Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele CFR (born 4 August 1961) is a Nigerian politician,[2][3] economist and banker who served as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 4 June 2014[4] until his suspension by President Bola Tinubu, on 9 June 2023.[5][6]

Godwin Emefiele
Emefiele in July 2015
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria
In office
4 June 2014 – 9 June 2023
PresidentGoodluck Jonathan
Muhammadu Buhari
Bola Tinubu
Preceded bySarah Alade (Acting)[1]
Succeeded byFolashodun Shonubi (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1961-08-04) 4 August 1961 (age 62)
Lagos State, Nigeria
Political partyAll Progressives Congress
SpouseMargaret Emefiele
EducationMaster of Arts degree in Finance
Alma mater
  • Economist
  • banker

Early life and education edit

Godwin Emefiele was born in present day Lagos State, Nigeria on 4 August 1961. He is a native of Agbor, Delta State, Nigeria. He attended Ansarudin Primary School and Maryland Comprehensive Secondary both in Lagos, before proceeding to the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) for his tertiary education. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Banking and Finance, finishing as one of the top students in his class, in 1984. Soon after his National Youth Service, he returned to UNN for a Masters Degree in Finance, which he obtained in 1986. He is also an alumnus of Executive Education at Stanford University, Harvard University (2004) and Wharton School of Business (2005). He was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration by the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN).[7]

Career in the private sector edit

Early in his career, Emefiele lectured finance and insurance at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, and University of Port Harcourt, respectively. He also had a brief stint at Vodafone.

Before moving to the Central Bank, he gained over eighteen years of banking experience. He served as chief executive officer and group managing director of Zenith Bank Plc. He served as deputy managing director of Zenith Bank Plc. from 2001. He served as executive director in charge of corporate banking, treasury, financial control and strategic planning of Zenith Bank Plc and served on the management team from its inception. He served as director at Zenith Bank Plc and Zenith Bank (Gambia) Limited. He serves as director of ACCION Microfinance Bank Limited.[8]

Governor of the Central Bank edit

Godwin Emefiele (right) with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew and Deputy Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin in 2015

Emefiele was the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 4 June 2014 to 9 June 2023 when he was suspended by President Bola Tinubu. During his first term, he supervised an interventionist currency policy at the behest of the presidency, propping up the Nigerian Naira by pumping billions of dollars into the foreign exchange market. He also introduced a multiple exchange rate regime to try to mask pressure on the Naira and avoid a series of devaluations.[9]

In 2019, Nigeria's Senate approved a second five-year term for Emefiele.[10][11] This was the first time that anyone had served for a second term since Nigeria's return to democracy in 1999.[12] Senator Bukola Saraki read President Buhari's letter on Thursday, 9 May 2019.[13] He was screened on Wednesday[14] and his confirmation came on Thursday, 16 May 2019.

Controversy edit

In an unprecedented move by any chief of the Nigerian apex bank, Godwin Emefiele ventured into partisan politics against the dictates of the Central Bank Act which provides that the occupant of the governor's position must remain apolitical and independent at all times to preserve the nonpartisan posture of the bank.[15]

In May 2022, Emefiele drew public outrage when it emerged that he was seeking to replace President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2023 presidential election. What started as a rumor when campaign posters of the bank chief flooded the capital city of Abuja[16][17] soon gained breath when a group of alleged rice farmers purchased the presidential form of the All Progressive Congress for the CBN Governor.[18] In a series of tweets via his verified account, Emefiele rejected the presidential form and declared he has no intention to contest.[19][20] But in a quick twist, Emefiele filed a lawsuit at the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking an order from the court directing the electoral body and the office of the attorney general not to stop him from contesting the presidential position. The court stepped down the request but invited the duo to make a formal presentation on why Emefiele's request should not be granted.[21][22]

Nigerians and the Civil Society Organisations have filed multiple cases in court demanding the removal of the CBN Governor and accusing him of violating multiple provisions of the Central Bank Act.

Suspension as Central Bank Governor edit

On 9 June 2023, President Bola Tinubu suspended him as the Central Bank Governor with immediate effect, the statement came from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation by Mr Willie Bassey.

The suspension is sequel to ongoing investigation of his office and also the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy.

Emefiele was directed to hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate) Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi, who will act as the Central Bank Governor pending the conclusion of the investigation and the reforms.

