List of Central Bank Governors in Nigeria

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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has the authority to grant licenses to individuals interested in establishing a banking enterprise in Nigeria, following designated procedures. Additionally, the Governor is authorized to promulgate regulations, guidelines, and policies for banks, specialized banks, and other financial institutions operating in Nigeria.

first and second Indigenous Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria on 1000 Naira note
Aliyu Mai Bornu and Dr Clement Isong

At the time Nigeria gained independence, the governor of CBN was an expatriate by the name — Row Pentelow Fenton. He served from 1958 till 1963. Aliyu Mai Bornu and Clement Isong are the first and second Indigenous Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria respectively. Their faces can be seen on the N1000 note. 

Who is the new CBN governor 2023?

The current governor of the CBN is in the person of Olayemi Cardoso. He formerly held the position of the Economic and Development Policy Advisor, Financial Sector Leader and former Chairman Citi Nigeria and Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos.

Olayemi Cardoso has over three decades of managerial experience on board. He is an alumnus of Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom, where he studied managerial and administrative studies. 

He also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, United States of America.

List of CBN Governors in Nigeria

Below is a list of Central Bank governors in Nigeria since 1958:

S/NGovernorPrevious PositionTerm
1Roy Pentelow Fenton1958 – 1963
2Aliyu Mai-BornuDeputy Governor, CBN1963 – 1967
3Clement Nyong IsongAdvisor, International Monetary Fund (IMF)1967 – 1975
4Adamu Ciroma1975 – 1977
5Ola VincentDeputy Governor, CBN1977 – 1982
6Abdulkadir AhmedDeputy Governor, CBN1982 – 1993
7Paul Agbai OgwumaCEO, Union Bank of Nigeria1993 – 1999
8Joseph Oladele SanusiCEO First Bank of Nigeria1999 – 2004
9Charles Chukwuma SoludoChief Executive, National Planning Commission2004 – 2009
10Sanusi Lamido Aminu SanusiCEO, First Bank of Nigeria2009 – 2014
11Sarah Alade (Acting)Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria2014
12Godwin EmefieleChief Executive Officer, Zenith Bank2014 – 2023
13Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi (Acting)Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria2023
14Olayemi CardosoChairman Citi Bank Nigeria2023 till date
Past CBN Governors

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the first governor of Central Bank of Nigeria?

The first “indigenous” governor of the CBN is Aliyu Mai Bornu. Following his graduation in 1957 from Bristol University where he studied Economics, he returned to Nigeria and worked in the Northern Nigeria Public Service as an Administrative Officer.

He held various positions before being seconded to the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1959 as an Assistant Secretary. At the CBN, Mallam Mai Bornu was promoted to the roles of Deputy Secretary and Secretary, eventually being appointed Deputy Governor in 1962. He made history as the first indigenous Governor of the Bank in 1963 and concluded his service, retiring in 1967.

How many deputy governors does CBN have?

The Central Bank of Nigeria has four Deputy Governors. Since there are 5 (five) directorates under the CBN:

The CBN governor takes charge of the Governors’ Directorate, while his Deputy Governors take charge of the Corporate Services Directorate, Economic Policy Directorate, Financial System Stability Directorate and Operations Directorate.

How many CBN governors are there?

Since its inception in 1959, there have been 12 governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Who are the 4 deputy governors of CBN?

The names of the 4 deputy governors of CBN are Dr Bala M. Bello (Corporate Services Directorate), Mr Muhammad Sani Abdullahi  (Economic Policy Directorate), Mr Philip Ikeazor (Financial System Stability Directorate) and Ms Emem Usoro (Operations Directorate).

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