Senate okays CBN Governor Emefiele for five more years

FinancE sector players yesterday applauded  Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele’s confirmation for a fresh and final five-year term.

They said his retention on the job would not only ensure stability in policies, but boost foreign investors’ confidence in the economy.

Emefiele got the Senate’s nod to continue in office for five more years with the upper chamber confirming his reappointment as requested by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Head of Research, Coronation Merchant Bank Group, Guy Czartoryski said his reappointment will secure $9.2 billion foreign direct investment that has so far entered the economy since this year.

“The ‘Emefiele effect’, as we describe it, likely brings a sigh of relief to foreign portfolio investors who have put some $9.2 billion into the Nigerian markets of far this year,” he said.

According to Czartoryski, the market is already seeing the modest ‘Emefiele effect’ as yields on T-Bills and bonds declined across the board.

He said in went emailed report to investors yesterday: “The explanation in our view is that markets like stability and with Governor Emefiele we know what we are getting: continued defense of the naira/US dollar exchange rate at close  to N360/$1; market interest rates designed to make naira attractive to foreign portfolio investors; positive interest rate carry over inflation.

“We see 1-year T-Bill yields settling in a range of 13.80 per cent to 14.50 per cent over the coming weeks and see little catalyst for a change. We see the current N360/$1 exchange rate holding until at least end of this year.”

The yield on a Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Naira bond with 10 years to maturity declined by 25 basis points to 14.24 per cent, and at three years dropped by 19 basis points to 14.57 per cent last week.

The yield on 364-day T-Bill declined by 23 basis points to 14.16 per cent. The yield on T-bill with three-months to maturity increased by 21 basis points to 11.16 per cent.

Also speaking, the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), said that the reappointment and confirmation of Godwin Emefiele as the CBN Governor for another term will sustain stability in the foreign exchange market.

ABCON’s President, Aminu Gwadabe, urged Emefiele to continue to take adequate steps that would keep the naira stable. He said the current stability in the foreign exchange market should be sustained.

Also, Vice National President of the association, Daniel Okafor, appealed to Emefiele to continue with the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and ensure that all agriculture commodities associations benefited from the programme in his second tenure.

He also appealed to the CBN governor to ensure the reduction of interest rates on agriculture loans to stand between three and five per cent.

Okafor appealed to the CBN governor to initiate other agriculture friendly programmes and also support the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) with funds to enable farmers’ access to agriculture loans.

He said: “We welcome this development. We commend the President for re-appointing Emefiele. It means that the President is agriculture-friendly. We thank him for that.”

Emefiele’s confirmation followed the consideration and adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions which recommended Emefiele’s confirmation.

The CBN governor appeared before the committee on Wednesday.

Committee Chairman Rafiu Ibrahim, who presented the report, told his colleagues that the committee painstakingly screened Emefiele before concluding that he should be confirmed.

Ibrahim said: “The nominee made his presentation which covered his experience in banking even before becoming the Governor of the Central Bank.

“On assumption of office as the Governor of the Central Bank, the nominee brought a number of initiatives, which positively impacted on the Nigerian economy and boosted the revenue generation through promotion and ensuring the adherence to accessibility and transparency of government finances.”

He said the nominee had been able to maintain a stable interest rate and effective management of foreign exchange regime.

The committee chairman added that Emefiele initiated several policies and programmes which had positive effects on the economy.

He said: “After scrutinising him, the committee’s findings are as follows: that the nominee has more than 32 years of banking experience, that the nominee understands the diverse nature of the economy and has displayed profound knowledge of stability in the economy.

“That he has performed creditably well in his first tenure which resulted to the exit of the nation out of recession.

“Going by the nominee’s character, banking experience, vast economic knowledge and performance in his first tenure, he is qualified for the position of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria for another tenure for which he has been nominated by the President.”

The adoption of the committee’s report was unanimous.

Senate President Bukola Saraki asked Emefiele to ensure that the economy is improved.

Improvement of the economy, Saraki said, would help to address the most important area of ensuring micro economic policies.

He urged the Emefiele to continue to ensure economic stability.

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