Confusion over Godwin Emefiele’s alleged application for study leave Abroad

• Presidency denies knowledge of Buhari’s approval of leave

The financial sector was yesterday gripped by confusion  following  a social media report  that President Muhammadu Buhari had granted Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele study leave.

Sahara Reporters had claimed in a report that the ‘study leave’ was to provide an opportunity  for Emefiele to flee the country before the May 29 assumption of office by President-elect Bola Tinubu.


But the Presidency and CBN sources denied any study leave  approval.


Responding to queries on the topic, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a short message said: “If the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has been granted study leave, supposedly, by President Muhammadu Buhari, this is unknown to us.


“It is also unknown to the President’s Secretariat, headed by the Chief of Staff.”


A CBN source that was also contacted on the matter issued a similar denial.


However,another Presidency source informed  The Nation that there was an application from Mr. Emefiele seeking approval for study leave overseas.


But the source was unsure if the President gave approval.


“I heard the CBN Governor applied to the President for study leave, but I don’t know if the President has granted the application,” the source said.



People familiar with  the CBN Governor’s work environment told The Nation that he  had confided in some of his aides that he intends to serve out his second term as the apex bank’s chief.



Emefiele was in Lagos on Tuesday for the third biannual non-oil export summit in Lagos with  the theme: “RT200: Challenges and Prospects to Success” during which he tipped the non-oil sector as critical for Nigeria’s economic growth.


He said that for Nigeria, developing the non-oil export sector is absolutely an imperative, given that this holds vast potential for generating a significant amount of foreign exchange earnings.


He said the summit provided a platform to deliberate on how to accelerate the value and volume of Nigeria’s non-oil exports and ensure that proceeds therefrom are utilised most optimally for the benefit of our economy.


He said that in some countries, the period of repatriation ranges from less than six months from exportation of the product and could result in prosecution if proceeds are not repatriated on time.


Emefiele said the CBN in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee identified the RT200 programme and export promotion in general as a critical tool for attaining sustainable and stable external balance and safeguarding the value of our local currency.


He explained that any  nation that  consumes more than it produces or   imports more than it exports will  fail as there will be no meaningful development.


Emefiele was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 and appointed for  a second term by Buhari in 2019.


The current deal runs till June 2024.


Sahara Reporters  said the  Department of State Services  which attempted to arrest and detain Emefiele in the past over certain allegations against him “ kicked against the study leave reportedly granted to Emefiele as it means he will flee the country before May 29 when another government comes in.”

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