Former chairman of Citibank Nigeria Olayemi Michael Cardoso who was last week nominated as the new governor of the central bank has taken over as Acting Governor prior to his confirmation by the Senate.    

Former governor Godwin Emefiele had resigned from his post, a statement from a senior official at the central bank said on Friday.    

Nigeria's President Bola Tinubu nominated Cardoso after suspending Emefiele in June for his handling of the bank’s affairs and appointed a financial watchdog to investigate the bank's operations. 

The apex bank in August published its financial statements for the first time in seven years amid the ongoing investigation. Analysts, including JP Morgan and Fitch, say the figures revealed lower-than-expected foreign currency reserves.    

Tinubu removed foreign exchange controls maintained by Emefiele that had kept the naira artificially high, in order to ease the flow of foreign capital and attract investors. The naira has weakened sharply as a result.     

The president also wants to unify the official market and the black market rates as part of wide-ranging reforms in his quest to revamp the economy.    

Cardoso - who has worked in the public, private, and development sectors as a banker, chartered stockbroker, and public policy specialist - is awaiting confirmation by Senate to officially be the new governor for an initial period of five years.    

The regulator said Cardoso had taken over the reins at the bank "in an acting capacity... pending his confirmation by the Senate," Isa AbdulMumin, the bank's Corporate Communications Director said. 

(Editing by Seban Scaria