May 16, 2019 / 12:08 PM / 8 days ago

UPDATE 1-Nigerian central bank head Emefiele to serve second five-year term

(Adds details, background)

ABUJA, May 16 (Reuters) - Nigerian Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele was approved for a second five-year term in office on Thursday, when he won a unanimous vote of support in the Senate, parliament’s upper house.

During his first term, Emefiele, who has backed a strong local currency, pumped billions of dollars into the foreign exchange market to support the value of the naira.

President Muhammadu Buhari, whose office favours a strong naira, nominated Emefiele for a second term in a letter to the senate on May 9. His term was due to expire this month.

“The nominee has performed credibly in his first tenure which resulted in the exit of the nation out of economic recession,” the Senate’s committee report said in recommending approval for Emefiele’s nomination.

Emefiele also introduced a multiple exchange rate regime to try to mask pressure on the naira and avoid a series of devaluations, in a step that has kept liquidity tight in Africa’s biggest economy. (Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Libby George; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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