Kingsley Bosah Ayodele Moghalu was born on May 7, 1963 in Lagos. He is the first of five children. His father, Isaac Chukwudum (now late), was a Nigerian Service Officer. Moghalu’s father happened to be one of a small group of promising young Nigerians inducted into the Ministry of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs after Nigeria’s independence in 1960. His mother was a schoolteacher who later became a professional dietician. Moghalu’s father was posted to Geneva, Switzerland.
The father did not spend a year in Switzerland before moving to Washington DC in 1964 when Moghalu’s father was posted to the Nigerian Embassy there. In 1967, when Nigeria was on the verge of the civil war, the family moved back to Nigeria to serve in the Eastern Region Civil Service. Moghalu’s father later rose to become a Permanent Secretary in the Civil Service.
Because of the peripatetic nature of his father’s job Kingsley’s education did not all happen in Nigeria. However, he had his secondary education in different secondary schools—Eziama High School, Aba; Government College, Umuahia; and Federal Government College, Enugu.
After completing his tertiary education, he went to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He obtained a degree in law and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1987. In 1991, he left Nigeria for his post-graduate studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Massachussets, USA, where he got a master’s degree in International Relations in 1992. While he was at the university, he was given the Joan Gillespie Fellowship, which is a scholarship award in the university. He had a dream to work in the United Nations while doing his master’s degree.
Eventually, the dream was fulfilled when he was worked in the United Nations in Geneva. While still with the United Nations, he embarked on a part-time study for a doctorate degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics in 2005. He also did Risk Management at the UK Institute of Risk Management, London. His academic odyssey took him to Harvard University, John.F.Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School, and the International Monetary Fund
CAREER BEFORE POLITICS
After he completed his tertiary education he did his compulsory one-year National Youth Service as a Legal Officer at the Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd in Lagos. When he finished his National Youth Service, he worked, acombining his legal profession with Journalism. He worked as the General Counsel to Newswatch, the leading news magazine of the time founded by the late Dele Giwa and others. He wrote a lot of incisive opinion articles for the Guardian Newspaper. He also served as a special correspondent in Nigeria for several US and European newspapers like Africa News Service and the Christian Science Monitor. In 1992, he got the job to work in the United Nations Secretariat where he rose through the ranks from entry level Associate Officer to the higher career rank of Director. While he was at the UN he was in involved in legal, strategic planning and executive management at the UN headquarters in New York, in Cambodia, Croatia, Tanzania and Switzerland.
Moghalu was among those appointed by the former (now late) Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Anan, to do a core UN management reform. The five members of the high-level Redesign Panel on the UN Internal Justice System, which he was part of, overhauled the regulatory compliance, accountability and dispute resolution framework that governs the global workforce of the UN. He was also at the frontline in the project to design a comprehensive risk management for the $20 billion Global Fund in Geneva. Moghalu was the Head of Global Partnerships and Resource Mobilization and a member of the Risk Committee.
In January 2009, he resigned his permanent appointment in the UN to start his own company in Switzerland. He started the company, called Sogato Strategies — a risk advisory firm — in Geneva with the minimum capital of 100,000 Swiss francs.
In 2009, at the behest of the former President Of Nigeria, now dead, Umaru Yar’Adua, Moghalu was made the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Of Nigeria. He spent five years at the CBN managing the systemic risks to Nigeria’s financial system. He led the team that executed the controversial banking sector reforms initiated by the then CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. He also was in charge of Financial System Stability (FSS) and was a member of the Monetary Policy Committee(MPC) and the bank’s board of directors. He left the CBN in 2014.
Moghalu has never held an elective position before; the closest he ever came to the corridors of power at any level was his time as the CBN Deputy Governor.
Mixed parentage and background. His middle name, Ayodele, shows that Moghalu is of ‘mixed’ parentage. Nigeria is a deeply fragmented country riven with ethnicity and religion. These fundamental fault lines become accentuated when it comes to deciding who should have what in national matters especially through votes. Moghalu’s descent straddles two major ethnic groups — Igbo and Yoruba — gives him some advantage.
Moghalu is from a privileged family. Going by social stratification, he belongs to the upper class; it can be argued that he rode on the influence of his parents to have most of the achievements he lays claim to. This factor may endear him to the elite in the country, as they may consider him one of their own.
He has exposure and credentials. He is a man who has travelled far and wide; he is also well-read, with formidable academic credentials. This factor may make him the darling of academia and other people who often ascribe academic qualifications to soundness of mind.
His long CBN years. Without bothering to inquire what transpired during his years at the CBN, some already think he should have a deep understanding of the economy and the Midas touch to turn the country from a basket case to a boom town.
Finally, he is being backed by some powerful Nigerian elites, among whom are Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Emir of Kano and former CBN Governor.
He’s a political greenhorn. The fact that he has not held any political office before or got involved in any political “struggle” before may make some people doubt his ability to steer the ship of the state to the desired destination or be able understand the nuance of the Number 1 political city in the country.
Moghalu does not have the political clout that spreads across the length and breadth of the country, the kind that can ensure his victory at the poll.
Also, having been CBN Deputy Governor, some people consider him as one of the people who brought the country to its present position economically. Some people may even see him as somebody that had taken his bite of the national cake.