PROFILE: Buhari Appoints Kingsley Obiora, IMF Director As CBN Deputy Governor

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday nominated an Alternate Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kingsley Obiora, as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Buhari, in a letter sent to Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Thursday, said the nomination was in accordance with the provision of section 8 (1) (2) of the CBN Act 2007.

Obiora had served as Special Adviser on Economic Matters to the Governor of the CBN before he returned to the IMF to assume the position of Executive Director in 2007.

The appointee who is due to retire from IMF on February 2, 2020, presently serves as a member of the 24-seat Executive Board of the fund which collectively conducts the Fund’s daily operations.

Obiora also helps to represent the interests of 23 African Countries, including Nigeria, at the Board.


He joined the IMF through the globally-competitive “Economist Program” in 2007 and has worked on various countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

The appointee had also done extensive work on exchange rate assessment, debt sustainability analyses, decoupling and spillovers, real sector analyses, as well as several reviews of financial sector assessments. Prior to joining the IMF, he worked at the West African Monetary Institute in Accra, Ghana and the Centre for Econometric and Allied Research, University of Ibadan.

Between October 2011 and May 2014, Obiora simultaneously served as Technical Adviser to the Nigeria’s National Economic Management Team as well as Special Assistant to the President Jonathan’s Chief Economic Adviser.

During this time, he played key roles in helping shape the country’s economic policies on several fronts, including on energy subsidies, power sector reform, measurement of job creation, architecture of development financing, diversification of the economy, oil price benchmarking in the budgetary process, regulatory framework for doing business, port reform, and asset-based economic mapping and modeling.

Obiora contributed to the preparation of several Presidential Speeches, economic updates, reviews, talking points, and analytical notes for Presidential Retreats.


He also led different teams to author several books, chronicling numerous reforms in the Nigerian Economy. In view of these accomplishments, he received a personal Letter of Commendation from President Jonathan in May 2014.

In this capacity as Special Adviser on Economic Matters to CBN governor, Obiora contributed significantly to the overall analytical and policy work of the CBN and led the team of several Technical Aides attached to the Governor’s Office. His extensive international and domestic economic experiences were critical in helping the Bank understand the ramifications of, and deal with spillovers from, the external shocks emanating from the significant drop in global oil prices.

He led the team that built the macroeconomic model underlying President Buhari’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). Obiora has a first degree from the University of Benin and post-graduate degrees in Economics from the University of Ibadan.

 Obiora earned his Doctorate in Economics from the University of Ibadan in 2007 having graduated top of his class at the University of Benin, where he earned his first degree in Economics and Statistics.

Obiora obtained a Master’s Degree with a Distinction and emerged best graduating student in Economics also at the University of Ibadan.

The appointee possesses several certifications to include Management of Central Banks—Federal Reserve Bank of New York 2016, Financial Development, Regulation, and Growth—IMF Institute, Washington DC 2007, Financial Programming and Policies—IMF Institute, Washington DC 2007, Econometric Modeling and Forecasting—IMF Institute, Washington DC 2008 and Ph.D Course in Econometrics (Full Semester)—George Washington University, Washington DC, 2009.

Others are Foundations of Macro-Financial Surveillance—IMF Institute, Washington DC 2009, Empirical Modeling of Macroeconomic Time Series—IMF Institute, Washington DC 2009, Design of Growth Policy—IMF Institute, Washington DC 2010, Panel Data Analysis—IMF Institute, Washington DC 2011, and Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomics—IMF Institute, Washington DC 2011.

When Obiora appointment is confirmed by the Senate, he will replace Joseph Nnanna, who retires on February 2, 2020.

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