Tinubu nominates Olayemi Cardoso as new CBN governor

Nigeria's President, Bola Tinubu has nominated Olayemi Michael Cardoso to serve as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The CBN Act confers the president with the authority to appoint the governor and four deputies. However, the appointments are subject to the confirmation of the Nigerian Senate.

Cardoso's nomination comes about three months after Tinubu suspended former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele with immediate effect, following an ongoing investigation of his office and planned reforms in the financial sector. A few hours after his suspension, Emefiele was arrested by Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Service. Since his suspension, Folashodun Shonubi was appointed as the interim governor of the bank.

President Tinubu has also approved the nomination of Emem Nnana Usoro, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Philip Ikeazor, and Bala Bello as deputies. If approved, all nominees will serve at the apex bank for a five-year term at first instance.  

"The President expects the above-listed nominees to successfully implement critical reforms at the Central Bank of Nigeria, which will enhance the confidence of Nigerians and international partners in the restructuring of the Nigerian economy toward sustainable growth and prosperity for all," says Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu's spokesperson.

Who is Olayemi Michael Cardoso?

Olayemi Michael Cardoso is a Nigerian banker, chartered stockbroker, and public policy expert. He has worked for over four decades in the public, private, and development sectors as a leader and innovator.

He obtained a bachelor’s degree in managerial and administrative studies from Aston University in 1980. In 2005, he went to Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS), for a master’s degree in public administration as a Mason fellow.

Cardoso served as the Lagos state commissioner for economic planning and budget during Tinubu's administration in 1999. He was also the board chair at the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance and, most recently, Chairman of Citibank Nigeria Ltd for 12 years, he resigned from the role last year.

Under his watch, Citibank Nigeria Limited successfully executed several substantial transactions for its clients, including for MTN through its 2017 US$1.5 billion Eurobond, in the capacity of joint Lead Manager, demonstrating its influential role in the financial landscape.

During his 12-year tenure as chair, Citibank's total assets increased by 308.3%, total revenue surged by 235.6%, and shareholders’ equity showed an improvement of 231.2%.

His father, Felix Bankole Cardoso, was the first indigenous Accountant-General of the Federation of Nigeria in 1963; and, the first indigenous Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Barclays Bank of Nigeria shortly after joining the bank in 1972.

It was under his leadership that Barclays became today’s wholly-owned Nigerian entity, Union Bank of Nigeria.