Muda Yusuf, the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprises, has offered words of caution to the newly appointed Central Bank Governor, Oluyemi Michael Cardoso. He advises Cardoso to steer the apex bank in a different direction from his predecessor.
In an interview with the news correspondent, Yusuf noted that the changes in the apex bank’s leadership is not a surprise, especially considering President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s hints in his inaugural speech on May 29.
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The appointment of Cardoso followed a series of allegations, including corruption and terrorism financing, against the former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele. This prompted the Tinubu-led government to initiate a special investigation into the matter. As a result, the president appointed Folashodun Shonubi to act as the interim apex bank boss.
In this significant shake-up, all the deputy governors of the CBN have been replaced by new appointees, including Mrs. Emem Usoro, Muhammad Dattijo, Philip Ikeazor, and Dr Bala M. Bello.
Yusuf acknowledged Cardoso’s qualifications, emphasizing his academic, intellectual, and industry credentials that make him well-suited for the position. However, he urged the new central bank governor not to replicate the strategies of his predecessor.
Yusuf highlighted that Nigeria’s inflation is primarily driven by structural, fiscal, and security factors rather than purely monetary factors. He emphasized that the economic landscape is already quite stringent, with a Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) set at 32.5 per cent. Nevertheless, he advised Cardoso to exercise caution and restraint when dealing with fiscal deficit monetization.
Yusuf also pointed out that during the previous CBN leadership, there were concerns about the transparency of foreign exchange management and the management of intervention funds by the CBN. He noted that the failure to publish Audited Accounts for six years was a significant breach of corporate governance values and the CBN Act.
The advice from industry experts like Yusuf underscores the expectations and challenges facing the newly appointed Central Bank Governor as he manages Nigeria’s economic and financial landscape.
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