Profiles of Yemi Cardoso, newly appointed CBN Governor, his deputies


President Bola Tinubu on Friday approved the nomination of Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso to serve as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for a term of five years at the first instance, pending his confirmation by the Senate.

 According statement by his Spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, this directive is in conformity with Section 8 (1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, which vests in the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the authority to appoint the Governor and Four Deputy Governors for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), subject to confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Furthermore, the president also approved the nomination of four new Deputy Governors of CBN, for a term of five years at the first instance, pending their confirmation by the Nigerian Senate, as listed below:

(1) Mrs. Emem Nnana Usoro

(2) Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo

(3) Mr. Philip Ikeazor

(4) Dr. Bala M. Bello

Below are their profiles:

Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso


Olayemi Micheal Cardoso is a banker, chartered stockbroker and public policy maker who served as the former chairman of Citibank Nigeria and was the Commissioner for Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget.

Cardoso is 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, respectively. His father, Felix Bankole Cardoso, made history by becoming Nigeria’s first indigenous Accountant-General of the Federation in 1963.

Subsequently, he 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.

Cardoso studied managerial and administrative studies at the Aston University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree. He holds a Master’s degree from the Harvard Kennedy School in public administration. 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.

Cardoso was chairman of the board of Citibank Nigeria. He became a member of the Cities Alliance’s Africa Think Tank Group, a group created to solve urban development challenges. He has served as a board member of MRS Oil and was the chairman of the board of EFinA.

Cardoso is a member of the advisory board of Lagos Business School and chairman of the board of African Venture Philanthropy Alliance.Cardoso was the commissioner for economic planning and budget for Lagos state. He is the founding chairman and co-chair of Ehingbeti Summit, the Lagos state economic summit. He is also a former executive lead at Harvard Kennedy School alumni association.

The new CBN Deputy Governors

Mrs Emem Usoro


Emem Usoro, an accomplished banker with over two decades of experience in various banking sectors, was until her appointment, the executive director of UBA’s Nigeria North Bank. Usoro, who has held key positions within UBA, served as the Directorate Head for Abuja and the North Central Bank.

Usoro, a distinguished graduate of both Harvard Business School and Lagos Business School, boasts of a rich and illustrious banking career that has spanned more than two decades. Her expertise encompasses a wide array of domains, including Operations, Credit and Marketing, Branch Management, Relationship Management, as well as Corporate and Commercial Banking.

During her tenure, Emem held pivotal roles within the organization. She served as the Group General Manager and led the Strategic Business Group (SBG) in Abuja, demonstrating her exceptional leadership skills.

Additionally, Emem distinguished herself as the Regional Head for Lagos Bank.  Her remarkable contributions to the banking industry have been acknowledged with numerous accolades, earning her multiple prestigious awards at the annual UBA CEO Awards.

Philip Ikeazor

Philip Ikeazor boasts over three decades of experience within the financial services industry. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Buckingham in the UK. He is also an esteemed alumnus of the Wharton-CEIBS-IESE Business School Global CEO Programme, and he has also completed executive programs at both Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of Business.

In his impressive career, Philip has occupied several key board positions, including serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Keystone Bank Limited, the CEO of Ecobank Kenya Limited, an Executive Director at Union Bank Nigeria, a Director at Union Bank UK PLC, and a Director at Orient Bank Uganda.

 Additionally, Philip contributed his expertise as a member of the governing board at ICRISAT – the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in India, which is part of the World Bank-led Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. Philip Ikeazor is recognized as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.

Dr Bala Bello

 Dr Bala Bello is from Taraba State. He has been a distinguished figure in various sectors, encompassing Banking, Capital Markets, and Pension Fund Management.

Dr. Bello boasts a stellar reputation as a prominent public servant and a renowned accountant. In a significant development in April 2017, he received the prestigious appointment as the Executive Director of Corporate Services at the Nigerian Export-Import Bank, courtesy of former President Muhammadu Buhari. With an impressive track record marked by unparalleled excellence, Dr. Bello consistently outshines his peers, consistently reaching the pinnacle of achievement within his respective field.

Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo

Muhammad Sani Abdullahi is a distinguished professional in the realm of international development, boasting an illustrious career. His impactful contributions span various prestigious roles, including serving as a policy adviser at the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, in New York, as well as holding the esteemed position of Commissioner for Budget and Planning in Kaduna State. Mr. Abdullahi’s academic journey is a testament to his unwavering commitment to knowledge acquisition. He earned a Master’s degree in Development Economics and Policy from the University of Manchester and further enriched his academic portfolio with a second Master’s degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy from Ahmadu Bello University.

His dedication to lifelong learning is evident through his acquisition of certificates from renowned institutions such as the London School of Economics (in Public Finance), Columbia University (in Sustainable Development), and Oxford University (in Advanced Project Management).

He also joined the 2017 cohort of Georgetown University’s Leadership Seminar. Career-wise, prior to his appointment as Commissioner in Kaduna State, Mr. Abdullahi collaborated closely with Secretary Ban and UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, forging a mentor-mentee relationship.

Earlier in his career, he served as an Economist and Deputy National Programme Manager for the Millennium Development Goals at the Nigerian Presidency, subsequently becoming the Economic Adviser of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum following the MDGs.

In 2018, he was one of only two Nigerians, alongside Sahara Group co-founder Tonye Cole, appointed to the World Bank Expert Advisory Council on Citizen Engagement. Among his remarkable accomplishments, Abdullahi played a pivotal role as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s team in designing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During his tenure as Commissioner of Budget and Planning in Kaduna, he conducted a comprehensive analysis of local SDGs data to propel goal implementation. Kaduna State gained recognition from the United Nations as “one of the first subnational governments in the world” to achieve this feat.

Under his leadership, Kaduna became the first Nigerian state to embrace the Open Government Partnership, and the ministry consistently presented budgets ahead of schedule, setting a precedent as the first state to do so.

Furthermore, Abdullahi was selected as a fellow of the African Leadership Institute – West Africa in 2017, a collaborative initiative with the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

In 2011, he was also engaged with the institute as an Archbishop Desmond Tutu fellow. In terms of political involvement, Abdullahi contributed to the All Progressives Congress Kaduna transition committee in 2015 and was appointed as a member of the Kaduna Central campaign directorate for the reelection of Governor Nasir El Rufai in 2018. His multifaceted career reflects a profound dedication to advancing international development and leadership initiatives.

The responsibilities of the deputy governor include that of Financial System Stability, Deputy Governor for Corporate Services, Deputy Governor for Economic Policy, and Deputy Governor for Operations.

The deputy governor for Operations will oversee various areas, including banking operations, branch operations, currency operations, currency operations information technology, and reserve management.

The deputy governor responsible for Financial System Stability will be in charge of tasks such as banking and other financial institution supervision, consumer protection, financial policy and regulation, as well as payments systems and management.

In the realm of financial markets, the deputy governor for Economic Policy will supervise activities related to monetary policy, research, statistics, trade, and exchange.

The fourth deputy governor’s portfolio will encompass capacity development, corporate communications, finance, human resources, legal services, medical services, procurement and support services, as well as security services.

In line with  Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda, he expects the nominees to successfully implement critical reforms at the  nation’s apex bank, which will enhance the confidence of Nigerians and international partners in the restructuring of the Nigerian economy toward sustainable growth and prosperity for all.


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