The new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, has pledged to take immediate steps to stabilize the naira and clear the foreign exchange (FX) backlog that has been affecting the economy.
Cardoso made this pledge during his screening by the Senate on Tuesday, where he and four deputy governors were confirmed by the lawmakers.
Cardoso, who was the former chairman of Citibank Nigeria before his nomination by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, said he would implement short-term and long-term measures to address the problem of naira depreciation, which has reached an all-time low of N980 per dollar at the parallel market.
He said he would work with his team to ensure that the FX demand and supply are balanced and that the FX market is transparent and efficient.
He also said he would clear the FX backlog, which is estimated to be over $10 billion, regardless of the amount.
He said this would boost the confidence of investors and businesses in the Nigerian economy and ease the pressure on the naira. He said he would use operational and system-related measures to achieve this goal.
The Senate confirmed Cardoso as the CBN governor after a rigorous screening session, where he and his deputies answered questions from the senators on various economic issues.
The senators expressed their concerns over the economic woes facing the country, especially the free fall of the naira. They urged the new CBN team to “look outside the box to see a way of strengthening the naira.”
The deputy governors who were confirmed by the Senate are: Emem Usoro, Muhammad Abdullahi-Dattijo Philip Ikeazor and Bala Bello. They are expected to bring their expertise and experience to support Cardoso in steering the CBN and managing the monetary policy of the country.
The confirmation of Cardoso and his deputies comes at a critical time when Nigeria is facing multiple challenges such as inflation, unemployment, insecurity, global oil price crash, and others. The new CBN team has a huge task ahead of them to restore stability and growth to the Nigerian economy.