• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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BusinessDay CEO Forum 2024: Eight insights on keynote speaker Cardoso

BusinessDay CEO Forum 2024: Eight insights on keynote speaker Cardoso

Olayemi Michael Cardoso, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, widely known as Yemi Cardoso, is a towering figure in the Nigerian economic landscape.

His influence extends far beyond the boardrooms of banks, reaching the halls of government and international development agencies. With over four decades of experience, his career is a testament to his dedication to financial inclusion, economic growth, and public service.

Here are six insights on Cardoso

Scholarly foundation

Cardoso’s journey began with a solid academic foundation. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in managerial and administrative studies from Aston University in the United Kingdom.

His thirst for knowledge continued at the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School, in the United States of America, where he obtained a Master’s degree in public administration. This blend of financial expertise and public policy understanding would become a hallmark of his career.

Banking trailblazer

Cardoso’s private sector journey took him to the helm of prominent financial institutions. He rose through the ranks at Citibank, eventually reaching the position of Vice President. His entrepreneurial spirit also led him to co-found Citizens International Bank, where he served as executive director for eight years. These experiences honed his financial acumen and prepared him for a pivotal shift.

Public service with purpose

In 1999, as Nigeria transitioned to civilian rule, Cardoso stepped forward to serve his nation. He was appointed as the first commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget for Lagos State, a megacity grappling with economic challenges.

In this role, he became an architect of change. He crafted and oversaw the implementation of a blueprint that catalysed Lagos’ economic development. His reforms improved the state’s financial autonomy and tax revenue generation, paving the way for a more prosperous future.

Visionary leadership

Cardoso’s leadership extended beyond mere numbers. He spearheaded initiatives like the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), the Security Trust Fund, and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). These forward-thinking measures laid the groundwork for Lagos’ transformation.

Global collaboration

Yemi Cardoso’s impact transcended national borders. He served as an advisor and collaborator to major international development organisations like the World Bank, Ford Foundation, UN-Habitat, World Health Organisation, and the Swedish Development Foundation. His expertise helped shape poverty alleviation and economic growth strategies on a global scale.

Champion of diversity and inclusion

Cardoso’s leadership transcended financial performance. As Chairman of the board of Citibank Nigeria, he championed diversity and inclusion. Under his guidance, the bank’s total assets and revenue soared, while the percentage of women in both employment and board membership increased significantly.

His commitment to inclusivity extended beyond Citibank, as he served on the boards of Texaco and Chevron Nigeria, as well as EFInA, a financial sector development organisation.

Recognition of excellence

Cardoso’s contributions have been lauded both nationally and internationally. He has received an honourary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration from Aston University, his alma mater, and Citibank’s Global Distinguished Alumni award. These accolades reflect the high esteem in which he is held by his peers.

The road ahead

Yemi Cardoso’s recent nomination as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria marks a new chapter in his remarkable career. His deep understanding of the Nigerian economy, coupled with his public policy experience, positions him well to lead the CBN during a critical juncture.