People & Money

Meet Dr. Yemi Cardoso, the Nominee for CBN Governor

On Friday, the 15th of September, President Bola Tinubu through his media aide, Ajuri Ngelale announced the nomination of Dr. Yemi Cardoso as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The eventual resumption of Yemi Cardoso is pending his confirmation by the Senate. 

This appointment purports an effective termination of the tenure of the suspended CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele. 

Here are a few things to note about Dr. Yemi Cardoso. 

Also Read: Nigeria, Others Plan Stopping Moves to Defund Gas Projects in Developing Countries

Dr. Yemi Cardoso obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Managerial and Administrative Studies from Aston University in England in 1980. After his university education, he joined CitiBank Nigeria as the Vice-President in 1981 until 1990. From there, he jumped ship to Citizens International Bank where he served as Executive Director for over seven years. 

After leaving Citizens International Bank, he established FBC Associates Limited, a non-bank financial institution that offers stockbroking, fund management, financial advisory, and capital market services. In 1999, Yemi Cardoso was appointed as the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos State by then-Governor Bola Tinubu. 

As commissioner of the first Ministry for Budget and Economic Planning in Nigeria, he was responsible for setting the pace with regard to budgetary reforms among state governments in Nigeria. He was responsible for managing the Lagos State budgetary process in line with the economic blueprint and statewide policy thrusts. He played a key role in championing the implementation of several critical initiatives, including MTEF Budgeting, the establishment of a Security Trust Fund, the promotion of Public Private Partnerships (PPP), and the comprehensive overhaul and enactment of new procurement laws, among other significant measures. 

He obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2005. 

He became a board member for Chevron Oil Plc in 2005, until 2008. Also, in 2005, after stepping down as a Commissioner in the Lagos State government, he served as the Chairman of the World-Bank-assisted Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project until the project was phased out in 2013. 

From 2010 until 2015, Yemi Cardoso was the Chairman of Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), a financial sector development organization funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Government Department for International Development (DFID). Also in 2010, he became the Chairman of CitiBank Nigeria until 2022. 

Under Mr Cardoso’s adept leadership and technical proficiency, he made substantial strides in enhancing both the financial and non-financial aspects of the Bank. During his tenure, the Bank witnessed remarkable growth, with a 308.3% increase in total assets, a 235.6% surge in total revenue, and a noteworthy improvement of 231.2% in shareholders’ equity. 

While he served as the Board Chairman, the Bank earned numerous awards and acknowledgements, both at home and abroad. Some notable accolades include being named the Best Investment Bank in Africa by Euromoney in 2015 and 2017, receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the African Banker Awards in 2017, and winning the Global Finance Best Corporate/Institutional Digital Bank in Nigeria in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Additionally, the bank was recognized as the Most Customer Focused Bank in 2016 by KPMG and received the Global Euromoney Awards for Excellence in 2017, among other honours.

Also Read: Vice President Osinbajo Says Nigeria to Bid Farewell to Western Banks

In 2017, Cardoso received an honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration from Aston University. 

Dr. Cardoso served as a Member of the Economic Advisory Council in the Office of the Vice President during the last administration from 2015 to 2019. He served as the West African Chair for the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance between 2014 and 2020, and he currently serves as a Member of the Board of Advisors at the Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University.

With an extensive banking career, alongside a remarkable journey in public service as well as social entrepreneurship, it is hoped that Dr Yemi Cardoso will bring his wealth of experience, expertise, and innovative thinking to foster growth within the Nigerian monetary and financial space. 

David Olujinmi

David Olujinmi studies Engineering but his true passion is research and analysis. He writes about finance, particularly the capital market, investment banking, and asset management. More »

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