Obiano, Buhari Group Hail Reappointment of Emefiele

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

The Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, and the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), have applauded President Muhammadu Buhari over the reappointment of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, for another term of five years.

Obiano said that the reappointment had raised the hope for southerners, even before the commencement of the president’s second term in office, recalling that the president had promised to ensure equity in the distribution of appointments before the 2019 general election.

Obiano who was speaking through his Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. C.Don Adinuba, in a press statement issued to journalists in Awka, the state capital, said Emefiele’s reappointment was an indication that President Buhari was interested in putting qualified people in positions, as against where the person hailed from.

“Governor Willie Obiano and the people of Anambra State are delighted at the reappointment because it is based purely on merit and an appreciation of the values of policy consistency, national interest, financial system stability and a strong desire for rapid national economic growth.”

The governor praised Emefiele for his hard work and achievements in the apex bank in the last five years, saying that the president noticed his capabilities and deemed him fit for reappointment.

“One thing, which Mr. Emefiele’s reappointment signifies is that President Buhari has started in earnest the implementation of the new policy of inclusiveness, which he assured the Nigerian people after his reelection last February and an issue which he and I have been discussing in private.

“Though Mr. Emefiele was appointed the CBN governor five years ago by erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan, President Buhari saw the need for him to continue in office in the overriding interest of the nation.

“The president deserves commendation for standing firm on his decision on Emefiele’s reappointment, unlike a former president who was enamoured of Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo’s brilliance, foresight, energy, patriotism and accomplishments as the CBN governor, but at the end of the day succumbed to pressures from those who didn’t want Professor Soludo back for parochial reasons.”

He said the country should expect more balanced appointments from President Buhari in his second term, adding that this is the pathway to national greatness.

On its part, the BMO described Emefiele’s reappointment as a masterstroke that will further stabilise the economy.

According to the BMO, the manner the stock markets and analysts responded positively to the news of a second five-year term for the CBN governor was an indication of the correctness of the decision.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr. Niyi Akinsiju, and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, the group noted that the positive comments that trailed the decision showed that the president did not make a mistake in extending Emefiele’s tenure at Nigeria’s apex monetary authority.

“President Buhari came into office about a year into Emefiele’s tenure as CBN governor, and though he could have found a reason to ease him out of office, after inheriting an economy that was near comatose, he gave the former Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank the opportunity to prove himself.

“And as if the leash that was holding him back was removed when the All Progressives Congress (APC) came on board in 2015, the CBN governor spear-headed a number of initiatives to put the country on a path of sustainable economic growth after it momentarily slipped into economic recession’’, the group stated.

President Buhari’s lobby group said by handing Emefiele a second term, Buhari has shown that what matters to him is performance, not ethnic or religious consideration.

“We are not surprised at the deluge of commendations from respected economists and financial analysts because we know President Buhari as an individual that considers capacity to perform. That is why he takes his time before taking decisions,” the group said.

On what Emefiele did to deserve re-appointment, the pro-Buhari group pointed at the success story of the Anchors Borrowers Programme as one of the CBN’s major milestones under his watch.

This, it said, paved the way for the agricultural revolution that has since led to the reduction in rice import and put Nigeria on the path of self-sustenance in rice production.

The group added that the apex bank also introduced the Real Sector Support Fund, a facility meant to provide cheap funding at not more than nine per cent interest rate to new projects in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.