Nigeria: Buhari Backs Emefiele, Says CBN Governor Following ‘Alternative Economic Model’

The president gives reasons why he has not removed Mr Emefiele.

President Muhammadu Buhari has finally reacted to calls for the removal of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, over his apparent partisanship.

Mr Emefiele in May disclosed his interest to be the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), even when he had not resigned.

Amid calls for his removal, Mr Emefiele asked a court to declare him fit to seek the country’s top job without leaving office. The lawsuit failed.

Mr Emefiele only backed down after the president subsequently directed all government appointees seeking elective offices to resign first.

In a written response to questions by Bloomberg, Mr Buhari said the removal of the CBN Governor does not rest solely on him.

“The CBN governor is appointed by the President. But this appointment is subject to confirmation by the Nigerian Senate,” he said.

“Ultimately, it will be for the CBN’s board of directors to determine whether a CBN governor’s actions have fallen foul of the laws in place to ensure he can most effectively carry out his duties.

“But there is a subtext to the accusations. Because the governor follows a model outside of the economic orthodoxy, he is labeled political. But the orthodoxy has proved wrong time and again.

“Instead, the governor is following an alternative economic model that puts people at the heart of policy. Nigeria should be free to choose its development model and how to construct our economy, so it functions for Nigerians” he said.

A fallout of Mr Emefiele’s apparent partisanship has been an announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that it would no longer keep sensitive election materials at the CBN.

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