Ayo is the CEO of Economic Associates (EA) where he provides strategic direction for ongoing research and consulting on the outlook of the Nigerian economy, focusing on: global, national, regional, state, and sector issues. He was a Member of the National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC) from April 2009 to April 2012, where he conducted periodic reality checks on macroeconomic, fiscal and monetary developments in Nigeria.
Ayo is well known for articulating his views on economic policy imperatives through articles, interviews and comments in the mass media. Most notably, from 1996 to 1998, he spearheaded the advocacy for re-denomination of Naira notes and coins that led to the successful introduction of N100, N200, N500 and N1000 between December 1999 and October 2005. N50 note was the highest denomination prior to the policy advocacy.
Before becoming the CEO of EA in 2004, Ayo worked as Chief Economist and Member of Editorial Board at ThisDay Newspaper Group (2001-2004), Faculty Member at the Lagos Business School (1995-2001), Head of Research at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce (1993-1995), and Company Economist at UAC of Nigeria (1992-1993). He has served as Consultant to a long list of blue chip companies, Federal Ministry of Information, Senate Committee on Banking and Finance, several State Governments, DfID, USAID, World Bank, and was a Visiting Scholar to the IMF Research Department in Washington DC.
He has received grants from Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation, and chaired the steering committee of the Money, Macroeconomic and Finance Research Group of the Money Market Association of Nigeria. His prolific research output has included a 400-page annual economic, fiscal and sectoral report on the 36 states & the FCT, plus numerous scholarly publications resulting from his doctoral thesis, research grants, policy advocacy, and consultancy projects.
Ayo earned B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Ibadan with Sir James Robertson Prize and Medal, UAC Prize in Economics, and Economics Departmental Prize as the all-round best economics graduate in 1988, M. Sc. Economics from Ibadan in 1990, M. Phil. Economics of Developing Countries as a Cambridge-DfID Scholar at the University of Cambridge in 1992, and Ph.D. in Applied Econometrics and Monetary Economics from University of Durham in 2003.