Nigeria’s CBN appoints Shonubi interim governor amid reforms

Nigeria’s Central Bank (CBN) has a new interim governor, Folashodun Shonubi, following the suspension and arrest of former Governor Godwin Emefiele. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu cited an ongoing investigation and planned banking sector reforms as reasons for the change. The move has been well-received by investors and analysts, who view Shonubi’s appointment as a shift towards a more traditional economic path.

Shonubi has over three decades of experience in the banking and engineering sectors and holds three degrees, including two master’s degrees in business administration and mechanical engineering. Prior to his appointment, he served as deputy governor and was in charge of operations at the CBN. Shonubi’s career includes stints at Citibank Nigeria Limited, First City Monument Bank, Ecobank Nigeria Plc, and Union Bank of Nigeria Limited.

The appointment is seen as another decisive move by President Tinubu, who has also cut controversial fuel subsidies, signed a new act to boost electricity generation, and introduced a student loan regime within his first 15 days in office. However, Ikemesit Effiong, head of research at Lagos-based SBM Intelligence, believes Shonubi’s appointment could indicate the president’s intention to influence policy more subtly.

“Considering how Emefiele has demonstrated the power and far-ranging role the central bank can play in setting the country’s economic agenda, the president will like the bank to be run by someone who is simultaneously perceived as malleable to his agenda and low profile so he doesn’t hug the spotlight,” Effiong told Al Jazeera. “Emefiele, at times, seemed larger than life in his role. Shonubi is set up to be a different kind of governor.”

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Alex Morgan

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