You’ve probably heard the news by now. Reports coming in that Nigeria’s central bank governor has plans to run for office. Yes, you read that right.

At different points in the past, Stears has written about the governor’s “Superman” efforts at fixing the Nigerian economy. So, it’s not entirely shocking to learn he has ambitions to run the country one day. What is shocking however, is that he wants to run for office while maintaining his role as a CBN governor.

It's shocking because the CBN is meant to be an independent organisation, and the governor's political ambition is bound to conflict with the bank's monetary policy goals.


Key takeaways 

  • Although the CBN has rolled out many projects to improve Nigeria's economic performance, its efforts have failed to reduce inflation. They have also led to even more inflation. 

  • Specifically, in its efforts to maintain a suitable foreign exchange reserve, the CBN has ended up funding the reserve with debt and restricting access to foreign currency—the main reason for the reserve in the first place. 

  • Despite the foreign exchange volatility, the financial sector remains strong, withstanding the two recessions in the past eight years and increasing access to credit to the private sector. 


But his political ambition aside, the current CBN governor is the first since 1999 to hold the office for more than five years. That is, he's the first CBN governor to be appointed into office after his first tenure—his initial term ran from 2014 to 2019, and then he was reappointed in 2019 to run another period of five years. Therefore, after eight years in office, it's worth taking a step back to assess his performance in the role. 

Although the CBN governor has rolled out many projects in several sectors—from