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Why Tinubu picked Cardoso to head CBN

President Bola Tinubu served his intent to have Yemi Cardoso, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor nominee as a part of his core during the electioneering days but not many people decoded his message. In a trending video which surfaced after Cardoso’s nomination, Tinubu had hinted that he would have the likes of Cardoso around him because of his fiscal and monetary policy acumen which he displayed while he worked with Tinubu in his years as Governor of Lagos state. Tinubu said his success as governor of Lagos state was because of the great work done by Cardoso, Wale Edun (Minister of Finance), Dele Alake (minister of Solid Mineral resources) and others who formed his “great team.” Tinubu recalled that Cardoso was so shrewd with financial control such that any budget submitted to him without a ‘Head’ was dead on arrival. “You can’t pass a sheet of paper through him unless you have a budget head for it, he will not deal if thee is no head, so we named him Headmaster,” Tinubu said in the video. Tinubu said he did not work alone in Lagos. “I was not alone. I worked with a great team, unbreakable team, and I promise you that team”, he told the audience of private sector players well ahead of the February 25 Presidential election. Recall that Tinubu recently gave approval for Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso (Yemi Cardoso) to assume the role of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for an initial term of five (5) years, subject to confirmation by the Nigerian Senate. Cardoso is a Nigerian professional with a background in banking, chartered stockbroking, and public policy. He previously held the position of Chairman at Citibank Nigeria and served as the Commissioner for the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget under Tinubu as governor. Cardoso hails from Lagos state and received his early education at Corona School Ikoyi and St. Gregory’s College in Lagos for his primary and secondary schooling. His father, Felix Bankole Cardoso, made history by becoming Nigeria’s first indigenous Accountant-General of the Federation in 1963. His father assumed the role of the first indigenous Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Barclays Bank of Nigeria in 1972. It was under his leadership that Barclays became today’s wholly-owned Nigerian entity, Union Bank of Nigeria. In 1980, Yemi Cardoso earned his Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc.) in Managerial and Administrative Studies from Aston University. He furthered his education at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS) and graduated as a Mason Fellow with a Master’s degree in Public Administration in 2005. In recognition of his exceptional contributions to both the private and public sectors, Aston University honoured Cardoso with an honorary Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) in 2017. He is also distinguished as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers. Cardoso held the position of Chairman on the board of Citibank Nigeria and played an active role as a member of the Cities Alliance’s Africa Think Tank Group, dedicated to addressing urban development challenges. He has served on the board of MRS Oil and chaired the Board of EFinA. Cardoso currently serves as a member of the advisory board at Lagos Business School and holds the position of Chairman on the board of the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance. Previously, he served as the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget for Lagos State and was the founding Chairman and Co-Chair of the Ehingbeti Summit, an economic summit in Lagos State. Landmarks Trustee of the Harvard Club of Nigeria from 2022 to the present. Trustee of the Harvard Kennedy School Nigeria Alumni from 2020 to the present. Board advisor at the Lagos Business School since 2019. Trustee of St. Augustine University since 2018. Global Alumni-elected Board member of Harvard Kennedy School from 2006 to 2010.
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