“I Have A World View Of Transformation, I will Bring Leadership Beyond Politics” Professor Kinsley Moghalu, YPP Presidential Candidate
Trying to describe YPP Presidential candidate Prof Kingsley Moghalu, would be a task that may be difficult to achieve, oh yes! And this is because, he is not only perceptive, with a very intimidating academic portfolio, but he is also very determined to take over power in 2019. And this is very evident at the way he talks passionately about his desire, and the burning need in his heart to use all the knowledge and experience he had acquired through the years, to bring about the effective change that Nigeria as a country is in dire need of. I have met a lot of high-profile people in my career, but Prof Moghalu definitely beats the pack. For a man who ought to have been waiting in his hotel room for us to call him that we had come to the venue of the interview, he beat us to it. The interview was scheduled for 9.30am, but Prof was downstairs at 8;50am. After the introductions, he settled down for breakfast, while we tried to assemble for the interview. Through the whole process, he was calm, and accommodating, and when the interview started, he was a well of knowledge to be tapped from. I dare say, that Nigeria needs a paradigm shift from the norm, and I daresay that with these knowledge, capacity and qualities, which Prof Moghalu possesses, he is the right man for the Presidency in 2019. But don’t agree with me, read up the interview and then decide. Happy Independence Day Nigeria.
You are a man of many parts, a lawyer, economist, banker, author, strategist etc. in simple words, how can we describe you?
I am a man who wants to change Nigeria, I am a man who cares about the future of this country. A man who lives to serve others.
Tell us about Sogato Strategies LCC, what are the basic functions of Sogato for a layman that does not really understand all the terms that are associated with it?
I set up Sogato Strategies years ago, as a consultant to advise private sector companies, and governments on strategy and the skill management. Though most of the work that we have done has been for foreign companies and countries. So we advise them on how to make their market race, how to manages their risks, we also advise on how to make effective policies. We also advised the government of Nigeria.
I am going to come to that because you worked in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for a while, and you were behind so many policies that reformed the sector. Being a risk management expert, what did you take out of your experience?
One of the things I am taking out from my experience at CBN, is that nothing is possible to accomplish far reaching for any institution or country, in any country that can change the lives of people. So CBN gave me a direct opportunity to do that, where I was the Deputy Governor of Financial Systems and led the execution of vital sector reforms. I was also Deputy Governor Operations, so we introduced a number of reforms and systems for example the Bank Verification Number (BVN). I was Deputy Governor of Operations, who supervised the introduction of the process. So it is possible that’s what I learnt from CBN. I also learnt why it is important to build institutions, that are independent. One of the reasons why we were able to effect the BVN, which has benefitted Nigerians is because the CBN was independent, from politicians. So we were able to take decisions professionally and execute them. The reason we set up the BVN, was because we were frustrated by the inability of the Federal Government to introduce an effective national identity scheme. So we decided to introduce an identity scheme for the financial sector, which was within our own control. We did it and it worked. And its working today, so you know its possible to do these things if you have strong leadership. If you have a world view, of where you want to take an institution to and where you want to take a country to. The lessons I learned at the Central Bank, I will be taking them into the office of the Presidency in 2019, when I become the President of Nigeria. And that’s one of the things that is driving me, because I know that if I have the political authority of the presidency, I as a leader, would be able to achieve one thousand times, more than what we achieved at the Central Bank. For the wider generality of the Nigerian people.
Now what do you think of Nigerian politics as it is today? Which obviously is one of the reasons why you want to come in.
Nigerian politics as its being played today is a very sad comedy show, it’s a comedy show, but its also very sad and I am not amused at all. Because Nigerians, the masses in this country are suffering precisely because of the incompetence and the corruption of our politicians who have no souls. To them politics is a game, and it’s a game for their stomach, for them and their children, they think they own Nigeria. Instead of using politics to transform our society, politics is taking Nigeria back into the dark ages. So we have a lot of politicians in Nigeria, but no leaders. I will bring leadership beyond politics.
Is that why you think you are the best man for this job?
Yes, that’s one of the reasons I think I am the best person for the job, Because I have a vision for Nigeria. I am a man on a mission for our country. I have a world view of transformation. I have a national ambition for Nigeria, that Nigeria should enter the 21st century. That our young men and women should have the skills that would make them competitive in the 21st century, and that we can build Nigeria up to be a prosperous country like United Arab Emirates, like Brazil, like Singapore, like Malaysia. We can do it here, our young people don’t all have to run away to Canada.
