Aliyu Mai Bornu….


Nigeria’s First Indigenous Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor

Aliyu Mai-Bornu, the first indigenous Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, gained admission to the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, to study Economics at the age of 35 and graduated at the age of 38.

Early Life……

Mai-Bornu was born in 1919 to parents of Kanuri origin in present-day Borno State. He began elementary school in 1932, later attending Yola Middle School and proceeding to the then Kaduna College (now Barewa College) in 1938.

He graduated in 1942 after qualifying as an English Language teacher.

He taught English at Yola Middle School, his alma mater, from 1942 to 1946, after which he spent eight years at Kaduna College as a lecturer of English. In 1954, he served as House Tutor at the Veterinary School in Vom, Plateau State. He studied economics at Bristol University in the United Kingdom from 1954 to 1957.


After his graduation in 1957, Mai-Bornu returned to Nigeria and served with the Northern Nigeria Public Service in various positions until 1959.

He joined the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1959 as an Assistant Secretary. At the CBN, he rose quickly through the ranks to become Secretary before his appointment as Deputy Governor in 1962. Mai-Bornu became the first indigenous governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on July 25, 1963.

He held the position until June 22, 1967 when he retired. After leaving the bank, he served as Director and General Manager of the Nigerian Tobacco Company (NTC) from 1967 to 1969.


Although Mai-Bornu resigned from his appointment at the NTC in 1969, he continued to serve as a member of the Board of Directors until his death on February 23, 1970 at the age of 51.

His portrait features on the N1,000 note which was brought into circulation on October 12, 2005.

May His Soul Rest In Perfect Peace

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