Emefiele Suspended, Shonubi Appointed Acting CBN Governor

*Emefiele calm at home, reviewing hand over note

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

President Bola Tinubu yesterday suspended the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Godwin Emefiele from office with immediate effect.
Emefiele was subsequently directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to CBN’s Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), Folashodun Shonubi, who will act as the Central Bank Governor.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, in a statement issued by the Director of Information, office of the SGF, Willie Bassey, said the suspension was sequel to the ongoing investigation of Emefiele and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy.
The suspension of Emefiele did not come as a surprise to many. Tinubu had in his inaugural speech said the country’s monetary policy needed thorough house cleansing and had expressed his desire to have a CBN that would work towards a unified exchange rate.

“Monetary policy needs a thorough house cleaning. The central bank must work towards a unified exchange rate. This will direct funds away from arbitrage into meaningful investment in the plant, equipment, and jobs that power the real economy,” Tinubu had said.
He noted further: “Interest rates need to be reduced to increase investment and consumer purchasing in ways that sustain the economy at a higher level.
“Whatever merits it had in concept, the currency swap was too harshly applied by the CBN, given the number of unbanked Nigerians. The policy shall be reviewed. In the meantime, my administration will treat both currencies as legal tender.”

Ahead of the 2023 general election, Tinubu, who was then the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had alleged that the naira redesign project and the cash withdrawal limits introduced by the Emefiele last October were introduced to derail his presidential bid.
“They hoarded money, they hoarded naira; we will go and vote and we will win. Even if they change the ink on the naira notes, whatever their plans, it will come to nought. We are going to win,” he had said at one of his campaign rallies.

But the CBN had responded then that the redesigning of the N1000, N500 and N200 banknotes was not targeted at any politician or political parties but in the interest of the nation.
The Director of Finance in CBN, Benjamin Fakunle, had explained: “Let me put it on record that we are not targeting anybody. The last time that Nigeria redesigned notes was more than nine years ago and this is something that we normally do in a period of between five and seven years; so, nobody is being targeted.”

The Man, Shonubi
The new acting CBN governor, Shonubi, assumed the position of Operations Director on October 17, 2018.
He holds a double Master’s Degree respectively in Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering, from the University of Lagos. He is a banker with over 30 year’s professional experience.

He was the Managing Director/CEO of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System PLC from 2012-2018.
Before he was appointed the Managing Director NIBSS PLC, Shonubi was Executive Director, Information Technology and Operations at Union Bank of Nigeria Plc; a member of the Board of Union Homes and Director, Information Technology and Corporate Services in Renaissance Securities Nigeria Limited, with responsibility for the Group’s IT infrastructure in Africa

Between 1999 and 2007, he worked in MBC International as Deputy General Manager and supervised their IT operational platforms, served in First City Monument Bank Limited as Vice President and in Ecobank Nigeria Limited as Executive Director.
Shonubi also had a stint with Citibank Nigeria Limited as its Head, Treasury Operations (1990-1993). He has served on a number of sub-committees of the Bankers’ Committee, including the Ethics and Professionalism sub-committee.

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