Vision is a Powerful Thing -It Must Not Follow Conventional Wisdom

Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu

Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu

I remember when I finished NYSC as a Legal Officer @Shell Nigeria in the late 80s and was working at Newswatch, then Nigeria’s leading newsmagazine. I was planning to “japa” abroad for master’s/doctoral degrees and then on to an international career. A close friend offered me the possibility to become the company secretary of a new bank in Lagos he was involved in its setting-up.

That would have taken me on the path to become a Lagos big boy. I declined and stuck to my plans to go abroad and return home much later. “You are very idealistic my friend” he said sarcastically. “Sit down here and let’s make money together in Lagos”.

I left Nigeria for graduate study, and then on the #UN for 17 years, from entry level Officer to the highest career rank of Director, and then leaving for the private sector and founding a risk management and strategy consultancy in Geneva.

19 years after my conversation with my friend I was headhunted back home to Nigeria in 2009 as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) supervising a 17 trillion naira banking sector comprising 24 commercial banks with 57 subsidiaries in 31 countries, 5 development banks, 100 finance houses, 900 microfinance banks, and 3000 bureaux de change. I had to approve any appointment of a bank CEO, Chairman or board member.

And I was opportuned to play my own humble part in Nigerian banking and economic history by leading the implementation of far-reaching reforms in the banking sector that stabilized and saved the system from collapse after the #GlobalFinancialCrisis of 2008, as well as payment system reforms including #BVN , that created the enabling environment for today’s booming #fintech sector. All of this was, of course, in the years BP (“Before Politics”).

What’s the point of this short story? Vision is a powerful thing. It must not follow conventional wisdom. But it often becomes reality with hard work, applying ourselves, and God’s favor. Hold on to your vision. It may tarry, but it will be established in due season. If I had listened to my friend in 1990 I would have still been a successful professional. But as as the musician Flavour Na’bania would say, “doings e get level”.

 

Kingsley Moghalu

Ifek’ego Nnewi

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