Naira Sets New Record, Hits Lowest Level in History in the 9-Year Tenure of Godwin Emefiele as CBN Governor

Naira Sets New Record, Hits Lowest Level in History in the 9-Year Tenure of Godwin Emefiele as CBN Governor

  • The naira weakened against the dollar by the most since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule under Suspended CBN governor Godwin Emefiele
  • Checks shows that the Nigerian Naira touched its lowest level against the dollar at the official foreign exchange market
  • Nigerian president Bola Tinubu will be hoping that the new leadership installed at CBN will bring a solution

The performance of the Nigerian currency, the Naira, during the nine-year tenure of the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, was the worst in history.

To put it into clearer perspective, it was the poorest performance among the last four CBN governors since Nigeria's return to democracy.

CBN, naira performance
CBN governors, Godwin Emefiele, Lamido Sanusi and Charles Soludo Photo credit: Bloomberg
Source: Facebook

When Emefiele assumed office in March 2014, the official exchange rate of the Naira to the dollar was N155, according to StatiSense.

Read also

Emefiele's suspension: Investors rush as Nigeria's Dollar Bonds Jump 5-month high

However, on Friday, June 9, 2023, coinciding with Emefiele's last day in office, data from FMDQ securities showed that the closing market rate for the Naira against the US dollar was N472.50.

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This indicates an official depreciation of the Naira by N317.5 or 204.83 percent against the dollar during Emefiele's nine-year leadership tenure.

Naira performance at the black market

The situation worsens significantly on the unofficial black or parallel market, where the Naira has experienced its most severe depreciation.

When Emefiele assumed office, the Naira was exchanging at N167 for a dollar in this market, after nine years, it has suffered depreciation of 357.4 percent, reaching a closing rate of N765/$ on Friday.

How Naira performed under CBN governors since 1999

Analyzing the performance of the Naira under various CBN governors since 1999, it is evident that each governor faced unique challenges.

Read also

Naira falls massively to N755 at official market as CBN fulfils President Tinubu's wishes

However, it has never been as dire as it has been between 2014 and 2023.

  • Joseph Sanusi (1999 to 2004): The naira-to-dollar exchange rate in Nigeria increased from N99 to N132.
  • Chukwuma Soludo (2004-2009): The CBN rate stood at N146, while the alternative rate reached N181, resulting in a difference of N35.
  • Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (June 2009-Feb 2014): The CBN rate was N155, compared to N167 for the other rate, showing a difference of N12.
  • Godwin Emefiele (2014-2023): During Emefiele's tenure, the CBN rate was N463, while the alternative rate soared to N765, resulting in a difference of N301.

Difference between black and official rate at the end of CBN governors tenures

One major theme discussing Emefiele's tenure is the wide disparity between the official rate and black market rate.

Here is how the governors fared at the end of their tenure

  • Soludo - May 2009

CBN rate: N146

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black market rate: N181

Difference: N35

  • Sanusi - Feb 2014

CBN rate: N155

Other rate: N167

Difference: N12

  • Emefiele - Jun 2023

CBN rate: N463

Other rate: N765

Difference: N301

CBN gets news acting Governor, Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi

In another report, profiled the new acting CBN governor, Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi, and his career journey.

Shonubi was considered for the role by President Tinubu among four deputy governors: Aisha Ahmed, Edward Adamu, and Kingsley Obiora.

By law, one of the deputies must complete Emefiele’s tenure, which was expected to expire on May 2024.


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