Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria/Bloomberg

Moves

Nigeria's Buhari reappoints Emefiele as central bank chief

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Godwin Emefiele’s appointment is subject to the Senate’s approval

Sunday 12, May 2019

(Bloomberg) --Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele for a second five-year term in office, making him the first to have his contract renewed since the end of military rule two decades ago.

Analysts said that there was speculation of other possible candidates for the role and the Nigerian president’s decision to give Emefiele a second term is unlikely to usher in major reforms.

Mathias Althoff, a Money Manager at Tundra Fonder, said, “The likelihood of either the Buhari administration or the central bank under Emefiele doing anything other than what we’ve seen in the past four years is very low.”

“The independence of the central bank is, rightfully, questioned and I do not believe Emefiele is strong enough, nor has he indicated any will to make any major changes to the current foreign-exchange regime,” Althoff said.

The central bank head was managing director of Zenith Bank, Nigeria’s second-biggest lender by market value. Since being appointed, he raised the key interest rate to a record high to contain price growth and bolster the naira.

Emefiele’s decisions to implement currency controls by restricting importers of about 43 items from buying foreign exchange, and his defiance of calls to devalue the naira, may have earned him Buhari’s support to stay on.

The governor will continue facing the trade-off between inflation that is been outside the target band for more than three years and the needs of an economy whose growth is lagging its emerging-market peers.

The central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee is scheduled to make its next rates announcement on 21 May.

 

TAGS : President Muhammadu Buhari, Central Bank of Nigeria, Governor Godwin Emefiele

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