President Jonathan has nominated Godwin Emefiele, the managing director of Zenith Bank to be the next governor of Central Bank Nigeria(CBN), as a successor to the outgoing and controversial Sanusi. The nomination has been made prior to the suspension of Sanusi who was the sitting governor of CBN. Pending the approval of Nigeria’s senate, Emefiele’s new position will commence in June at the expiration of Sanusi’s term.
“Mr. Godwin I. Emefiele serves as Chief Executive officer and Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc. Mr. Emefiele served as Deputy Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc. since 2001. He served as Executive in charge of Corporate Banking, Treasury, Financial Control and Strategic Planning of Zenith Bank Plc. and had been Management team since inception. Mr. Emefiele has over eighteen years of banking experience. Mr. Emefiele serves as Director at Zenith Bank Plc and Zenith Bank (Gambia) Limited. Before commencing his banking career, he has lectured Finance and Insurance at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, and University of Port Harcourt, respectively. Mr. Emefiele serves as Director of ACCION Microfinance Bank Limited. He is also an alumnus of Executive Education at Stanford University, Harvard University (2004) and Wharton Graduate Schools of Business (2005). Mr. Emefiele holds a B.Sc Degree in 1984 and an MBA Degree in Finance in 1986, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.,” as noted by Businessweek.
His nomination came as a surprise because many experts were anticipating that the replacement will come from one of the deputies at Central Bank of Nigeria. Emefiele ‘s nomination is a reassurance that Nigeria is moving forward with reforms and embrace of free market with an open door to foreign investments.
Emefiele came from the powerful Zenith Bank. It must be noted that Zenith Bank Plc is the largest bank in Nigeria and the seventh largest in Africa by Tier-1 Capital. Emefiele played a significant role in the bank’s greatness and he has been characterized by his academic brilliance, first class intellectualism and financial prudence. His path of efficiency and high productivity has become his steady hallmark and that is a plus in replacing and filling the imprints left by former governors of CBN, Sanusi and Soludo respectively
The next CBN governor must be an excellent student of pragmatic economics. This is not to say that theoretical economics must be wholly rejected but a dose of reality is needed within the context of the country’s economy. An economy that is not sufficiently industrial but rather powered by natural resources.
Head of the country’s reserve bank must be proficient and skillful in the understanding of macro-economics, especially on employment and price stability. An expert of money currency and capital markets becomes necessary to avoid unnecessary devaluation of naira by maintaining a stable currency and integrity of naira as a stabilized currency.
The next CBN governor must be an inflation hawk that can effectively apply monetary policy to keep inflation rate below 10 percent. An inflation rate below 5 percent may be the best for bountiful and sustainable economic growth. The high interest rate at above 12 percent will eventually dampen economic growth; the new boss at CBN must work feverishly around the clock to lower the interest rate. A high interest rate becomes a barrier to borrowing by business community and this may contribute to lower economic productivity.
As Nigeria emerged as a favorable destination for investments and capital; the governor of Central bank of Nigeria has an active and significant role to play in sustaining Nigeria’s growth and attraction of investments with a prudent monetary policy.With monetary policy as his disposal he will keep inflation rate low and should work hard to lower interest rate which stood at above 12 percent momentarily.
In Emefiele there is a strength of greatness and prudence in character that will manifest in his new assignment. Emefiele has the experience, financial acumen and prudential gravitas to led the Nigeria’s apex bank at this important period in the economic life of Nigeria.
Emeka Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at AFRIPOL. His works have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes and many other important journals around the world. His writings have also been cited in many economic books, publications and many institutions of higher learning including tagteam Harvard Education. Africa Political & Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.firstname.lastname@example.org, www.afripol.org,