No, Nigeria’s president has not sacked the governor of the central bank

Post spreading on Facebook and Twitter claim that President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele. This is false. Nigeria’s president does not have the power to sack the central bank governor single-handedly. Both a CBN spokesman and the presidency confirmed that Emefiele remains in office.

A post by Hope for Nigeria, a Facebook page notorious for the spread of misinformation, claims that Buhari sacked Emefiele and had shortlisted two people from the president’s region as replacement. The post has been shared over 2,500 times.

A screenshot taken on March 5, 2019, showing a post claiming Buhari sacked Nigeria's central bank governor

A tweet by Jackson Ude, former communications director to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan,  also claimed that Buhari had sacked the CBN governor. It was shared more than 500 times.

A screenshot taken on March 5, 2019, showing a tweet claiming Buhari sacked Nigeria's central bank governor

CBN spokesman Isaac Okorafor told AFP late Tuesday that the rumour of the governor's sacking was "false". A CBN staff member told us the governor was at the office on Monday discharging his duties, and continued on Tuesday with “a meeting with cotton producers this morning".

Buhari’s spokesman Garba Shehu also told AFP "there is nothing" to the rumours that Emefiele had been sacked, adding that the posts on social media should be ignored as "fake news".

Buhari doesn't have the power to sack the CBN governor without asking the Senate

According to the CBN Act of 2007, Nigeria’s president does not possess the powers to remove the governor of the central bank single-handedly. The president can only remove the CBN governor “provided that the removal of the Governor shall be supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate praying that he be so removed”.

The Act further clarifies that CBN governor can only be removed if (s)he is running for political office; appointed as a director of any bank; earns or criminal conviction, or "becomes of unsound mind or, owing to ill health, is incapable of carrying out his duties".

Emefiele's current five-year term as governor of the CBN is due to end on June 3, 2019.

How is a new CBN governor appointed?

For a person to become the governor of the CBN, (s)he must have been nominated by the president, and approved by the Senate.

The 2007 act also states that a CBN governor can be re-appointed for a second tenure, which would last another five years. No person can be governor of the CBN for more than two terms.

EDIT: This post was updated on March 6, 2019 with an official response from CBN spokesman
Isaac Okorafor.

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