Buhari Names Obiora as CBN Deputy Governor Designate

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Dr. Kingsley Obiora

Obinna Chima

President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated an Alternate Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dr. Kingsley Obiora, as a deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

His nomination is subject to the Senate’s confirmation.

With his nomination, Obiora will be replacing Dr. Joseph Nnanna, the deputy governor of the CBN currently in charge of Economic Policy, who will attain the age of 70 at the end of this month and will retire on February 2, 2020.

Prior to working with the IMF, Obiora worked with the CBN from 2014-2018, where he was the Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Economic Matters and contributed significantly to the overall analytical and policy framework of the CBN.
He also led the team of several technical aides attached to the governor’s office.

From 2011 to 2014, he served as a Technical Adviser to the Economic Management Team as well as Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan’s Chief Economic Adviser.

Between 2007 and 2009, he worked with the IMF as an economist in the European Department, where he was responsible for Lithuania and involved in real sector issues, analyses and forecasts for the country, among several other responsibilities.

Obiora is a seasoned economist, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and Statistics from University of Benin, as well as a Master of Science and PhD Degrees in Economics from the University of Ibadan.

In addition to his qualifications, he has attended several training programmes in Nigeria and overseas.
In fact, since his academic and career distinction of the early 2000s, Obiora has directly supported the economic policies of three presidents, including the incumbent.

While working at the Centre for Econometric and Allied Research (CEAR) between 2003 and 2006, he contributed to the development of an econometric forecasting model for Policy analyses for Nigeria’s National Planning Commission.

He also contributed to developing the macroeconomic framework for Nigeria’s National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) II programme under former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

In a letter to the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, President Buhari said the nomination was in accordance with the provision of Section 8(1)(2) of the CBN Act 2007.

“Obiora, upon confirmation replaces Dr. Joseph Nnanna, who retired on February 2, 2020.

Obiora is currently an Alternate Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC,” the president’s letter added.
The CBN in its policy direction for the next five years, which was unveiled last year, is targeting double-digit growth, single-digit inflation, $12 billion non-oil exports by 2023 and raising financial inclusion to 95 percent level.

The CBN in the plan intends to retain managed-float exchange rate and is considering unfolding a recapitalisation exercise for commercial banks.
CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had listed the CBN’s priorities over the period to include preservation of domestic macroeconomic and financial stability; fostering the development of a robust payments system infrastructure that will increase access to finance for all Nigerians, thereby raising the financial inclusion rate in the country and working with the banks to improve access to credit for not only small holder farmers and MSMEs but also consumer credit and mortgage facilities for bank customers.

He had said: “We are confident that when implemented, these measures will help to insulate our economy from potential shocks in the global economy. In my second term in office, part of my pledge, is to work to the best of my abilities in fulfilling these objectives.”

He had also disclosed that the central bank would leverage monetary policy tools in supporting a low inflation environment, while seeking to maintain stability in exchange rate- with a key emphasis on supporting improved GDP growth and greater private sector investment.