In the first of SaharaReporters' presidential election review series, we examine Tope Fasua, candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party(ANRP).
When Nigerians go to the polls on Saturday, Tope Fasua of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) will be one of the options before them. But how much do they know about him, and what are his chances of winning?
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Tope Fasua was born in September 11, 1971 in Lagos State. His father is from Ondo State and his mother, Ogun State. He attended St. Christopher Primary School, Isolo and Santa Maria Private School, Olorunsogo, Mushin between 1976 and 1981. He was in Form 1 at a Jakande School in Okota and 12 years old when his family moved to his father’s State — Ondo.
On getting to Ondo, he finished his secondary education in 1985 at Army Comprehensive High School in Akure. After his secondary education, he was offered admission both at the University of Lagos and at the Ondo State University (now called the Ekiti State University). He was offered admission to study Psychology in UNILAG and Economics at the Ondo State University. Tope — because of proximity of the latter — opted for Ondo State University.
He graduated as the best student both from his department and faculty in 1991. Tope had his compulsory National Youth Service at the Institute of Education, where he served as an administrative officer — at the University of Calabar. He became a chartered accountant in 1996; he is a fellow of ICAN.
In 2006, he left Nigeria for the United Kingdom to study Financial Derivatives (a branch of investment banking) at the London Metropolitan University and earned a Master’s degree from the University and he finished with Distinction. He is currently a fellow academic with his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration in view at Walden University.
CAREER BEFORE POLITICS
After his youth service at the University of Calabar, Fasua joined the banking sector. He Started as a trainee banking officer in the Operations Unit at Citizens Bank Limited, Victoria Island, Lagos. After spending four years at Citizen Bank, he moved to Standard Trust Bank where he served as a Manager. He worked as Senior Manager at Equitorial Trust Bank Limited and got promoted to the rank of Regional Manager in Abuja from 2001 to 2005.
After his study in the UK, he started his consulting firm, Global Analytics Consulting firm, with his former professor, Duncan Hughes. Tope Fasua is the CEO of Global Analytics headquartered in Abuja and a branch in the United Arab Emirates. The firm has since morphed from focusing solely on finance to getting involved in management, strategy and a bit of human resources.
Tope Fasua is an author with six books to his credit. He titled his first book ‘Crushed! Navigating Africa’s Tortuous Quest for Development’. He is also a columnist on various leading Nigerian Newspapers; he has been consistent in contributing articles on global and national economic matters. Tope keeps featuring as an analyst on various TV and Radio programmes.
Fasua hasn’t been in politics a long time. On December 16, 2016, he led a group of Nigerians to form a political party known as Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) and on December 14, 2017, the party was finally announced a registered political party by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC). On May, 17 2018, at the ANRP National Executive Committee Meeting, Fasua announced his intention to join the race to seek nomination to run for presidency.
The first one has to be his expertise as an economist. Fasua is an economist and accountant of over two-decade standing. His understanding of the economy is superb and his ability to give facts and accurate figures while doing economic prognosis and analysis is unrivalled. He is indeed an authority on the economy. This may win for him the votes of those who believe that once you fix the economy the polity is secure.
Also, he is untainted. He hasn’t been in politics, and can’t be run down with the cross of corruption hanging around the neck of most candidates with prior political experience.
At just 47 years of age, Fasua appeals to the youth. There are Nigerians who have grown disenchanted with the idea of electing someone from the old guard; to this lot, Fasua will certainly be one of the alternatives.
He runs on the platform of a fringe party. Tope Fasua’s ANRP is well-known among the elites and, perhaps, in the South-West alone. This is a big minus for him, particularly as the voting population is largely non-elitist.
He lacks social capital. Going by his own admission in an interview, Tope Fasua is not the outgoing, gregarious type of man. He doesn’t attend parties. This will count against him since politics is a game of number. Being an astute economist, Fasua himself knows both tangible and intangible social capital can be leveraged for political gain.