The recent suspension of Godwin Emefiele as the central bank governor of Nigeria has led to a significant change in leadership. President Bola Tinubu has appointed Mr. Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi as the acting governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). As we explore this transition, we will delve into Mr. Shonubi’s background and experience, as well as his monetary policy stance as reflected in recent Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) meetings.
Meet Acting Governor Adebisi Shonubi:
Mr. Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi, the newly appointed acting governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, brings a wealth of experience to his role. Holding dual Master’s degrees in Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Lagos, his diverse educational background equips him with a strong foundation for leading Nigeria’s central bank.
Prior to his appointment as the Deputy Governor of the CBN in June 2018, Mr. Shonubi served as the Managing Director/CEO of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System PLC from 2012 to 2018. His notable contributions include being one of the key architects of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) system during his tenure at NIBSS. He also held significant positions at Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Renaissance Securities Nigeria Limited, First City Monument Bank Limited, Ecobank Nigeria Limited, and Citibank Nigeria Limited.
Monetary Policy Stance:
Mr. Shonubi’s stance on monetary policy has been characterized by a hawkish approach, advocating for higher interest rates. This perspective is evident in his voting record during recent Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) meetings.
During the November 2023 MPR meeting, Mr. Shonubi voted for a 16.5% increase in the MPR, which was adopted by the committee. Similarly, at the January MPR meeting, he voted for a 150 basis point hike in the MPR from 16.5% to 18%. Although the committee settled on a 100 basis point increase to 17.5%, his hawkish stance was apparent. In the March MPR meeting, he once again voted for a 50 basis point raise to 18%, which was ultimately adopted by the committee.
Implications and Future Direction:
The appointment of Mr. Adebisi Shonubi as the acting governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria brings continuity and expertise to the role. With his extensive experience in the banking and financial sectors, he is well-equipped to address the challenges and opportunities faced by Nigeria’s economy.
As acting governor, Mr. Shonubi will play a crucial role in shaping monetary policy, ensuring financial stability, and driving economic growth. His hawkish stance on interest rates suggests a focus on inflation control and monetary tightening. However, it remains to be seen how his policies will unfold in response to evolving economic conditions and global trends.
With the suspension of Godwin Emefiele, Nigeria’s central bank has undergone a leadership transition, appointing Mr. Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi as the acting governor. Mr. Shonubi’s impressive background, including his pivotal role in developing the Bank Verification Number system, positions him well for this significant responsibility. As the acting governor, his hawkish monetary policy stance reflects a commitment to addressing inflationary pressures and maintaining financial stability. As Nigeria moves forward, Mr. Shonubi’s leadership and expertise will be crucial in navigating the challenges and opportunities in the country’s financial landscape.