What state are you from? And how old are you?
Sure, I come from Anambra state, Nnewi to be precise. Nnewi North Local Government Area, and I am 55 years old at this point.
Let’s talk about PACT. You were a member of PACT, what happened?
Well, PACT was a mis-opportunity. For me it was a mistake, and I have apologised to my numerous followers. It was an honest mistake, I made it because of my respect for the youth of this country, and my desire to help find a solution to the leadership problem this country is facing. Unfortunately, PACT was turned into, not what it was supposed to be, but something else. It was hijacked and manipulated, for the personal agendas of a small clique and the selection process began to lack transparency. It was unnecessarily rushed, of course the outcome was widely and popularly rejected by the Nigerian people. Because it is not what they were expecting to see, in a group of which I was a member. Given the whole point of PACT was to sit down together and select who is the strongest among us, to be presented to the Nigerian public. The person who has the highest chance of winning, but its not what it became. And so when the process became seriously flawed, at the end of it all, I just had to take a walk. But it was just a distraction, I am moving on. As you know I am now the official presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP). So I am now a candidate, and I cannot now and be discussing aspirants. There is a big difference between a candidate and an aspirant. So I am a candidate and I am focused on the election of 2019, and I am focused on beating Buhari and sending him into retirement.
Taking us back to PACT again…..
I don’t want to talk about PACT. Let’s settle that. The only thing I can say about PACT is that just to show that what I was saying is actually the case. You can see that it has collapsed, there is no such thing as PACT today, its no longer a reality, because most of the credible young aspirants have left it. So you know, its just a shell of its former self.
Does that now mean that it’s possible that the Nigerian youth who are clamouring for presidency may not even know what to do with that power, if given to them?
I am worried about that. The experience of PACT left me with serious questions, about whether the Nigeria youth are actually ready for what they are looking for. Many people think that you are qualified to be a president simply because you are young, no. The presidency of Nigeria is not a joke, it’s a very serious responsibility, and it is because some people who have held it were not prepared for it. That is why we are in this situation in which we are today in this country. So for you to be President of Nigeria, you must be seasoned. You have to have relevant experience at high level leadership, in institutions, that’s the point. You have to have economic knowledge and economic experience, that is a very important function of the presidency. You have got to have experience in international relations, that is a very important function of the president of Nigeria. And so, one of the tragedies of the Muhammadu Buhari presidency, is that his presidency has been such a failure that it has cheapened the Office of the Presidency, so much so that everybody now thinks that they can become the president of Nigeria. It has got a lot of young people excited, running around saying “I want to be president, I want to be president”. And that’s good, its good to want to serve your country, but must it necessarily be at the level of the presidency? If you do not have the requisite experience to be president, that’s the real question. Another question is, especially to our young people, if you want to vote for a young person, what exactly are you voting for? How do you access the people you are voting for? Are you accessing with the right parameters, or are you just being emotional and sentimental, just because somebody is a youthful candidate? So that’s the point. Even when we want a generational shift for Nigeria, we must still find a generational change from the most competent person. The person with the preparation and the track records in international affairs, nation building, economic management. I have been Deputy Governor of CBN for 5 years. I worked in United Nations for 17 years, from entry level to the highest level. I am have been a Professor of international business and public policy, from one of the most prestigious universities in the US. i have written 4 books, two of them on economic transformation and governance. That is what prepares me to be president of Nigeria, to bring about real transformation. That’s the point.
What is your advice for Nigerians as they go to the polls in 2019?
My advice to Nigerians as they go to the polls is to be determined, to have courage to do the right thing. we all know that this thing is right, then do it. Enough of all these, if all of us do what is right. If you do it, then real change will come. But if you say “oh, he would be a wonderful president, I can see that he knows what he is talking about” he is prepared, he is courageous, he is smart, but will they allow him. Who is they? They is you. Because when you think like that, then you are abdicating your responsibility, and you are allowing your mind to become the real enemy that cannot change your situation. So this is my advice to Nigerians. That we should know that it is time, for a paradigm shift in this country. So let’s cat like we know that it is time.
What do you think of Prof Moghalu? Do you think he is the right pick for the next Nigerian president?
Photo credit WakeUpAfrica360