Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed that he did not sack Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele because his presidential ambition did not affect his role at the apex bank.
Emefiele sought to be the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and drew widespread criticisms for being partisan while heading the CBN.
While critics called for Emefiele’s sacking, Buhari said such decisions do not rest solely on him as Nigeria’s President.
“The CBN governor is appointed by the President. But this appointment is subject to confirmation by the Nigerian Senate,” Buhari said as quoted in a Q&A with Bloomberg.
Among other conditions for the removal of a sitting CBN governor, the CBN Act did not list political participation as part of the grounds for the removal of a CBN governor which some of Emefiele’s critics pointed to.
Buhari said such decisions can only be determined by the board of directors of the CBN.
“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,” Buhari said.
The president, however, noted that “there is a subtext to the accusations” of Emefiele being unfit to remain CBN governor.
“Because the governor follows a model outside of the economic orthodoxy, he is labelled political. But the orthodoxy has proved wrong time and again,” Buhari said.
“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.”
Emefiele stepped down his presidential ambition before the APC presidential primary election that was won by former Lagos State governor Bola Tinubu in early June.
The CBN governor also withdrew a suit against the attorney-general and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over an alleged plan to disqualify him from contesting for the office of Nigeria’s president.