Arrests by the DSS edit

On 10 June 2023, the Department of State Services (DSS) confirmed the arrest of Emefiele at exactly 14:28 WAT through their official twitter page. He was reportedly brought in for interrogation in regards to the investigation of his office, and a short video clip of him stepping out of an executive Hilux car in a close walk accompaniment by DSS officers into a waiting private jet ran wild in the media. He was charged in July 2023.[23] He was re-arrested by the DSS on 25 July 2023, at the Federal High Court in Lagos.[24] On April 5, 2024, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), filed new charges against Godwin Emefiele. Godwin Emefiele is accused of fraudulent false allocation of foreign exchange of $2 billion The indictment claims that the allocation was made without supporting offers. Godwin Emefiele committed the offenses between 2022 and 2023, the commission says.[25]

Other activities edit

  • International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Governors (since 2018)[26]
  • International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM), Member of the Governing Board (since 2018)[27]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Central Bank of Nigeria:: Board of Directors".
  2. ^ "CBN governor Emefiele joins presidential race, obtains APC form". 6 May 2022.
  3. ^ "APC ward chairman confirms Emefiele's membership, says CBN gov registered Feb 2021". Punch Newspapers. 9 May 2022. Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  4. ^ "Profile of Godwin Emefiele, new CBN GOV". Vanguard Nigeria. 20 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Tinubu suspends Emefiele, orders CBN probe". Punch Newspapers. 10 June 2023. Retrieved 10 June 2023.
  6. ^ Adegboyega, Ayodeji (10 June 2023). "Suspended CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, arrested, detained". Premium Times Nigeria. Retrieved 12 June 2023.
  7. ^ "UNN Confers Honorary Degree On Emefiele". Leadership Newspaper. 17 May 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Central Bank of Nigeria | Home". www.cbn.gov.ng. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  9. ^ Camillus Eboh and Chijioke Ohuocha (9 May 2019), Nigeria central bank head nominated for second term Reuters.
  10. ^ "BREAKING: Senate confirms Emefiele's re-appointment a day after screening". Oak TV Newstrack. 16 May 2019. Archived from the original on 17 May 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  11. ^ Camillus Eboh (17 May 2019), Nigeria's Senate confirms second term for cbank governor Emefiele Reuters.
  12. ^ Camillus Eboh and Chijioke Ohuocha (9 May 2019), Nigeria central bank head nominated for second term Reuters.
  13. ^ "BREAKING: Again, Buhari nominates Godwin Emefiele for second term". Oak TV Newstrack. 9 May 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  14. ^ "CBN Governor: Senate committee begins Emefiele's tenure extension screening". Oak TV Newstrack. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Presidential Bid: Governor Emefiele Acted Contrary To Central Bank Act, Remove Him Now — SERAP Tells Buhari". Sahara Reporters. 7 May 2022. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  16. ^ Babalola, Ayoola (25 March 2022). "2023: Emefiele campaign posters flood APC convention ground". Peoples Gazette. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  17. ^ Erunke, Joseph (25 March 2022). "2023: Emefiele's posters, banners flood Abuja ahead of APC convention". Vanguard Newspaper. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  18. ^ Olokor, Fiday (6 May 2022). "2023: Farmers, others buy presidential forms for Emefiele". Punch Newspaper. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  19. ^ "'Divine intervention': Emefiele speaks on rumoured presidential ambition". Guardian Newspaper. 7 May 2022. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  20. ^ "Emefiele Declines Presidential Forms, Says God Would Direct Him In Few Days". Daily Trust Newspaper. 7 May 2022. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  21. ^ "Emefiele files lawsuit, seeks to run for president without resigning as CBN governor". Peoples Gazette. 9 May 2022. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  22. ^ "Nigeria court denies Emefiele request in presidential run". Aljazeera. 9 May 2022. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  23. ^ "Nigeria Files Suit Against Suspended Central Bank Governor". Bloomberg News. 13 July 2023. Retrieved 14 July 2023.(subscription required)
  24. ^ "Video: DSS rearrests Emefiele after arraignment, bail". Vanguard (Nigeria). Retrieved 25 July 2023.
  25. ^ "Africa Nigeria's ex-central bank head Emefiele faces fresh charges on Monday". Reuters. Retrieved 7 April 2024.
  26. ^ Members International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  27. ^ Governing Board International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM).

External links edit

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