• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Emefiele bags 2021 Person of The Year award

Emefiele: a tenure defined by controversy, unorthodoxy

Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was recently recognised as ‘Person of the Year for 2021’ by THEWILL Newspaper.

The announcement was made on the double cover stories of the newspaper’s Christmas edition, captioned “Emefiele: Passionate Central Banker in Turbulent Times” and “Godwin Emefiele: Revolutionary Banker That Walks His Talk.”

In arriving at the choice of Emefiele, who is Nigeria’s 10th indigenous Central Bank Governor, the Newspaper said: “Since he first assumed office on June 4, 2014, Godwin Ifeanyichukwu Emefiele, Nigeria’s 10th indigenous Central Bank Governor, has been in the eye of the storm over the apex bank’s monetary policies.

“The reason is simple. There is an organic relationship between the Central Bank and the economy of a nation; the bank’s policies have far-reaching implications on the people’s wealth-creating abilities and standard of living. It is therefore a matter, of course, that Emefiele is a household name to different people for different reasons.

“At one time, he was applauded by proponents of the bank’s policy initiatives. At the other, he was lambasted by critics for what they perceive as deliberate moves to worsen an already bad situation. But this passionate Central Banker has been consistent in his actions, which underlies the fact that he means well for the nation and the economy with his boundless belief in people-oriented policies.

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“Unarguably, Emefiele’s coming on board as CBN Governor first in June 2014 and his re-appointment in June 2019, brought hope and calm to an economy that witnessed two recessions and suffered the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic under his watch.”

“Upon his first appointment, Emefiele unveiled his 10-point agenda, which spelt out, unambiguously, his plan to make the CBN more people-focused.

“He left no one in doubt as to the priority of his policy thrust – development finance, to create jobs and attain financial stability. He said he was committed to creating “a Central Bank that is professional, apolitical and people-focused,” which “spends its energies on building a resilient financial system that can serve the growth and development needs of our beloved country.”

“He has not relented efforts at ensuring economic growth and financial stability through strategic policies that impact meaningfully on the economy. Data from the bank’s Corporate Communications Department, headed by Osita Nwanisobi, a Director, showed that the bank’s development finance interventions have created over 7 million jobs. Nwanisobi said the CBN intervention programmes, introduced under the leadership of Emefiele, were born out of a market failure and other critical issues within the nation’s economic space.

“Overlooking scathing criticism from some analysts, who argued that the CBN governor had acquired renewed energy to push the bank beyond its monetary policy mandate by delving into issues beyond what the CBN Act (2007) provided, Emefiele and his team remained committed to the patriotic goal of ensuring economic stability through the bank’s several intervention programmes.

“Currently, the CBN has 37 intervention funds targeted at stimulating the economy and addressing the issue of unemployment.”