Sanusi, U.S. Envoy Commend Obiano’s Leadership Style

Sanusi, U.S. Envoy Commend Obiano’s Leadership Style Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has commended Governor Willie Obiano for deploying his wealth of experience and administrative skills in the growth and development of Anambra state within his short period in government.

Mr Sanusi gave the commendation during his visit to Anambra for a private engagement.

The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria who was once a colleague of Mr Obiano, noted that the governor distinguished himself even in the sector, resulting to their continued friendship.

He therefore prayed for the peaceful conduct of the forthcoming governorship election in the state adding that Anambra under Governor Obiano will continue to make progress.

Meanwhile, the United States Ambassador, Mr Stuart Symington, also paid a visit to the governor where he assured him of the support of the U.S, especially in the areas of agriculture, health, education and industrialisation.

“Working together as one, we can do anything including resolving all those challenges you are facing in security, resolving all those challenges you face in food production and resolving every other challenges that you face that put people away.

“So it is a great privilege to meet your governor, it’s wonderful to meet your commissioners and your team and to have the chance to come once again to this very important part of Nigeria,” Mr Symington stated.

Emir Sanusi Warns Against $30bn Foreign Loan

Emir of Kano, Muhammad SanusiThe Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, believes that a foreign loan of 30 billion dollars would be difficult for Nigeria to pay back before the end of President Buhari’s tenure in 2019.

He has therefore warned the Nigerian President not to take the proposed loan but rather focus on bringing the country out of recession by investing more in the economy.

The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), made the call on Friday at a one-day dialogue forum organised by the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy & Development (SCDDD) and Ford Foundation, in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja.

He explained that the idea of a foreign loan would make sense if the country “can get it at concessionary terms” and “if they get the loan to invest in the power sector, energy and road” and similar infrastructure.

But he insisted that as long as the country would have to pay back in two years, the idea was wrong.

“If we cannot raise $2 billon in two years and you want to borrow $30 billion in two years to the end of the life of the administration. The government should rather pay more attention to investment and support the private sectors to grow the economy.

“The economy that has five exchange rates can’t borrow $30 billion. They can’t lend you the $30 billion when you have five foreign exchange rates and with the current bombing of oil pipelines by the Niger Delta militants.

“So, on which foreign exchange rate can you get the loan?”

Emir Sanusi advised the Buhari administration to focus on reviving the Nigerian economy.

Mimiko Hosts Emir Of Kano, Preaches National Unity

Mimiko Hosts Emir Of Kano, Preaches National UnityGovernor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State has declared that the major adversary Nigeria has is mass poverty and not ethnicity or religion.

Mimiko made this declaration while playing host to the Emir of Kano‎, His Majesty Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and his entourage at the Governor’s office in Akure, the State Capital.

According to the Governor, there are centrifugal forces trying to tear Nigeria apart.

“I have said it severally that there are centrifugal forces trying to tear us apart but we need relationships like this to remind us that we are one people. The major adversary we have in Nigeria is mass poverty and not ethnicity or religion,” he said.

He maintained that people of like minds can work together to build a country that all Nigerians will be truly proud of.

“People of like minds can actually build these bridges, leverage on what we have to actually‎ build a country that we all will be truly proud of. I think it is a challenge before our new generation who are global citizens.”
Mimiko Hosts Emir Of Kano, Preaches National Unity

Meanwhile, in a brief chat with newsmen after meeting with the Governor, the Emir refused to talk about the Nigerian economy, corruption or politics.

He said that he was in Ondo State to felicitate with the Osemawe of Ondo on achieving ten years on the throne of his forefathers, to wish him the best and bring good wishes from the people of Kano to the people of Ondo.

The Emir equally congratulated Governor Olusegun Mimiko on eight years as governor of Ondo State.

“No, I don’t want to discuss on that, I came here to felicitate with the Osemawe of Ondo on achieving‎ ten years on the throne of his forefathers, to wish him the best and to bring good wishes from the people of Kano to the people of Ondo and to also congratulate the governor on eight years as governor.

“I will not make any statement on the economy or corruption or politics.”

The parmount ruler of Ondo Kingdom, the Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Adesimbo Kiladejo, and some of his high Chiefs were in the company of the Emir for the visit.

I Am Not Surprised At Alison-Madueke’s Travails – Oshiomhole

Oshiomhole Not Surprised At Alison-Madueke's TravailsEdo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on Wednesday said he is not surprised at what is happening to former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, with the Metro Police in the United Kingdom (UK).

Governor Oshiomhole made this known in a session with State House correspondents in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said despite the media hype by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan that it re-based the economy, he did not see anybody that said average Nigerians did better under the Jonathan administration.

The immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources was arrested along with four other persons in relation to corruption allegations being investigated by the UK National Crime Agency.

Under her watch the then Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, alleged missing funds in the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC), amounting to 20 billion dollars.

It was alleged earlier in the year that the former Petroleum Minister, who was one of the closest to the administration of former President Jonathan, would flee the country, to avoid being prosecuted over allegations of fraud, especially in the NNPC.

Mrs Alison-Madueke, at the time, denied seeking asylum in any part of the world, stating that the Jonathan administration had done a lot in the Oil and Gas industry that cannot be rubbished by malicious claims.

Omokore Visits EFCC

OmokoreThe Chairman of Atlantic Energy, Mr Olajide Omokore, has been explaining his encounter with the EFCC.

