Nigerian President Tinubu Nominates Cardoso as Central Bank Governor

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu nominated Olayemi Michael Cardoso to be the next governor of the nation’s central bank.

(Bloomberg) — Nigerian President Bola Tinubu nominated Olayemi Michael Cardoso to be the next governor of the nation’s central bank.

Cordoso’s appointment to the five-year term is pending confirmation by the Senate, the presidency said in a statement on Friday. He also nominated four people as deputy governors.

“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 in the restructuring of the Nigerian economy toward sustainable growth and prosperity for all,” it said.

The Central Bank of Nigeria hasn’t had a substantive head since June 9, when Governor Godwin Emefiele was suspended by the president and then taken into custody by the secret police. Folashodun Shonubi, a deputy governor in charge of operations at the bank, took over in an acting capacity.

Weeks after suspending Emefiele, Tinubu appointed a special investigator to examine the monetary authority’s operations.

Cardoso is a former chairman of Citibank Nigeria Ltd., according to the central bank’s website. He’s also served as a commissioner of economic planning in Nigeria’s commercial hub of Lagos, has a masters degree in public administration from Harvard University, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, according to the website of FBC Financial Services.

Currency Reforms

The four people nominated as deputy governors are: Emem Nnana Usoro, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Philip Ikeazor and Dala Bello, the presidency said.

Under Emefiele the central bank maintained a multiple exchange rate system dominated by a tightly controlled official rate, cutting off access to many businesses and individuals, which in turn drove demand to a parallel market. This meant anyone buying dollars on the official market could make a profit by selling currency on the unauthorized market.

Tinubu has since reorganized the exchange rate system as part of a series of reforms to galvanize one of Africa’s biggest economies, including abolishing costly gasoline subsidies.

Emefiele is facing charges of fraud and remains in custody.

–With assistance from Emele Onu.

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