An Economist, Dr Abiodun Adedipe, on Saturday said that the controversial suspension of the CBN governor, Lamido Sanusi, is “a very critical issue for our economy” stressing that the manner in which the act was carried out will affect the economy and that the Federal Government’ s claim that it wouldn’t is merely a ‘political statement.’
Speaking on Sunrise (Saturday), Dr Adedipe said “Immediately that pronouncement was made, the exchange rate market began to react. Also the stock market started to react,” maintaining that macroeconomic indices began to move in adverse directions.
According to him “the major issue is new capital formation “which is simply new investment.” He added that “any investor, whether domestic or foreign, will naturally look at the development and say it is not the time for me to put in fresh money.”
“Ultimately, if we get back on track, that little space of time where we lost momentum willensure that the prospect for growth that the economy had at the beginning of the year will certainly fall short by the end of the year.”
He stressed that the position of the CBN Governor is very key to the financial industry and the national economy hence comments made by the person in the position are important and are key indicators of the direction of policy and response of the system to developments in the economic space.
“Whatever actions are taken or utterance made by such a person is a reflection of the data and information available to him.
The way the government deals with whoever is in that position becomes important and that is why in my opinion, the government has not handled it in a way that will help this economy.”
“The fact of the matter is that there are so many allegations made against Sanusi. Whether they are right or not, we don’t know because it has not been investigated.
However, “where people have problems now is not whether there are no issues, indictments against Sanusi. They are mere allegations which have not been investigated. The real issue is whether the president has the powers under the law to suspend Sanusi.”
He stressed that the president has a right to appoint, nominate while the Senate confirms. “That means the President is sharing that authority with Senate and when it comes to the issue of removal, it’s only under section 1F that made an explicit provision that you can only remove the governor of Central Bank if for instance the President recommends the removal and is backed by two-thirds of the Senate.”
He continued by saying “interestingly, there’s only one aspect of section 11 that made reference to removal. The section relating to that is section 11(1)(D), you can only be suspended from office if the professional body that he belongs to finds him guilty of one thing or the other.
“There’s no provision for suspension, there’s only provision for removal and you can only suspend somebody if he has been found guilty by his professional body. That is not the case.”
He attributed the suspension to the president’s desire to accelerate his transformation agenda.