Olayemi Cardoso’s appointment as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria was approved by the Senate on Tuesday. Analysts and commentators see a difficult task ahead of him, particularly given the current FX problem. The specialist also made comparisons between him and some of his forebears.
Yet, many are unable to properly remember their predecessors and are unable to put things in context.
Here is a list of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governors from 1958 till date, along with brief biographies:
Roy Pentelow Fenton (1958-1963)
Roy Fenton was the first Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He played a significant role in establishing the central bank during Nigeria’s transition to independence.
Aliyu Mai-Bornu (1963-1967):
Aliyu Mai-Bornu served as the second Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He was a distinguished economist and focused on maintaining price stability and promoting economic growth.
Clement Nyong Isong (1967-1975):
Clement Isong became the third Governor, but his tenure was interrupted by the Nigerian Civil War. He contributed to stabilizing the economy after the war, implementing monetary policies and exchange rate reforms.
Adamu Ciroma (1975-1977):
Adamu Ciroma served as the fourth CBN Governor.
He focused on implementing measures to curb inflation and stimulate economic growth.
Ola Vincent (1977 to 1982)
Ola Vincent became the fifth governor and contributed significantly to the development of the Nigerian banking sector. He played a key role in the establishment of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).
Abdulkadir Ahmed (1982–1993):
Abdulkadir Ahmed served as the sixth Governor during a challenging economic period. He implemented measures to stabilize the financial sector, managed debt, and promoted economic diversification.
Paul Agbai Ogwuma (1993–1999):
Paul Ogwuma became the seventh Governor. His tenure saw the introduction of several reforms, including the deregulation of interest rates and the foreign exchange market.
Joseph Oladele Sanusi (1999-2004):
Joseph Sanusi served as the eighth Governor and focused on strengthening the regulatory framework of the financial sector. He implemented reforms to enhance transparency and accountability.
Charles Soludo (2004-2009):
Charles Soludo became the ninth Governor and implemented significant reforms in the banking sector. He introduced the banking sector consolidation and recapitalization policy.
Lamido Sanusi (2009-2014):
Lamido Sanusi served as the tenth Governor and initiated major reforms in the banking sector. He focused on ensuring financial stability, strengthening the regulatory framework, and promoting transparency.
Godwin Emefiele (2014- 2023):
Emefiele served as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s governor from June 4, 2014, until June 9, 2023, when President Bola Tinubu suspended him.
At the direction of the president, he oversaw an interventionist currency policy during his first tenure that involved flooding the foreign exchange market with billions of dollars to support the Nigerian Naira. In an effort to hide the pressure on the Naira and prevent a string of devaluations, he also instituted a multiple exchange rate regime.
Emefiele was granted a second five-year term by the Nigerian Senate in 2019. Since Nigeria’s restoration to democracy in 1999, no one had previously held office for a second term.
On May 9, 2019, Senator Bukola Saraki read the letter from President Buhari. He underwent a screening on Wednesday, and on May 16th, 2019, he received confirmation.
The Central Bank Governor was suspended by President Bola Tinubu on June 9, 2023, according to a statement from Mr. Willie Bassey’s office, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
The suspension follows an ongoing inquiry into his office and the upcoming banking sector reforms.
Emefiele was instructed to transfer control of his office to Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi, Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), who will serve as the Central Bank Governor while the inquiry and reforms are ongoing.
Yemi Cardoso: September 22nd 2023
Yemi Cardoso is the current Governor of the CBN, having assumed office on September 22, 2023.