Financial Experts React To Emefiele’s Suspension As CBN Governor

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Financial Experts have continued to react to the suspension of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele by President Bola Tinubu.

Emefiele, whose suspension was announced on Friday, was directed to hand over the affairs of his office to Folashodun Shonubi, the CBN’s Deputy Governor, Operations Directorate.

Shonubi will act as the CBN Governor, pending the conclusion of the investigation and the reforms in the CBN.

While some have commended the directive, others believe the President should have given the former governor a little time to complete most of the key projects in the bank.

Uche Uwaleke, a Professor of Finance and Capital Market at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, said Emefiele’s sack was long foretold but the announcement caught many Nigerians by surprise.

He said the suspension would mark an end to a turbulent era in the CBN but Emefiele would be remembered for implementing big ideas such as the Anchor Borrower Programme, the RT200, the eNaira and a raft of interventions which helped to stimulate the economy during periods of economic recession.

To be fair, Emefiele, to a large extent, succeeded in ensuring financial sector stability, going by the prudential ratios.

“His forex demand management policies, especially the 41 items not qualified for forex, promoted import substitution, conserved external reserves and ensured relative stability in exchange rates.

It would be unfair to blame him for the current high inflation rate since most of the causative factors are beyond the control of the CBN,” Professor Uwaleke said.

Another Financial expert, Okechukwu Unegbu said the suspension of the erstwhile governor, Emefiele, is a step in the right direction.

Unegbu said Emefiele’s removal would impact positively on the capital market and the foreign exchange market, where he maintained multiple exchange rates.

He accused Emefiele of refusing to accept wise counsel from experienced, former bankers.

His undoing was that he ignored the counsel of old and experienced bankers; he was so sure of his programmes and policies,” he said.

He, however, said that the suspension did not mean that Emefiele had been sacked, stressing that the president can only sack him through the National Assembly.

Unegbu however commended President Tinubu for the economic decisions he had taken since he assumed office while urging him not to rush.

He also lauded the choice of Shonubi as acting CBN Governor, saying “he is an experienced banker and a good public finance specialist who will competently hold the fort until the issues around Emefiele are resolved or a substantive governor is appointed for the apex bank.

To Dr Muda Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), the suspension of Mr Godwin Emefiele as the CBN Governor is not a surprise.

Yusuf said in an interview that the suspension showed that President Bola Tinubu’s administration is at variance with the policy disposition of the CBN under Emefiele.

He said; “President Tinubu was very clear in his inaugural speech about his resentment of some current CBN policies such as the multiple exchange rate and the Naira redesign policy.

“The president also hinted at a house cleaning plan for the CBN…It is impractical to reform the apex bank and review some of its major policies with Mr Emefiele remaining on the seat as governor.”

Yusuf also said that the brazen involvement of the CBN governor in partisan politics was an aberration and most unbecoming.

According to him, it was damaging to the credibility of the CBN and the reputation of the governor himself.

President Tinubu had suspended Emefiele from office with immediate effect on Friday.

This was contained in a statement by Willie Bassey, Director, Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

According to Bassey, the suspension is sequel to the ongoing investigation of Emefiele’s office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy.



Mercy Chukwudiebere

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