Boss Picks

2023: I Will Run. Because We the People Matter by Professor Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu

What is the value of a Nigerian life?

We live daily today in the shadow of terrorists. Our economy is collapsing. Many families cannot afford the price of food. Millions of young men and women have no jobs and have no hope. Our university students know more about ASUU strikes and long school closures than any skills they need to be competitive in the world of the 21st century.

Only the rich and powerful can access quality healthcare in our country or abroad as medical tourists, because our health system, like most other systems, is broken. I lost my father, Isaac Moghalu, in December 1998 because he had a stroke but the doctors were on strike, and therefore we could not get him adequate healthcare on time. Soon after we found a private clinic and moved him there, he went into a coma and passed on shortly afterwards. I was heartbroken. Today, 23 years later, not much has changed. Like many, I have suffered personally the effects of bad governance in our country.

With life in it increasingly nasty, brutish and short, the very idea of Nigeria is now almost meaningless to many Nigerians. Cries for self-determination fill the air in response to fundamental injustice. Meanwhile, politics in Nigeria does not bring change, and its benefits go to only one group — the political elite. Their message is loud and clear: we the people — you and I — DO NOT matter.

The bodies of Nigerians are buried in cold corners of foreign cemeteries, strewn across the Sahara desert, and float in the Mediterranean Sea as a consequence of a non-existent leadership. Our country can no longer speak confidently in the gathering of nations. Life as ordained by our Creator, that we may experience His Goodness in this land of the living, has eluded us as a people.

Only the emergence of visionary, competent and inclusive national leadership, on the one hand, and a fundamental restructuring of Nigeria based on a new people’s constitution, on the other, can arrest

Nigeria’s ongoing disorderly and violent degeneration into a completely failed state. We were not born to be miserable and to die miserable. Enough is Enough!

It is now more than ever necessary that we elect in 2023 a leader who is TRULY committed and has the capacity to initiate the constitutional restructuring of Nigeria. A leader who is competent to secure our lives and property, successfully manage our diversity, save our economy, and restore our international respect.

For the sake of the youth of our country—including my four children—whose future is being drowned in reckless foreign borrowing, and for the sake of all Nigerians suffering and seeking a clear alternative to the status quo, I intend, with all humility, to present myself—again—as a candidate for the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the 2023 general elections.

If elected, I will run a government with a dream team of highly competent Nigerians from all parts of our country. Along with strengthened, independent institutions, we will deliver results on a 4point agenda in four years (4 by 4):

• Security for all Nigerians and Nigeria’s territory

• War against poverty: skills, jobs for our youth, and an innovation economy

• Accelerated education and healthcare reform

• Good Governance: Inclusive, transparent, effective and accountable.

This is my SWAG Agenda for a 21st century Nigeria. I seek the support of all compatriots—of everyone who is tired of our present national situation. We also need the energy and support of the youth, the middle class, entrepreneurs, and our compatriots in the diaspora. These important segments of our population have in the past been reluctant to engage actively in our electoral process, ostensibly because of the flaws in that process.

The National Assembly must now pass into law, with no further delay, necessary electoral reforms that will make democracy yield real dividends for Nigerians. Our votes must count and be counted transparently. The amendments should include a provision for Diaspora Nigerians to be able to register and vote in all elections in Nigeria from abroad.

I am only one face of a movement. A movement of silent and suffering Nigerians fed up with the insecurity, poverty, and a seemingly hopeless future for our country. A movement that has decided that Enough is Enough. That movement, soon to be present in our numbers in every voting ward in Nigeria, will announce within the next few months the political party we will join en masse and seek its platform for the presidential, legislative and gubernatorial roles in governance.

We can do this. We can change Nigeria.

Together, let us walk this road to a Nigeria that, within 30 years of successive administrations, will have achieved the kind of economic and technological advancement attained by countries such as Israel, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates within similar timeframes. It is possible. We only need to participate actively in the democratic process and vote right when the time comes.

We the Nigerian people matter. We the Nigerian people deserve better. Let’s do this. Because we can and we must.


