So, the rumour mill was abuzz on Monday that Nigeria’s central bank chief Godwin Emefiele has been sacked.

Well, it is was just what it was – fake news. The truth is that Emefiele is still in charge at the apex bank, but he is likely to exit in June and would take leave from this month before stepping down at the end of his five-year term.

But that is if President Muhammadu Buhari decides not to renew his tenure, a position many analysts consider highly unlikely.

It was not clear when Emefiele’s replacement would be appointed but central bank governors in Nigeria typically go on a 3-month leave before the end of their tenures. The central bank declined to comment.

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Under Emefiele, Nigeria has kept interest rates high at 14% for over two years to tighten liquidity and support the naira after a crisis forced the central bank to devalue the currency. The bank has since introduced multiple exchange rates to prop up the naira.

Several candidates have been touted to replace Emefiele. Among them is the head of Nigeria’s “bad bank” AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, who led the sale of the country’s nationalised banks, sources say. Also Aisha Mohammed, deputy governor of the apex bank is in the running.

Whoever succeeds Emefiele would be expected to continue to keep the naira stable to attract foreign investors, a policy which Buhari has backed.

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