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Tinubu names Yemi Cardoso to lead CBN in major shake-up, ends tenure of 4 deputies

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By Oludare Mayowa

President Bola Tinubu on Friday nominated a former commissioner in Lagos, Olayemi Cardoso, to serve as the new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, while also nominating four others to serve as deputy governors, putting a subtle end to the tenure of the suspended Godwin Emefiele.

The appointment of four deputy governors—Emem Nnana Usoro, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Philip Ikeazor, and Bala M. Bell—was also an indication that the government has tactically eased out the current serving deputy governors of the regulatory bank.

President Tinubu suspended Emefiele from office in June while the country’s secret police arrested him and brought him to trial over alleged procurement fraud.

Although some of the deputy governors, including the acting governor, Folashodun Shonubi, were said to have been invited by the Department of State Security (DSS) for questioning over alleged mismanagement of the regulatory bank under Emefiele, none have been indicted.

Cardoso, a former head of Citibank in Nigeria, and the four deputies have been forwarded to the Senate for approval, according to presidential spokesman Ajuri Ngelale in a statement.

“President Bola Tinubu has approved the nomination of Olayemi Michael Cardoso to serve as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and four deputy governors for a term of five (5) years at the first instance, pending confirmation by the Nigerian Senate.

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“This directive is in conformity with Section 8 (1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, which vests in the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the authority to appoint the Governor and four (4) Deputy Governors for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), subject to confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the presidential statement read.

The statement from the presidency was silent on the fate of Emefiele and the four deputy governors currently serving at the regulatory bank.

“The President expects the above-listed nominees to successfully implement critical reforms at the Central Bank of Nigeria, which will enhance the confidence of Nigerians and international partners,” Ngelale said in a statement.

Tinubu had promised a “thorough house cleaning” of monetary policy during his inauguration in May and said that the central bank should work towards lower interest rates after criticizing Emefiele’s handling of the currency.

The central bank pursued unorthodox policies under Emefiele, who kept the currency artificially strong, a policy backed by former President Muhammadu Buhari that supported government borrowings on the international markets.

Nigeria’s new government wants to encourage investments rather than rely on borrowing to create jobs as it tries to revive an economy struggling with record debt, a weak currency, double-digit inflation, and fragile power supplies.

Cardoso was part of the team that had been working on an economic blueprint for the new government.

He was a former commissioner for economic planning and budget in Lagos State when Tinubu was governor between 1999 and 2007.

(Contact; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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