Kingsley Moghalu is a politician, former central banker, academic, former United Nations official, philanthropist and changemaker.

His presidential candidacy in Nigeria’s general elections in 2019 inspired millions of Nigerians, challenged the country’s traditional political establishment with a new vision to create prosperity for 200 million people, build a nation out of the country’s disparate groups, and restore the standing of Africa’s most populous country. Moghalu’s bold, issues-focused candidacy, as opposed to the tired, old ethno-religious and vote-buying politics that has failed to move the country forward, was a breath of fresh air credited with altering Nigeria’s political narrative in the direction of reform.

“With the needless poverty and injustice that has kept millions of Nigerians, young and old, from achieving their full potential, and the deeply entrenched vested interests that stand in the way of real change, we must act boldly and differently to create a better future for our people” Moghalu says.

Born in 1963 in Lagos to Isaac Moghalu, a Nigerian Foreign Service Officer, and Vidah Moghalu, a schoolteacher, Kingsley Moghalu developed a keen distaste for human suffering at a young age. His middle class family background only sharpened his discomfort with the poverty that is the lot of many Nigerians thanks to corruption and incompetent governance, and ultimately has led him to his quest for a better life for his countrymen and women.

His career to date marks him out as an agent of transformative change. As Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from 2009 to 2014, appointed by President Umaru Yar’Adua, he led the implementation of extensive reforms in the wake of the global financial crisis that stabilized the financial system and saved the livelihoods of millions of Nigerians. No bank failed, and no depositor lost a kobo. He also led payment system reforms, including the development and introduction of the innovative unique identifier Bank Verification Number (BVN), that enabled the development of the country’s large financial technology (FinTech) sector today.

Kingsley Moghalu was a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN that successfully tamed inflation in Nigeria by 2014, bringing it down to a single digit at 8%. He also served as Chairman of the Boards of Directors of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) and Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC), and a member of the Boards of Directors of the CBN, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based global Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI). He was a member of the President of Nigeria’s Economic Management Team, representing the CBN.

Following his five-year tenure at the CBN, Moghalu was appointed Professor of Practice in International Business and Public Policy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, one of the world’s top professional graduate schools of international affairs, where he taught and mentored graduate students from countries including Brazil, Canada, France, Ghana, India, Japan, Nigeria, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States of America.

He previously worked for the United Nations for 17 years in conflict resolution and international peace and security operations, nation-building and development finance roles in New York, Cambodia, Croatia, Rwanda/Tanzania, and in Switzerland, rising to the global organization’s highest career bracket of Director. In 2006 Moghalu, appointed by then Secretary-General Kofi Annan, served on a UN General Assembly-mandated blue-ribbon panel that overhauled the organization’s transparency, accountability, and administrative dispute resolution framework as part of UN management reform.

Kingsley Moghalu is now the President of the Institute for Governance and Economic Transformation (IGET), a public policy think tank focused on inclusive growth, and the CEO of Sogato Strategies, a global investment advisory firm. He is presently serving as Special Envoy of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on Post-Covid Development Finance for Africa, developing a concrete policy roadmap out of the fiscal distress into which the Covid19 pandemic plunged the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

He obtained his doctorate of philosophy in international relations at the London School of Economics, a master’s from Tufts University, and the LL.B. degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He also holds a professional certification in risk management from the Institute of Risk Management in London, UK, and received executive education in leadership, corporate governance, and macroeconomic and financial management at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Institute. He is the author of several books including the critically acclaimed Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s ‘Last Frontier’ Can Prosper and Matter.

In 2005 Moghalu founded the Isaac Moghalu Foundation, a memorial philanthropy for his deceased father that supports access to education for underprivileged youth in rural communities in Nigeria. He is married to Maryanne Moghalu, the Executive Director of IMOF, and they have four children.

Kingsley Moghalu holds the Nigerian national honor of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), the traditional title of Ifekaego of Nnewi Kingdom, and the Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) conferred on him by Anambra State University. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (FCIB) of Nigeria. He enjoys walking, cycling, and listening to music.

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