By Olaitan Oye-Adeitan

His may not have been a name that rings a bell in the Nation though he had held and occupied high ranking positions, making indelible impacts.

But on Friday, 15th September, 2023, he came into lime light, upon his nomination by President Bola Ahmed-Tinubu as Governor of the  Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the nation’s monetary regulator.

He is none other than Olayemi Michael Cardoso. 

Interestingly, his father, Felix Bankole Cardoso made history fifty years ago when he became the Nigeria’s first indigenous Accountant General of the Federation precisely in 1963.

What is Cardoso pedigree?

Olayemi Cardoso earned his Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc.) in Managerial and Administrative Studies from Aston University in 1980.

He furthered his education at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS) and graduated as a Mason Fellow with a Master’s degree in Public Administration in 2005.

In recognition of his exceptional contributions to both the private and public sectors, Aston University honoured Cardoso with an honorary Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) in 2017.

He is also distinguished as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers.

Prior to his nomination, Dr Cardoso was the former chairman of Citibank Nigeria. 

He is a distinguished leader in the financial and development sectors with over  thirty years’ experience in the private, public and not-for-profit organisations.

With diverse corporate governance experience, Dr Cardoso had also sat on the boards of Nigerian subsidiaries of Texaco and Chevron and chaired the board of EFInA, a financial sector development organisation supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

Cardoso equally served in government as the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget for Lagos State, where he championed the financial reform process which led to the state’s development of independent tax revenue.

In his capacity as a consultant and policy expert, Dr Cardoso has advised and collaborated with major international development organisations including the World Bank, Ford Foundation, UN Habitat, World Health Organisation and the Swedish Development Foundation.

He is the recipient of several awards including an honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration from Aston University, his alma mater, and the Global Distinguished Alumni Award from Citi.


His commitment to lifelong learning has been acknowledged by various educational institutions, including:

  • Trustee of the Harvard Club of Nigeria from 2022 to the present.
  • Trustee of the Harvard Kennedy School Nigeria Alumni from 2020 to the present.
  • Board advisor at the Lagos Business School since 2019.
  • Trustee of St. Augustine University since 2018.
  • Global Alumni-elected Board member of Harvard Kennedy School from 2006 to 2010.

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