospective qualifiers of the position while serving the presidency’s Muslim-Muslim ticket, as the major cause. This will further proof that Tinubu is a religion irredentist.

Visualised data showing geopolitical zones of CBN governors since 1963 to 2023. North west and north central produced one each, while south west, south east and south south produced two governors each. Only north east produced three CBN Governors since 1963 to 2023 in Nigeria.

Sanusi’s zone and the north central zone are the marginalised since 1958 (check the infographic, above). But that of north central took a wider lead. If the new CBN Governor will be appointed, it should come from the north central or any of the southern zones, nominating qualified economists to handle Nigeria’s economy, among other things needed to reform.


However, north central should be the priority because it is the only zone that has not produced CBN governor that stay long in office. Last time it did, it was Sarah Alade who spent barely five months in office.


Worthy of note, since the establishment of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 1958, six geopolitical zones have emerged in Nigeria to cough out CBN governors. The zones are North-Central, North-East, North-West, South-East, South-South, and South-West.


From 1963 to 2023, the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria have produced the following numbers of CBN Governors:


  • North-East: 3
  • South-East: 2
  • South-South: 2
  • South-West: 2
  • North-West: 1
  • North-Central: 1


Note: Roy Pentelow who was the first CBN Governor between 1958 to 1963 was a non-nigerian.


Here is the breakdown of the names of the CBN Governors produced by each geopolitical zone in Nigeria from 1963 to 2023:


Alhaji Aliyu Mai-Bornu (1963-1967) – North East Zone

Dr. Clement Isong (1967-1975) – South-South Zone

Mallam Adamu Ciroma (1975-1977) – North East Zone

Chief Ola Vincent (1977-1982) – South West Zone

Mallam Abdulkadir Ahmed (1982-1993) – North East Zone

Dr. Paul Agbai Ogwuma (1993-1999) – South East Zone

Chief Joseph Sanusi (1999-2004) – South West Zone


Prof. Charles Soludo (2004-2009) – South East Zone

Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi  (2009-2014) – North West Zone

Sarah Alade (Feb 20 2014 – June same year) – North Central

Godwin Emefiele (2014-Present) – South South Zone

Roy Pentelow (1967-1968) – Non-Nigerian

Analyses of Geopolitical Zones CBN Governors from 1963 to 2023


  • North-Central:

Sarah Alade served as the acting Nigerian governor of the Nigerian Central Bank from February 20 2014, to June 3 2014. She was appointed by former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Sarah Alade was, before this time, the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. She is the first woman to head the Central bank of Nigeria and the only woman in Nigeria’s female-regimented political and administrative systems.


  • North-East:

The North-East geopolitical zone has produced three and the highest number of CBN Governors in Nigeria’s history: Aliyu Mai-Bornu (1963-1967), Adamu Ciroma (1975-1977), and Abdulkadir Ahmed (1982-1993). Mai-Bornu’s tenure was marked by the establishment of the Central Bank of Nigeria, which was created to regulate and supervise the banking sector. Ciroma and Ahmed, on the other hand, implemented various monetary policies aimed at stabilising Nigeria’s economy during their tenures. There were economic scandal and hardships during their tenures.



The North-West geopolitical zone has produced only one CBN Governor in Nigeria’s history: Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (2009 – 2014). During his tenure there were several banking reforms and anti-commercial-banks-corruption campaigns. His reform strategy was centred on four pillars later dubbed as ‘Sanusi Tsunami’. Sanusi launched the cashless policy system in the Nigeria banking sector. Sanusi also initiated the introduction of Islamic banking in Nigeria which was a move completely castigated and rejected by Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN).



The South-East geopolitical zone has produced two CBN Governors in Nigeria’s history: Dr Paul Agbai (1993-1999) and Prof. Chukwuma Soludo (2004-2009). Agbai’s tenure was marked by economic challenges, including a decline in Nigeria’s oil revenue, which led to a devaluation of the Naira. Soludo, on the other hand, implemented various banking reforms and monetary policies aimed at stabilising Nigeria’s economy.



