Godwin Emefiele: Repositioning Nigeria’s Apex Bank

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Godwin Emefiele: Repositioning Nigeria’s Apex Bank

Godwin Emefiele: Repositioning Nigeria’s Apex Bank
August 16
13:02 2016

When Mr. Godwin Emefiele became the 11th Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) chief as well as its 10th indigenous governor, he maintained that the vision of the CBN is to create a people-centered Central Bank by “delivering price and financial system stability and promoting sustainable economic development.” These are the things he is doing at the moment and Nigeria’s banking sector is better off because of that.

A good natured man of character, there is so much to admire in his work ethic: the dedication with which he approaches his duties, the manner and ease with which he institutes new developments, and, of course, the honesty he exemplifies. Emefiele is one of the most formidable bank governors in the world that subordinates and commercial banks are happy to work with. His intelligence and price delivering models, financial system stability strategy and idea of how best to promote sustainable economic development, are all helping the banking sector and the nation’s economy in times like these. These have made him a force for both now and the future. Emefiele embodies the very elevation of forthrightness as an end in and of itself, requiring no further pursuit or interpretation to validate it.

If anyone personifies Nigeria’s economic change, it is Emefiele. To strengthen the payments systems, Emefiele-led CBN on July 28,2016, directed commercial banks to allow savings account customers with BVN to lodge cheques of not more than N2m per customer per day, into their accounts. As head of the CBN, he uses (as raw materials), financial system stability, banks supervision, consumer protection, development financing banking, payments system and reserve management- making them his vision, to shape the banking sector into a product that is helping to reposition the Nigerian economy. He is Emefiele because of high standard of expertise, professionalism and informed banking analysis that every bank in Nigeria can adopt and make good use of.

Emphatic that there is nothing wrong with Nigeria’s economy that cannot be corrected by what is right with it, Emefiele and his team also directed the removal of fixed interest rate on credit cards, discontinuation of actual address verification in account opening for customers with BVN. Adding that banks should begin to embed BVN biometric data in payment cards issued henceforth, to facilitate offline BVN verification and biometric based customer authentication on such payment devices sat ATMs, point of sales terminals, POS, Kiosks.

As the nation grapples with economic issues, we need serious leaders like Emefiele. He understands not only the risks we face but also the opportunities to create a generation of jobs and to grow the economy while utilizing public funds. He takes on his risks with poise and pragmatism, finding not just common ground and commonsense solutions, but smart solutions to fight poverty and put the nation’s economy back on tract. Emefiele’s acumen and resourcefulness have not only nurtured his personal vision and success but contributes significantly towards building a better world for the nation’s banks.

Emefiele exudes confidence, he is a visionary any nation should be happy and proud to have as head of its bank. The CBN under Emefiele has regulated operations of Bureaux de Change (BDCs) to check rent-seeking among operators, depletion of the nation’s foreign reserves, unauthorized financial transactions, and dollarizing the economy, among others. He surrounds himself with people who share the values and work ethic necessary to maintain the standard of repositioning the banking sector for efficiency and effectiveness.

Emefiele and his team at the CBN have ensured stability in the sector, in spite of global and domestic challenges. There is no doubt that the bank under his watch is on the right track to guaranteeing the soundness and stability of the Nigerian financial system. His vision of gradual reduction in key interest rates, building sector-specific expertise in banking supervision to reflect loan concentration of the banking industry, abolishing fees associated with limits on deposits and reconsider ongoing practice in which all fees associated with limits on withdrawals accrue to banks alone; introducing a broad spectrum of financial instruments to boost specific enterprise areas in agriculture, manufacturing, health, and oil and gas, are rightly bring the desired results.

Emefiele, 55, is a native of Ika South local government area of Delta State- a town that exemplifies perseverance, courage and hope while maintaining its own unique style and rhythm. Emefiele displays all those qualities. During this time of economic challenge and opportunity, he is who our nation needs as head of the CBN. What makes Emefiele unique is that he understands Nigerian economy, it pragmatism and banking practices.
To watch Emefiele either as CEO/GMD Zenith Bank Plc, or as the CBN governor, at work, is to see a portrait of grace, intellect and determination. If any of us has the good fortune to choose our neighbours, we would ask for Mr Godwin Emefiele . He has not only been able to stabilize the CBN , who is rightly restructuring the banking sector, he is an Olympian in the sport of childhood. A happily married man, Emefiele is blessed with lovely children.

• Pembi David-Stephen.

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