The new governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, took office on Tuesday with the immediate task of protecting a weak naira.
With government spending also expected to rise ahead of next year’s presidential election, the new governor will have no room to let up on monetary policy and will have to raise interest rates at some point over the next year, analysts say.
Emefiele’s appointment follows the departure of Lamido Sanusi, who was suspended by President Goodluck Jonathan in February.
Sanusi’s removal raised concerns about the bank’s independence and Emefiele will be closely watched by markets fearful of government interference at the bank, Reuters says.
The government accused Sanusi of irregularities in his handling of the CBN’s budget and President Jonathan has said the bank’s independence will remain sacrosant.
“The governor resumed today and we are just done with the official handing over,” the CBN spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, said.
Emefiele, who took over from acting governor Sarah Alade for a five-year term, will give a press conference at 10am on Thursday. (NAN)