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New CBN governor, Cardoso vows to tackle forex obligations, inflation

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Olayemi Cardoso, the newly appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has outlined his key priorities, promising to address the backlog of unsettled foreign exchange obligations and implement evidence-based monetary policies to combat rising inflation.

Speaking during a screening session by members of the Senate, Cardoso emphasized his commitment to clearing the apex bank’s outstanding forex obligations. He acknowledged that this issue was critical to making progress in the foreign exchange market.

Additionally, Cardoso pledged to enhance transparency, corporate governance, and confidence in the autonomy and integrity of the Central Bank. He stressed the need for a transparent system that all market participants, including foreign investors, can understand and trust.

To stabilize the naira, Cardoso plans to settle existing financial obligations and establish clear rules. He also emphasized the importance of involving relevant stakeholders in shaping these guidelines.

Addressing inflation, which reached 25.80% in August 2023, Cardoso pledged to implement evidence-based monetary policies. He acknowledged that a significant portion of inflation had been attributed to money supply and deficit financing, which he vowed to address effectively.

Cardoso further stressed the need to restore the Central Bank’s independence and credibility by refocusing on its core mandate and avoiding direct development finance interventions. He emphasized the importance of compliance with the CBN Act of 2007.

In response to questions about political influence, Cardoso assured that his team would not be influenced or hijacked by politicians, emphasizing the responsibility that comes with the position of Central Bank Governor.

The new governor’s remarks come as Nigeria faces economic challenges, including a weakening naira and high inflation rates. His focus on tackling these issues and restoring the Central Bank’s integrity reflects the gravity of the economic situation in the country.

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