President Bola Tinubu’s nomination of Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso as the potential new governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ignited a range of opinions among economists, as revealed in Nairametrics’ survey of expert views.
Dr. Cardoso, a former Citibank Nigeria chairman, boasts a distinguished career spanning over three decades in various sectors, including finance, development, and public service.
He has served on the boards of Nigerian subsidiaries of Texaco and Chevron and chaired EFInA, a financial sector development organization supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Notably, he played a pivotal role as the first Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget for Lagos State, leading the financial reform initiatives that enhanced the state’s tax revenues.
Throughout his career, Dr. Cardoso has been a consultant and policy expert, collaborating with prominent international organizations such as the World Bank, Ford Foundation, UN-Habitat, World Health Organization, and the Swedish Development Foundation.
His journey began at Citibank, where he eventually attained the position of Vice President before co-founding Citizens International Bank, where he served as an Executive Director for eight years.
His accolades include an honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration from Aston University, his alma mater, and the Global Distinguished Alumni award from Citi.
Education-wise, Dr. Cardoso holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a Mason Fellow.
He completed his undergraduate studies, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Managerial and Administrative Studies from Aston University in 1980.
His extensive background encompasses banking, chartered stockbroking, and expertise in public policy.
Notably, he held the role of Commissioner in the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget during President Bola Tinubu’s tenure as Lagos governor.
Here are economists’ perspectives on Dr. Cardoso’s nomination:
Moses Igbrude, President of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, emphasized that Dr. Cardoso’s performance would depend on President Bola Tinubu’s direction.
He stressed the importance of granting Cardoso autonomy to excel in his role.
Additionally, he underscored that the CBN should maintain its independence, focusing on policy formulation, supervision, and corporate governance.
Professor Tayo Bello, a former stockbroker and lecturer at Adeleke University, expressed his preference for a core economist to lead the CBN.
He argued that previous banker-led CBN eras, including Soludo’s, were marked by impactful policies that have not been replicated.