Bloomberg

Nigeria’s central bank governor for the next five years will have to balance fighting inflation and propping up the currency against pressure to boost an economy that’s expanding slower than emerging-market peers.

Godwin Emefiele’s first five-year term ends in June and he could be reappointed. But with less than a month to go, the top post has also been linked to the regulator’s most senior female official and other potential candidates at institutional and development banks.

Below are some of the possible candidates to oversee monetary policy in Africa’s most-populous nation and largest oil producer. That is, unless President Muhammadu Buhari elects a governor that markets didn’t expect, as his predecessor did five years ago in Emefiele.

Aisha Ahmad

Ahmad was appointed by Buhari as deputy governor in March 2018 and oversees financial-systems stability. Her banking experience, at the former Diamond Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, may be welcomed by business. At the January Monetary Policy Committee meeting, she called for increased lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises. If picked for the post, Ahmad would be the first permanent female governor.

Ahmed Kuru

Kuru heads the Asset Management Corp. of Nigeria which was set up by the West African nation to buy bad debt following a banking crisis in 2009. AMCON’s books expanded rapidly during Kuru’s tenure as non-performing loans spiked after the economy contracted in 2016. If appointed, Kuru could boost the central bank’s focus on banking reforms and strengthening the financial sector.

Mansur Muhtar

Muhtar is a former Nigerian finance minister and was director-general of the nation’s Debt Management Office from 2003 until 2007. Currently a vice president at the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank, he’s also served as executive director on the board of the World Bank, as co-chairman of the United Nations Inter-Governmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Finance, and executive director at the African Development Bank.

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