The South-South geopolitical zone has produced two CBN Governors in Nigeria’s history: Dr Clement Isong (1967-1975) and the current Governor, Godwin Emefiele (2014-Present). Isong’s tenure was marked by various banking reforms and monetary policies aimed at strengthening the banking sector, while Godwin Emefiele’s tenure is marked by several uncanny policies, leading to hardships and frustration for Nigerian community. Emefiele initiated ‘stamp duty’ charges on every transaction above N9,900 which, until the time of writing this piece, business owners are paying without Emefiele or the Federal Government explaining the reason for the charges. Also, naira devaluation met a drastic dereliction to dollar. Currently, one dollar is equivalent to N730 in naira. Emefiele also oversaw the redesigning of the naira notes. Nigerians were told to deposit their paper money to get the new ones but were not given. Many die while others go haywire in demanding for their money from their banks. In the end, old naira notes were made legal tender but not until after several flaunts of court orders and killing of unarmed protesters. With the experience, this is probably the reason, the foremost poet, Niyi Osundare wrote “Emefailure, the ChiefWitch Doctor of the National Vault” in his Incompetence Weds Corruption poem. Nigerians



The South-West geopolitical zone has produced two CBN Governors in Nigeria’s history: Ola Vincent (1977-1982), and Chief Joseph Sanusi (1999 – 2004). Vincent implemented various monetary policies aimed at stabilising Nigeria’s economy during his tenures, while Joseph Sanusi implemented various banking reforms and monetary policies aimed at strengthening the banking sector.


Overall, the data shows that the North-East geopolitical zone has produced the highest number of CBN Governors in Nigeria’s history, with three governors, followed by the South-West, South-East and South-South geopolitical zones with two governors, each. The North-Central and the North-West geopolitical zones have produced one governors each.


It is interesting to note that the distribution of CBN Governors across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria is not proportional to the population of each zone. The North west geopolitical zone, which has the lowest number of CBN Governors, has a population of about 39 million people, while the North-East geopolitical zone with a population of more than 18 million people, has produced three CBN Governors, a population of over 18 million people. This suggests that factors other than population may be contributing to the distribution of CBN Governors across the geopolitical zones in Nigeria.


One possible explanation for the distribution of CBN Governors is the historical development of Nigeria’s banking sector. The Central Bank of Nigeria was established in 1958, before Nigeria gained independence from British colonial rule. At the time of its establishment, the banking sector was largely concentrated in the North and West regions of Nigeria, which may have contributed to the greater representation of these regions among CBN Governors.


Another possible explanation for the distribution of CBN Governors is the political dynamics of Nigeria. Nigeria has experienced several military coups and periods of political instability throughout its history, which may have influenced the appointment of CBN Governors. For example, during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida in the 1980s, several CBN Governors were appointed from the North-East geopolitical zone, which may have been a reflection of Babangida’s political base.


In recent years, the appointment of CBN Governors has become a subject of controversy and debate in Nigeria. Some critics have argued that the appointment process is not transparent and is subject to political influence, while others have called for greater regional representation among CBN Governors.


In response to these criticisms, the Nigerian government has taken steps to improve the transparency and accountability of the appointment process for CBN Governors. In 2021, the Nigerian Senate passed a bill that would require the President to seek the approval of the Senate before appointing a new CBN Governor, which would increase the level of scrutiny over the appointment process.


However, if the president-elect brings back Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, it will be an outright injustice and inequality to the North Central who have only served as the CBN governors for just five months —Sarah Alade.


As Nigeria continues to evolve and develop, it will be important to ensure that the appointment process for CBN Governors is transparent and accountable, and that all geopolitical zones are represented fairly.


Read Also: The CBN’s Incompetence: An Exposé on the Phasing Out of Old Naira Notes

Fact-checking with OSINT, airing the marginalised, doing critical and accountability reporting are what I do. I lead a group of professional investigators at PIJAlance Magazine Research and Investigations Desk (RID). Got a story, check contact us to hit me.

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  1. […] 14, Subsection 3 and 4 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended which reads here. But none of these may be said are usually considered when it is time to select a person for a […]

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