Godwin Emefiele‘s immediate removal from his position as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria was ordered by President Bola Tinubu on Friday.
In a statement released by the cabinet secretary’s office and signed by spokesperson William Bassey, the president also urged an investigation into Mr. Emefiele’s leadership and the beginning of fresh reform efforts.
The president’s statement on Friday night stated that “this is in response to the ongoing probe of his office and the planned adjustments in the financial sector of the economy.”
The chief financial institution of the country was given over to Adebisi Sonubi, the deputy governor in charge of operations. Nothing fancy was added to the statement.
Mr. Tinubu, from whom the ousted CBN chief attempted to take the ruling All Progressives Congress’ presidential ticket in June 2022, was expected to fire Mr. Emefiele. Later, Mr. Emefiele changed his mind about getting the ticket, but not before his partisan political posturing had stoked animosity in the political and economic spheres of the nation.
Upon taking power, Mr. Tinubu was generally anticipated to take aim at Mr. Emefiele, notwithstanding the possibility that local and international market actors would have political sway over the central bank.
On June 4, 2014, Mr. Emefiele, 61, took over as president after previous President Goodluck Jonathan controversially fired his predecessor Lamido Sanusi. Because it was unclear whether or not the president had the authority to fire the CBN governor, Mr. Sanusi’s removal caused a public uproar. Mr. Tinubu was one of those who criticized the removal of Mr. Lamido as being unlawful.
President Muhammadu Buhari confirmed Mr. Emefiele in June 2019 for a second five-year term that would end in June 2024.
Mr. Emefiele was reportedly in Lagos when he learned of his dismissal on Friday night, though his colleagues were unsure exactly what to expect from him moving forward. He might leave the nation to escape harassment from law enforcement, which the president authorized with his declaration of an investigation. The newspaper tried to contact Mr. Emefiele for comment, but he did not respond right away.
During Mr. Emefiele’s presidency, Nigeria’s enormous foreign reserves were depleted at a never-before-seen rate, and there was agonizing inflation brought on by currency depreciation. He repeatedly argued that his action was required to address the country’s problems, which grew more serious as a result of falling fuel prices on the global market and Nigeria’s production output declining as a result of ongoing hostilities in the oil-rich Niger-Delta and a coordinated exodus of foreign oil majors.