President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that Godwin Emefiele was not removed as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria because his presidential ambition did not affect his role.
“The CBN governor is appointed by the President. But this appointment is subject to confirmation by the Nigerian Senate,” Buhari told Bloomberg in a recent interview.
Emefiele drew criticism when he sought to be the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Many called for his removal, however, the CBN Act did not list political participation as part of the grounds for the removal of a CBN governor.
Buhari also said the decision to remove the CBN governor can only be determined by the bank’s board of directors.
“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 withdrew his presidential ambition and also took down 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.