Sanusi Suspension: Naira Records Worst 24 Hour Dip In 15 Years – Awoyemi

Femi Awoyemi

The CEO of Proshare Nigeria, Femi Awoyemi, on Friday disclosed that the Naira experienced its worst 24 hour dip in the past 15 years as a result of the sudden suspension of the Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, by the President of the nation, Goodluck Jonathan.

“The Naira has fallen far lower than it has in 15 years, in one single day. That’s to tell you that this action has huge consequences,” he said.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, Awoyemi linked the suspension, which he says “defies deep reasoning,”  to the on-going investigation into the NNPC’s activities, which started as a result of Sanusi’s whistle blowing.

“If it is the case of the timing, this is a poorly timed decision,” he said.

Also, Awoyemi stressed that “the focus on the person as against the institution was also rather very damaging.” “The CBN Governors’ role is far beyond what the individual, Lamido Sanusi is, so we must separate the two.”

He argued that “Lamido Sanusi, at the risk of contradiction, tends towards being a propagandist in terms of his vision as a solutions provider who chooses to want to take a definite stand in terms of how the role of Central Bank in the economy is ordered.”

Although some analysts have said that the suspension was expected as the CBN governor was supposedly working against the Goodluck Jonathan administration but Awoyemi opined that; “If the CBN governor was going to step down in March but the government needed to teach him a lesson, I think this is a very expensive lesson.”

On Sanusi’s intentions to challenge the Federal Government in court, Awoyemi said: “I think it would be a welcome development to see how that will go.”

“If the Central Bank governor is found to have done something wrong or has been discovered to do something wrong, what does the government do?”

He further described the suspension as shocking. “I cannot recall anywhere between section 5 and section 11 that gives a provision for suspension. I’m sure they would have acted under legal advice and the legal advice would have created some basis for their action hopefully.”

Mr Awoyemi said that the dip was a visible reaction of the international community to the suspension.

 

He further said: “The Federal Government thinks it will go away in a week or two but I can assure you it’s in the record books right now.”

He however cautioned that “this is not to say that those who are challenging this decision condone a situation where the Central Bank Governor would act with impunity. No, that is not the case.”

According to him, the Federal Government could have prevented the market crisis by following due process. “They can present the case to the Senate and say on the basis of the following allegations which have been substantiated by apparatus of government, that this gentleman needs therefore be removed.”

“We should be looking at how to deal with such situations and this whole process can help us in developing that.”

NNPC Missing Money: Focus On Key Issues, Not Drama – Awoyemi

Following the backlash which trailed CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido’s letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, disclosing that the NNPC is owing $49.8 billion dollars, an amount which analysts have said is enough to cover the nation’s budget for three years, Economist Femi Awoyemi has cautioned Nigerians to focus on the key issues and not the controversial exchange between the two agencies.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Awoyemi stressed that the implication of the disagreements between the two agencies puts the Nigerian economy at stake as well as the integrity of those who occupy offices.

“Sometime in June/July 2013, CBN had the pre-shipment inspection documents and found out that about 600 million barrels of oil had been shipped out, and from his records he would have expected about 65.3 billion dollars but what he got in was about 15 billion dollars.

“Normally, when you have such discrepancies there would be an exchange between the CBN, NNPC and thereafter with the Ministry of Finance.

“If this had been done and they did not get any answer, it is consistent therefore for Central Bank to then escalate the matter. My own interpretation would be that, it was therefore escalated by writing to the president.”

The economist who adjudged the CBN governor’s move as right because all the agencies report to the president, said that all agencies involved should have been summoned by the President considering the amount of money alleged to be missing, which is up to the nation’s budget for 2 years.

“If the figures were true, we are talking about Nigeria’s budget for two years aggregated together,” he said.

“The letter finding its way into the public domain should trigger a sense of responsibility knowing well that it has a huge impact on Nigeria’s economy, financial standing and rating especially to the global society,” Awoyemi said.

Awoyemi said the proper action would have been for authorities to clear the air and allay fears but “since we are in a system where we trust each other less, it took a political undertone.”

Despite the severity of the crisis at hand, many have said there is a disconnection between the two agencies which can create suspicion in the minds of the people.

Reacting to NNPC’s claim that the CBN is ignorant of the structures by which it remits revenue to the Federation Account, Mr Awoyemi said:

“If the Central Bank of Nigeria does not therefore understand the way and manner in which the NNPC is structuring its businesses or enough to understand what it is expecting in the Federation Account or how those monies get back to it, then that’s a key issue Nigerians should be interested in knowing.”

“It is a discrepancy more in processes and understanding of how affairs are conducted,” he added.