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Chart: Naira weakens by most since 1999 under Emefiele

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Godwin Emefiele has fared the worst of every Central Bank governor since 1999 when it comes to management of foreign exchange.

The naira weakened against the dollar by the most since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule under Emefiele. Below is a breakdown of how the currency moved under each CBN governor from Joseph Sanusi to the now suspended Emefiele, and the context at play at the time.

Joseph Sanusi (1999 to 2004)

Joseph Sanusi spent five years at the helm of CBN between 1999 and 2004.

Although crude oil price grew by 127 percent and oil production averaged 2.1 million barrels per day, Nigeria’s naira-to-dollar exchange moved from N99 to N132.

Chukwuma Soludo (2004-2009)

On May 30, 2004, Charles Soludo, an Anambra State-born economics professor, became Nigeria’s eighth indigenous CBN governor.

Under his reign, crude oil price rallied 143 percent between 2004 and 2008 before crashing by 41 percent between 2008 and 2009 during the global Financial Recession.

In 2004, crude oil traded at $37.66, rose to $91.48 in 2008 and fell to $53.48 in 2009 while Nigeria’s oil production averaged 2.2 million barrels per day.

Under his reign, the dollar exchange rate moved from N133 to N147.

Soludo’s administration insisted on the growth and financial trust of Nigerian commercial banks by ensuring that all the banks in Nigeria had enough capital bases.

This move ensured that the banks’ customers did not bear losses alone in the event of a collapse. The policy led to the collapse of some commercial banks due to their inability to meet the required capital base of N25 billion.

Soludo is the current governor of Anambra State.

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (June 2009-Feb 2014)

In 2009, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, a Kano State-born economist and banker, took over office from Soludo.

During this period crude oil price rallied 38 percent from $80 to $110 while Nigeria’s average crude oil production stood at 2.4 million barrels per day, proving the required earnings support to ensure Naira stability.

Sanusi is now a former Emir of Kano.

Under Sanusi, the dollar exchange rate moved from N148 to N157.

Godwin Emefiele (2014 -2023)

Under the stewardship of Emefiele, the Naira official rate compared to the US Dollar has depreciated from N164 to N462 (or 64% weaker).

In the parallel market, the situation is even worse, the Naira has weakened from N183/ $1 to N758/ $1. This is a 75% depreciation of the Naira.