When we talk about banking in Nigeria, we definitely can’t leave out the apex monetary authority of Nigeria’s financial institution established by the CBN Act of 1958, the Central Bank of Nigeria. The CBN commenced operations on July 1, 1959, and since then has had her fair share of several governors till present.

All CBN Governors

We decided to compile a comprehensive list of all the past and present CBN governors, how long they stayed in office (dates inclusive) and a little into each of the said governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

All Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governors till Present

So far on the list, we have had a total of 12 CBN governors since the body’s inception. Below is the complete list of all CBN governor, arranged in order of office and a brief into their carriers.

(Late) Roy Pentelow Fenton

Date in Office: 24th July 1958 to 24th of July 1963.

(Late) Alhaji Aliyu Mai-Bornu

When the Central Bank started operations in 1959, he was seconded to the Central Bank of Nigeria as an Assistant Secretary. He rapidly rose through the ranks from assistant secretary to deputy secretary, then secretary. In 1962, he became the first Nigerian to be appointed Deputy Governor. He eventually became the Governor of the Central Bank in 1963.

Date in Office: 25th July 1963 to 22nd June 1967.

(Late) Dr. Clement Nyong Isong

Dr. Clement Isong

Yakubu Gowon appointed Isong governor of the CBN in August 1967, an office he held until September 1975.[1] He headed the CBN during the Nigerian Civil War (July 1967 – January 1970) and during the subsequent oil boom. During his tenure, Nigeria avoided running up unsupportable debts.

Date in Office: 15th of August 1967 to 22nd September 1975.




Mallam Adamu Ciroma

Adamu CiromaAdamu Ciroma who was one of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) presidential aspirants in 1979, is also said to be one of the founding fathers of the PDP. He was briefly the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.


Date in Office: 24th September 1975 to 28th June 1977.


(Late) Mr. Ola O. Vincent

Vincent was Senior Assistant Secretary in the Nigerian Ministry of Finance (1959–1961) and then moved to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as an Assistant general manager, becoming a general manager at the CBN from 1963 to 1966. He later returned to become the governor of CBN in 1977.

Date in Office: 26th of June 1977 to 28th June 1982.

(Late) Alhaji Abdulkadir Ahmed

Ahmed was appointed the Governor of the Bank on 27 June 1982 and retired on 30 September 1993. He held office for over 11 years during democratic government of Shehu Shagari and the interim government of Ernest Shonekan, and the military regimes of Generals Muhammadu Buhari and Ibrahim Babangida.

Date in Office: 28th June 1982 to 30th September 1993.

Dr. Paul A. Ogwuma, OFR

Ogwuma was appointed Governor of the CBN in September 1993, taking office on 1 October 1993.[1] At the time of his appointment, the bank was struggling to manage foreign exchange resources. Both debt and inflation were high. While he was in office, Ogwuma was unknowingly involved in a massive fraud totaling $242 million. A group of fraudsters, one of whom posed as Ogwuma, convinced a senior officer of a Brazilian bank to pay this amount to fund a fictitious contract with the Ministry of Aviation.

Date in Office: 1st October 1993 to 29th May 1999.

Chief (Dr.) Joseph Oladele Sanusi, CON

Sanusi worked first as an Accountant in England, then with the Board of Customs and Excise in Nigeria. He joined the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 1966 as a Deputy Manager. He became a Departmental Director in 1977, Chief Executive of the Securities and Exchange Commission (1978–1979), Executive Director, Monetary and Banking Policy (1979–1984), and Deputy Governor (1988–1990). Sanusi left the CBN to become managing director and Chief Executive of United Bank for Africa (1990–1992), then managing director and Chief Executive of First Bank of Nigeria (1992–1998). He was also Vice-Chairman of Nigeria Merchant Bank and Chairman of Banque Internationale du Benin.

Date in Office: 29th of May 1999 to 29th May 2004.

Prof. Chukwuma C. Soludo, CFR

Pro. Chukwuma Soludo

Soludo, the Prof., joined the federal government in 2003. Prior to his May 2004 appointment to the bank chairmanship, he held the positions of Chief Economic Adviser to former President Obasanjo and Chief Executive of the National Planning Commission of Nigeria.

In January 2008, in a speech to the Nigerian Economic Society, he predicted consolidation in the private banking industry, saying “By the end of 2008, there’ll be fewer banks than there is today.

Date in Office: 29th May 2004 to 29th May 2009.



Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (CON)

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

In 1985, Sanusi was hired by Icon Limited (a subsidiary of Morgan Guaranty Trust) and Barings Bank. He joined the United Bank for Africa in 1997, working in the bank’s credit and risk-management division, and rose to the position of general manager. In September 2005, Sanusi became a board member of the First Bank of Nigeria as an executive director in charge of risk and management control and was appointed Group Managing Director (CEO) in January 2009. He was also appointed CBN governor in 2009 by the Senate after a nomination from Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

Date in Office: 3rd June 2009 to 20th February 2014.


Sarah Alade

Alade commenced her working career in 1977 with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ilorin, Kwara State. Alade has served on the teams on major economic policy studies and has been involved in the preparation of Central Bank of Nigeria’s monetary and credit policy proposals over the years.

Date in Office: 20th February 2014 to 3rd June 2014.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele (CON)

Emefiele served as Chief Executive officer and Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc. Emefiele served as Deputy Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc. since 2001. He served as Executive Director in charge of Corporate Banking, Treasury, Financial Control and Strategic Planning of Zenith Bank Plc. and had been Management team since inception.

Date in Office: 3rd June 2014 till date.

There you have it, the complete list of all CBN Governors from the past till present.


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