Following unsolicited campaigns to see him emerge as one of the presidential candidates in the 2023 presidential election, and criticisms to distract him, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said his major commitment at the moment is to assist President Muhammadu Buhari stabilise the economy and place the country on the path of growth.
Emefiele, whose interventions have seen the economy take a turn for the best, said he remained focused on his job and will continue to support the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government’s economic recovery drive.
A statement signed by a group, Friends of Godwin Emefiele, and made available to The Guardian, said the past few weeks had seen media reports on the purported interest of the apex bank boss in the 2023 presidential race, leading to a stampede by interested parties and vested interests, who are resorting to all sorts of blackmail, sponsored articles and choreographed comments on social media targeted at tainting his image, impugning his character and legacy.
According to the statement, “clearly, the negative attacks are being sponsored by those who see Emefiele as a major threat to their political ambition.
The CBN governor, who recalled that he had never lobbied for any job, said he remained humbled by President Buhari’s decision to grant him an unprecedented second term as CBN governor- again without lobbying. Thus, he would continue to remain loyal to him and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
On his career trajectory, the statement said: “Right from his days as a young banker, he never asked, nor lobbied for a job- he was invited by the Board of Directors to be the Chief Executive Officer/Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank as he was an integral part of the team, led by founder Jim Ovia, that transformed Zenith Bank from a start-up to one of Africa’s largest banks with subsidiaries in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia, South Africa, Dubai, China and the United Kingdom.
“In 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan tapped him to be the CBN Governor, a job he didn’t lobby for and in which his name was not among those being considered at that time. He was not even from the geo-political zone that most people thought the job would go to as the president then was from the same geopolitical zone with him.
“Mr. Emefiele told us that he believes it’s the prerogative of President Muhammadu Buhari to plan his succession in line with global best practices for good governance for the continuing peace and progress of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as such he will play his part to stabilise the economy for an orderly transition.
“And given that it’s God that anoints leaders, he will leave his faith firmly in the hands of God.
Recalling how the economy and monetary sectors have transformed under his watch, the statement said: “Indeed, when Emefiele assumed the position of the CBN Governor in June 2014, his task was huge, the challenges seem insurmountable. Today despite huge headwinds, he has calmed the waters and put Nigeria back on the path of growth.
“As you will recall, there was a sharp fall in crude oil prices from 2015, which led to significant revenue shortfalls in Nigeria where crude oil represents about 95 per cent of Nigeria’s export revenue. This created major shock for the Nigerian economy, leading to a 13-month recession in 2016.