Before his current position as president of the NSE, Aig-Imoukhuede was considered one of the strongest candidates to succeed Lamido Sanusi, the immediate past governor of Nigeria’s Central bank and now Emir of Kano. Sanusi who was removed from office in February this year in controversial circumstances by President Goodluck Jonathan. However, Godwin Emefiele, who was not in contention in the race for central bank governor, eventually secured the job. Emefiele was the immediate past CEO of Zenith Bank Plc.
Nevertheless, Aig-Imoukhuede has enjoyed good rapport with the government, which had appointed him chairman of a presidential committee to probe the alleged scam in the fuel import subsidy scheme. He is also a member of the Economic Management Team of the President Jonathan administration.
As the immediate past GMD/CEO of Access Bank, he had transformed the bank into one of the top five banks in the country, following its acquisition of the much larger Intercontinental Bank Plc.
Under his stewardship, Access Bank reportedly grew its customer base from a little over 10,000 when it first started operations in 2002, to about 6.5m currently. The bank also moved from the 65th position out of the then 89 banks in the country, to become the fourth largest.
Beyond Nigeria, Access Bank has opened branches in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Zambia, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). During his farewell address to shareholders of the bank, he recalled how the journey began and painted a picture of the future.
He said: “In 2002, we believed in the robustness of our plan to be among the top 10 banks in Nigeria in five years. That we have since achieved along with rewarding our investors with a return of over 4,000%. Today, we are among the first four banks in the country. Also, we are one of the 10 most capitalised stocks on the NSE and we are listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).”
Originally a lawyer,
Aig-Imoukhuede started his banking career over two decades ago, spending 10 years at Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) before resigning in 2001 to join Access Bank as the CEO.
He won the 2011 Ernst & Young West Africa Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was recipient of the African Banker Award from African Banker Magazine. He was elected first vice-president of the council of the NSE in
He announced his retirement from Access Bank effective 31st December 2013, after over 11 years in the saddle as CEO. This followed a new policy by the central bank that made it mandatory for bank chiefs in the country to retire after serving two 10-year terms. However, it is not unlikely that he would in the near future return to the bank as chairman, as another policy of the central bank also gives bank’s CEOs the opportunity to return to their former banks as chairmen. Already, Tony Elumelu of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Jim Ovia of Zenith Bank are beneficiaries of this rule and have since returned to their erstwhile banks in that capacity.
Observers will be watching to see how he would take the NSE to another level. However, given his antecedents in the banking industry, his wealth of experience and strong global networks, it is not unlikely that Aig-Imoukhuede will continue the transformation process of the Nigerian bourse put in place by his predecessors and drive it to logical conclusion during his tenure. Those who are close to him say he is a workaholic and a stickler for excellence. It is expected he will bring these qualities to bear at the NSE.