…Seeks Senate confirmation for final five-year term
…Industry players laud apex bank Gov’s re-appointment
Tunde Opalana, Mathew Dadiya, Abuja and Motolani Oseni, Lagos
President Muhammadu Buhari has renewed the appointment of Mr. Godwin Emefiele as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He has subsequently forwarded his name to the Senate for consideration and approval for a second term in office.
This was disclosed at the Senate plenary on Thursday by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who read a letter from the President to that effect to the hearing of his colleagues.
In the letter dated 8th May, 2019 and titled: “Renewal of the appointment of Godwin Emefiele as Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria,” President Muhammadu Buhari sought legislative approval for Emefiele’s re- appointment.
The letter read: “In view of the expiration of the first tenure of the current governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on June 2, 2019, and pursuant to the provisions of Section 8(1) and (2) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007,
I, hereby present for confirmation by the Senate Mr. Godwin Emefiele for re-appointment as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria for a final term of five (5) years.
“It is my hope that the distinguished Senate will consider and confirm the nominee in the usual I expeditious manner. Please accept, Mr. Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
This has put to rest speculations surrounding Emefieles’s re-appointment or otherwise.
Emefiele was appointed on June 3, 2014 as the 11th governor of the CBN and 10th indigenous governor. He took over from Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the current emir of Kano whose tenure lapsed on June 1, 2014.
Emefiele was a former group managing director/chief executive officer of the Zenith Bank Plc. He has over 20 years working experience in the banking industry.
Recall that barely two months ago, The Daily Times exclusively reported that there were strong indications that Emefiele will be re-appointed for another term of five years by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In fact, a competent source at the Presidency who craved anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter at that time had told our correspondent that President Buhari was disposed to Emefiele’s reappointment particularly because of the way the apex bank under him has managed to stabilise the economy through various monetary policy instruments.
Meanwhile, Industry experts believe that during this time of economic challenge and opportunity, Emefiele is who Nigeria needs as head of the CBN, adding that what makes Emefiele unique is that he understands Nigerian economy, it pragmatism and banking practices.
Commenting on this development, Nigeria’s first Professor of Capital Market, Prof. Uche Uwaleke, commended President Buhari for re-appointing the present central bank Governor, describing Emefiele’s appointment as a good omen for the capital market.
According to Uwaleke, it is one development that speaks to policy consistency and will further consolidate macroeconomic stability especially with respect to exchange rate and inflation.
He said that investors both domestic and foreign can have some degree of confidence in the direction of monetary policy which is positive for the capital market.
“One thing is now certain: that the interventions by the CBN in critical sectors of the economy especially agriculture and non-agric based SMEs will continue.
“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,” he stated.
The capital market professor said that he expects a positive reaction going forward, adding that he would like to see an intensification and effective monitoring of the interventions in particular the Anchor Borrower programme.
He advised that Emefiele should also focus on ensuring increased access to credit by SMEs and generally fostering a low-interest rate environment with the support of fiscal authorities.
Also, senator-elect for Kaduna central, Uba Sani, said that the re-nomination of Godwin Emefiele as governor of the CBN “must gladden the hearts of genuine Nigerian patriots interested in the progress of our country and the building of a vibrant and dynamic economy”.
Sani on Thursday said: “This bold and well thought through a decision by Mr. President is highly commendable and must be fully supported by all and sundry as we reposition our economy to confront the monumental challenges facing our dear nation.
“I am particularly happy at this vote of confidence in Mr. Emefiele. That is one man I can fully attest to his integrity, forthrightness, competence, resourcefulness and innovativeness.
He has introduced so many measures in a bid to strengthen the CBN and make it a truly world class apex financial institution. Critical and strategic thinking goes into the formulation of our monetary policies.
He has also been able to reasonably steady the Naira against international currencies.
The CBN has also initiated and executed projects in furtherance of its corporate social responsibility. Above all, Mr. Emefiele provided the needed leadership as we battled and eventually wriggled out of recession.
“Mr. Emefiele’s giant strides have also received profuse commendations from the International Monetary (IMF), the World Bank and other international financial institutions.
Banks and other key financial institutions in Nigeria have equally expressed confidence in Mr. Emefiele’s ability to take our economy to the Next Level. Mr. President indeed got it right.”
In 2015 when global oil prices began to decline, there had been calls for the devaluation of the naira.
However, President Buhari opposed the idea. And as CBN governor, Emefiele, introduced various interventions to ensure that the Naira was kept stable.
These interventions included introducing a list of items for whose import foreign exchange was made unavailable.
That initial list of 41 items now contains 43 items.
He also introduced investors and exporters window while directing banks to sell forex to customers over the counter for basic travel allowance (BTA), medical and education bills.
With help from the Bankers Committee, the apex bank also introduced financing initiatives for farmers and small and medium enterprises.
If his nomination is approved by the Senate, Emefiele’s five-year tenure will end in 2024 after a new president is elected in 2023.