Buhari re-appoints CBN governor

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President Muhammadu Buhari has re-appointed Mr. Godwin Emefiele as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sustain current economic policies and growth.

The President has forwarded the name of the 57-year-old banker to the National Assembly for approval for a second tenure of five years.

Godwin Emefiele who was CEO of Zenith Bank is the 11th CBN Governor. He began his five-year tenure on June 3, 2014, which will come to an end in less than a month.

Emefiele became the governor at a time when there was visible pressure on the Naira as well as a decline in the country’s foreign reserves.

At his maiden news conference as governor, he harped on the vision of building a people-focused central bank that would deliver effective price and financial system stability as well as promote sustainable economic development.

Over the course of five years, Emefiele introduced policies which many economic experts have criticised, while many others hailed the policies.

Some of the major policies undertaken by the apex bank in the last five years include the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) which aims at increasing the country’s local food production and conserving the foreign reserves.

The CBN took the decision to also ban 41 items from accessing foreign exchange through official routes to encourage local production of the items and simultaneously conserve the nation’s depleting foreign reserves.

Since then, the CBN has raised the number of items affected on the list to 43, with the inclusion of fertiliser and textile products.

Some of the items not valid for foreign exchange at the Nigerian window include rice, cement, margarine, palm produce, beef, vegetables, poultry and eggs, private airplanes, wooden doors and Iron rods, among others.

The CBN also introduced the multiple foreign exchange system, which led to the creation of the Inter-bank/Wholesale, Invisible, Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the Investors/Exporters’ windows.

Also, in 2018, the CBN signed a bilateral currency swap agreement with the People’s Republic of China worth about 2.5 billion dollars.

The Currency Swap Agreement is designed to aid trade transactions between China and Nigeria and remove the need to first source for U.S. Dollars before payments for transactions involving the two countries.

The CBN through the Banker’ Committee and in collaboration with all banks in Nigeria also inaugurated a centralised biometric identification system for the banking industry tagged: “Bank Verification Number (BVN)”.

Encomiums have continued to pour on the move by President Buhari.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has congratulated Emefiele on his reappointment and extolled the leadership qualities and astute contributions of Emefiele to the economic development of Nigeria since he was appointed in 2014.

He described the CBN governor as an `illustrious son of Delta’, whose remarkable contributions to the banking industry in Nigeria remained legendary and worthy of emulation.

“His astute contributions to the development of the banking industry and the Nigeria economy is legendary and worthy of emulation” okowa said.

A financial expert and Chief Executive of BIC Consultancy Services, Dr Boniface Chizea, described the appointment was credible and a step that would ensure the sustainability of all policies.

Chizea said: “It is the best news for the country because we don’t want someone to come and experiment. We commend the president for Emefiele’s re-appointment because it is a good development for the country.

“It’s like the best news coming out of this time. I say so because we have some economic stability now, everything is moving in the right direction and we don’t want any more experiments.”

Also the National Chairman, North East Commodity Association (NECAS), Alhaji Sadiq Daware, lauded President Buhari for Emefiele’s re-appointment as CBN Governor.

“Emefiele is good news for farmers. Farmers are happy with agricultural programmes introduced under Emefiele and we are looking forwards to more support during his second tenure.

“The people of Nigeria, particularly farmers are very happy with what President Buhari did today in forwarding the Emefiele for second term of five years.

“This is a clear indication that people who are honest, people who are hard working, people who have common man in their heart would always have their way.’’

Prof. Uche Uwaleke of Nasarawa State University Keffi,  said the reappointment of Emefiele would further consolidate macroeconomic stability.

He described the reappointment as one development that spoke to policy consistency and would further consolidate macroeconomic stability, especially with respect to exchange rate and inflation.

“Uwaleke, now a research fellow with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said the reappointment was a good omen for the capital market.

“Investors both domestic and foreign, can have some degree of confidence in the direction of monetary policy, which is positive for the capital market,” uwaleke stated.

He said the interventions by the CBN in critical sectors of the economy, particularly agriculture and non-agric based SMEs would continue with Emefiele’s reappointment.

“These will rub off positively on economic recovery efforts, especially now that the CBN under Emefiele has signaled an accommodative monetary policy stance.

“It is equally positive for financial systems stability and I expect a positive reaction, ” uwaleke said.