Nigeria: Will the Apex Bank get a new sheriff in 2019?


Asides general elections in Feb-1 9, this year also determines who becomes, perhaps, the most influential figure in the economy. One of the key themes expected to shape H2-19 is the likely change expected at the CBN in June-1 9 after the expiration of Governor Emefiele’s tenure. The monetary policy stance of the next CBN governor will greatly determine economic outcomes in H2-1 9.

Nigeria: Will the Apex Bank get a new sheriff in 2019? - Brand Spur
Sources: CBN, United Capital Research

Despite constitutional eligibility of two terms, no CBN Governor has returned for a 2n d term since 1999. The position seems to have rotated across the four major geopolitical regions of the country in the last 2 0 years. For instance, Dr. Joseph Sanusi (1999-2004) from S/west, Prof. Charles Soludo 2004-2009 from S/East, Sanusi Lamido (2009-2014) from N/West, and Governor Godwin Emefiele from S/South. Although it is not impossible for President Buhari to reappoint the
incumbent governor, as he did not change the CBN Governor as a military ruler, the chances that Alhaji Atiku would appoint a new CBN governor since h e criticized the current FX regime, is more likely.

Overall, we anticipate a replacement for Mr Emefiele by Jul-1 9, perhaps from the S/West, if the regional rotation continues. Additionally, from 1960 till date, Nigeria has had 10 CBN governors, 4 of whom were ex-bank CEOs, 3 ex-deputy CBN governors and 3 other from outside the bank. Therefore, we are of the view that professional and regional background will play a prominent role i n determining who becomes the next CBN chief.