Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi may have foreclosed the possibility of a second term in office after the expiration of his term next year. Sanusi was quoted in an interview with the London-based Banker Magazine as saying he had completed his assignment at the apex bank and would not be seeking a second term in office.He said critics of his tight monetary policy had forgotten how unstable the nation’s financial system was just three years ago.
Though perceived to be controversial, Sanusi, who took over from Prof. Chukwuma Soludo as the apex bank’s governor on June 3, 2009, is believed to be in good standing for re-appointment by President Goodluck Jonathan given his impressive record in office as CBN governor in the past four years.
In spite of his achievements in office, earned from efficient management of the banking and financial sector issues since 2009, Sanusi said he was not keen about retaining the job after the expiration of his first tenure in June 2014.
Analysts point out that re-appointment for any CBN governor is subject to the prerogative of the president.
Soludo, Sanusi’s predecessor in office, was not re-appointed for a second term by late President Umaru Yar’Adua despite his much-touted impressive records.
“I will not be offering my services for a second term. The job is extremely demanding. I don’t think it’s something that I would like to do for 10 years. I also think I have certain skills and a temperament that are suitable for a certain phase. I’m a crisis central banker. I came at a time of crisis.
“I consider my job to have been to fix the crisis and restore stability, and to make sure we did that in such a way that no bank failed, no depositor or creditor lost money and fiscal costs (were minimised), which is why we tried to get the banks themselves to bear the costs,” the CBN governor told the magazine.
Several attempts made Saturday to speak with Sanusi did not materialise, as he didn’t pick up the phone when THISDAY called.
But in a response to an email enquiry, the CBN governor directed our correspondent to see the interview in the website of the Banker Magazine.
The response read: “You can check the Banker Magazine yourself. Maybe the interview is on their website. Whoever wrote the article is quoting something.”
As CBN governor, Sanusi had initiated a chain of reform processes shortly after he came on board in 2009, as signs of systemic failure in the banking industry became manifest.
A joint audit undertaken by the CBN and Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) confirmed the fears of some industry watchers who had raised the alarm that some bank chiefs were merely cooking their books at a time banks were posting incredible results.
Consequently, a number of bank chief executives including former managing director of Oceanic Bank International Cecilia Ibru, Erastus Akingbola of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, Francis Atuche of Bank PHB and Barth Ebong of Union Bank were sent packing and prosecuted for opaque financial transactions.
Other bank chiefs affected included Okey Nwosu of Finbank Plc, Ike Akinkuotu of Equitorial Trust Bank, Charles Ojo of Spring Bank Plc and Sebastian Adigwe of Afribank