Billionaire entrepreneur and business magnate, Tony Elumelu, has expressed confidence that the recent change in leadership at the Central Bank of Nigeria will play a pivotal role in bolstering faith in the nation’s currency.
Elumelu, who serves as the chairman of United Bank for Africa Plc and is the largest shareholder of Transnational Corp. of Nigeria Plc, the country’s largest conglomerate, noted that there is a palpable sense of anxiety among Nigerians due to uncertainty regarding the future stability of the Naira.
In dollar terms, shares of his companies have experienced significant surges this year, with Transcorp witnessing a more than doubling in value in 2023, while United Bank has registered approximately a 40% increase.
In light of these developments, Tony Elumelu remains hopeful that the new leadership at the Central Bank of Nigeria will contribute to the restoration of confidence in the Naira and stimulate economic growth in the nation.
Transcorp, under Elumelu’s leadership, controls approximately 16% of Nigeria’s electricity generation capacity, operates hotels, and engages in oil exploration.
This strategic positioning allows Elumelu avenues for expansion in sectors that are critical to Africa’s most populous nation.
Olayemi Michael Cardoso officially assumed his responsibilities as the acting governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, albeit pending Senate confirmation, last Friday. Nevertheless, despite this change, the Nigerian Naira has continued to experience a decline in value.
According to data compiled by the Forward Marketing Bureau de Change Ltd., the Naira depreciated to N992/$1 in the unofficial market, marking a substantial decrease from its starting rate of N900 Naira at the beginning of the month.
Moreover, this rate signifies a significant 30% weakening when compared to its official close of 772.98 Naira on the FMDQ trading platform the previous Thursday.