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Friday, December 1, 2023

Who is Olayemi Cardoso, Nigeria’s Central Bank governor designate

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Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso was, on September 15, 2023, appointed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for a term of five years.

Cardoso is a Nigerian banker, chartered stockbroker, and public policy expert. He has served in different capacities both in the private and government sectors.

Cardoso served as the commissioner of Economic Planning and Budget under Tinubu’s governorship in Lagos State.

Cardoso is a Lagosian, a citizen of a southwestern state in Nigeria.

His parents were descendants of Brazilian returnees and came from prominent families in Popo Aguda.

Michael Cardozo’s father, Felix Bankole Cardoso, was the first indigenous Accountant-General of the Federation of Nigeria in 1963 and the first indigenous Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Barclays Bank of Nigeria shortly after joining the bank in 1972.

It was under his leadership that Barclays became today’s wholly-owned Nigerian entity, Union Bank of Nigeria.

He is married with five children and three grandchildren.

Cardoso attended Corona School in Ikoyi and St. Gregory’s College in Lagos for his primary and secondary education, respectively.

He completed his undergraduate studies upon obtaining a Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc.) in Managerial and Administrative Studies from Aston University in 1980.

He later furthered his education at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS), earning a Master’s degree in Public Administration in 2005 as a Mason Fellow.

Cardoso began his professional career at Howard Tilly & Co., Chartered Accountants, in London before transitioning to the banking industry. In 1981, he secured a position at Citibank, the largest financial services organization in the world at the time.

Cardoso went through the Citibank credit training program in Athens, Greece, and was subsequently mobilized to Citibank in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in 1982.

In 1982, while Citibank was still awaiting a banking license in Nigeria, Cardoso returned to Nigeria and joined Chase Merchant Bank, an affiliate of Chase Manhattan. Within the bank, he contributed as a member of the credit and marketing team, focusing on trading, construction, and oil and gas relationships.

In 1984, when Citibank obtained a license to operate as a full-fledged commercial bank in Nigeria, Cardoso seized the opportunity to rejoin Citibank as a founding member of Nigeria International Bank Limited. Notably, he assumed the role of Head of the World Corporation Group, responsible for managing crucial global relationships for Citibank. He also became a member of the bank’s credit committee, with responsibility for assessing and approving credit limits.
A few years later, in 1988, Cardozo was appointed to set up Citibank’s first branch outside Lagos, in Kano, Nigeria.

From Kano, he spearheaded the bank’s endeavors across the northern part of Nigeria, making significant contributions to its growth and success.
He would later become Vice President, holding one of the highest-ranking positions within the bank.

In 1990, at 33 years of age, Cardoso, along with fellow Citibank colleagues, embarked on a new venture by founding Citizens Bank, Nigeria.
Within the bank, he assumed leadership roles as the Head of Corporate Banking and the Head of Treasury and Financial Institutions. Additionally, he served as executive director for a remarkable eight years, contributing to the bank’s development and accomplishments.

He served as Commissioner in the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Chairman of the Board of the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance, and, most recently, Chairman of Citibank Nigeria Ltd. for 12 years, until his resignation in 2022.

Cardozo’s career summary/strong>
Vice President, Citibank Nigeria (1981–1990)
Executive Director, Citizens International Bank (May 1990 –June 1997)
Principal Partner: FBC Associates Limited (1997–1999)
Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Planning and Budget, Lagos State Government (1999–2005)
Board Member: Chevron Oil PLC (April 2005 –December 2008)
Chairman, World Bank LMDGP Project (2005–2013)
Board Member: Harvard Kennedy School, USA, Global Alumni (2008–2014)
Chairman, EFInA (2010 –August 2015)
Member: Cities Alliance (July 2015 –July 2019)
Member, Economic Advisory Council, Office of the Vice President, Government of Nigeria (Oct 2015 – Aug 2019)
Chair, West Africa-African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (July 2014 –June 2020)
Chair, Citi Nigeria (July 2010 –July 2022)
Member of the Board of Advisors, Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University (2018 – Present)
Founding Board Member: Nigeria National Advisory Board for Impact Investing (June 2021 – Present)
Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (September 2023–2028); pending Senate confirmation.

Story curated from online sources

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