When the story of banking in the first two decades of the millennium is told, one name that resonates above most others is Godwin Emefiele. The reappointed governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been a constant presence in the financial industry. Piloting, shaping, innovating, leading, he’s been ever present. Once something captures his interest, the CBN governor never leaves it halfway as evidenced by his time at Zenith.
In an industry where people jump ship at the slightest opportunity, Emefiele stuck with the bank through thick and thin and only the higher calling of the federal government could loosen his grip of loyalty on the bank. And even then, he had to be persuaded by the bank’s top brass to take his trade to the national level.
It seems the alumnus of Executive Education at Stanford, Harvard and Wharton School of Business transplanted his greatest ideal to his job at the central bank. Emefiele was recently reappointed for another five-year tenure, a feat previously unheard of for an apex bank boss in the democratic era. In the financial sector at least, the president finally found a beloved son in whom he remains well pleased.
Not that only the number one citizen can recognize mettle and nous when he sees one. Magnates, politicians, titans and tycoons are also in awe of the former Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank. Witness the galaxy of eminent personalities that stormed the Civic Centre on Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos to celebrate God’s enduring blessing on the able custodian of the country’s monetary policy.
On and on they came, an unending tide of dignitaries that filled the hall to overflowing. They came in ones, twos, threes, in sparkling native outfits and immaculate executive wears. They came with business partners and life partners. But they all came for Emefiele.
Headlining the celebration were the likes of Vice-President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, APC national leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Rotimi Amaechi, Wale Tinubu, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Governor Babajide Sanwoolu, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, and others.