They once were the bosses calling the shots in different Nigerian banks but have since had to relinquish the hallowed positions of heading the banks which in most cases were their brain child. This came with the Central bank’s policy in January 2010 pegging the tenure of bank MDs at maximum of 10 years of two terms of 5 years each in a bid to sanitize the banking sector and discourage sit-tight syndrome.
Right now they have found new drives and are pushing with all their might their new found endeavors. And as the political year for Nigeria draws nearer some of them are making their intentions known to be active players on the political scene.
Below we highlight three former corporate financial players and their attempts at giving politics a shot.
Alex Oti: Former Diamond Bank MD has been seen in the political arena quite prominently of late. He ranks high on our list of personalities with political ambitions to watch out for come 2015 as Nigerians prepare to go to the polls once again to elect political officials and representatives.
The former Diamond bank MD/CEO who has his eyes on the governorship seat of Abia State and who until recently was in the PDP has since announced his move to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in a bid to ensure his political ambitions are realized.
Tony Elumelu: Mr Tony Elumelu was the former MD/CEO of the United Bank for Africa up until 2010. Since then Elemulu has continued making giant strides in corporate entrepreneurship in Africa through Heirs Holding Plc, a proprietary investment company he chairs and also The Tony Elumelu Foundation.
He headlined Africa’s commitment to support the Power Africa Initiative of President Barack Obama of the United States which was launched on June 30, 2013 during his (Obama) last visit to Africa in Cape Town, South Africa. Elumelu through Heirs Holdings committed a total of US2.5 billion to the power sector in Africa. It is worthy of note that Heirs Holdings recently increased its stake in the Nigeria power sector with the acquisition of the Transcorp Ughelli Power plant , a gas-fired, thermal power generating plant.
Elumelu is a champion of Afri-capitalism, an economic philosophy that asserts that the private sector can solve Africa’s pressing challenges. It opines that Africans need to take a more practical approach in tackling Africa’s problems.
It is not clear if Elumelu has intentions to join the fry but his younger brother Ndudi Elumelu Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Health, is in the Delta governorship race under the Peoples Democratic Party.
Fola Adeola: Charismatic, gentle and soft spoken, these are the words that best describes the light skinned former Guaranty Trust Bank MD. He founded the bank alongside his immediate successor and childhood friend, Tayo Aderinokun in 1990. He stepped down as MD/CEO in July 2002.
The bank was awarded ‘2013 African Bank of the Year’ bank by the African Banker Magazine with most impressive web platform of 2014.
Fola Adeola was APC’s vice presidential running mate of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu in the presidential elections of 2009, an election they lost to the now incumbent Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP.
Mr Fola Adeola who was a delegate to the recently concluded National Conference recently stated that he was not interested in running for the governorship position of Ogun State as he had otherwise been reported. According to him “I do not want to contest the governorship of Ogun State. That is not what I want to do now, it is not in my agenda this year and it will never be on my agenda. People who do this job (of a governor) today in Nigeria are in their 40s. Not now that I am 60 years old” he said in an interview with The Punch newspaper.