Emefiele succeeds Sanusi as Nigeria’s central bank governor - CNBC Africa

Emefiele succeeds Sanusi as Nigeria’s central bank governor

Western Africa

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Nigeria central bank governor Godwin Emefiele. PHOTO: Nigerian Monitor

According to a statement released by Standard Bank, Emefiele will assume office in June when the term of former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi expires.

Emefiele’s nomination by President Goodluck Jonathan and subsequent confirmation comes soon after the highly publicised ousting of Sanusi from office, amid accusations of fraud and abuse of power.

(READ MORE: Sanusi responds to allegations)

Emefiele has been the managing director of Zenith Bank since Aug 10, and was a lecturer at the University of Nigeria and University of Port Harcourt prior to the position. Despite Sanusi’s ousting, his reforms and new policies are expected to continue.

“Emefiele indicated that the central bank of Nigeria’s exchange rate policy was correct and that a devaluation of the naira would be devastating for the import-dependent economy,” Standard Bank said in a statement.

“This is a positive and important statement suggesting that the new governor will not depart from the central bank’s US dollar/Nigerian naira stability stance implemented over the past few years.”

Emefiele’s decisions to continue to monitor and exercise tight fiscal policy will however be crucial to exchange rate stability and trigger renewed investor interest.

Nigeria’s monetary policy committee’s decision to hold interest rates at 12 per cent is indicative of sustained tight monetary policy the economy is expected to undergo.

(READ MORE: Nigeria leaves interest rate at 12%)

The central bank’s independence will be an equally crucial concern going forward, following a proposal to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, whereby the governor will be answerable to a chairman of the central bank board appointed by the president, and cleared by the Senate. 

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