He told Channels Television that he visited the EFCC office in Abuja on his own volition and that he was not arrested or picked up by the commission’s agents.

He explained that during his long conversation, he was not told of any charges related to corruption or money laundering.

Reuters News Agency had reported that Mr Omokore was arrested for charges related to corruption and money laundering.

Former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, May Appear In Court

OPEC Diezani-Allison-Madueke-Minister-of-Petroleum-ResourcesNigeria’s former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who was arrested in London and granted bail on Friday may be returning to the London Magistrate Court on Monday, October 5.

She was arrested by the National Crime Agency along with four other people and is being investigated for alleged bribery, corruption and money laundering.

She denied any wrong doing when accused by the then Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who is now the Emir of Kano of alleged misappropriation of $20 billion oil money.

Mrs Alison-Madueke was Petroleum Minister between 2010 and 2015.

Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to trace and recover “mind boggling” sums that have been stolen from the oil sector.

He also promised to prosecute those behind the theft.

Concerns Increase As Banks’ Customers Register For Verification

Orji UdemezueConcerns are increasing over the proper implementation of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration of banks’ customers which is currently ongoing in Nigeria.

Mr Orji Udemezue a financial and management consultant, who was guest on Channels Television’s business programme, Business Morning, said Nigeria had not got to the point where this initiative could be successfully implemented.

According to him, the project should ride in the back of the national identity car project.

“If Nigeria had, before now, got it right in terms of National identification project through the biometric data capture, by now, it will be an easy process for the CBN to ride on the back bone of the robust data system to bring it into the financial system.

“With that we can easily translate that into the customer identification process in the banks,” he said.

Mr Udemezue said that the level of literacy in Nigeria, issue of trust, availability and security was affecting the project, but expressed optimism that the identification project would help address the issue of identification that requires individuals to produce international passport or driver’s license before they could open an account with a bank.

He, however, advised that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should put up more information for the public and ensure critical training of all stakeholders.

On February 14, the former CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, started the pilot phase of the BVN project deployment which was scheduled to run to May 31, after which full rollout to bank branches would to commence.

The Know Your Customer Initiative will help ensure accountability, check identity theft, reduce exposure to fraud, enhance credit advancement to bank customers, protect bank customers’ account from unauthorised access and also encourage financial inclusion.

New Emir Of Kano Moves Into Palace

Muhammadu-Sanusi-IIThe new Emir Of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has arrived in the Emir’s Palace Six days after His Nomination to succeed the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, who died seven days ago.

On Thursday, Mobile Police Men who were previously directed to siege the palace for security reasons were withdrawn which eventually paved the way for the new emir to move in.

The half kilometre drive from the Government House to the emir’s Palace on Friday was smooth, as a large crowd followed the procession to the palace.

Led to the palace by a well-armed security team, State Deputy Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, and the members of the State Executive Cancel, district heads and other traditional title holders, Mallam Sanusi alighted from a limousine vehicle dressed colourfully in royal regalia.

At the palace, the Emir, riding on a horse, was received by the Emirate’s Senior Councillor, Alhaji Abass Sanusi, and the Three King makers of the kingdom.

On the Emir’s arrival, celebrations ensued at the palace, with friends and relatives gathered to welcome him.

Court Upholds FG’s Objection To Sanusi’s Suit On Suspension

Picture of a Gavel.A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has declined jurisdiction on a suit filed by the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, essentially challenging his suspension by the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, on February 20, 2014.

In a ruling spanning over 2 hours, Justice Kolawole upheld the submissions of the Counsel to the President, Dr. Fabian Ajogwu, and that of the Counsel to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mike Ozekhome.

In his preliminary objection filed in opposition to the Plaintiff’s Originating Summons, Counsel to the President, Dr. Fabian Ajogwu, argued that the Federal High Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the suit between Lamido Sanusi and the President since it bothers on labour matters.

Accordingly, he had urged the court to decline jurisdiction on it.

Towing the same vein, the Counsel to the Attorney-General of the Federation, sued as the 2nd Defendant, Mike Ozekhome, had in the hearing of the matter urged the Judge to wash his hands off the case as the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

Upholding the submission of Counsel to the Defendants, the court declined jurisdiction and accordingly referred the matter to the National Industrial Court. The Judge, in the course of delivering the ruling, faulted the submissions of Counsel to Lamido Sanusi, Mr. Kola Awodein, and Mr AB Mahmoud, who in their pleadings had said that Mr Lamido Sanusi was not an employee of the Federal Government but that of the Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria, which he incidentally headed.

Upholding the arguments of the Counsel to the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Umoh, the court also struck out the name of the IGP sued as 3rd Defendant holding that there was no cause of action against the IG.

Fitch Affirms Nigeria’s Robust Sovereign Rating

fitch ratingsTo demonstrate its view that the country is on the right economic trajectory despite many challenges, Fitch Ratings has affirmed it’s robust ‘BB-‘sovereign rating of Nigeria with a stable outlook.

It cited several current positive features of the economy to support its position.

Such features include improving stability in the economy after the suspension of CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the recent boost in the Excess Crude Account, rising oil production and improved efforts to tackle pipeline vandalism.

Below is the full statement:

Fitch Affirms Nigeria at ‘BB-‘; Outlook Stable

Fitch Ratings-London-10 April 2014: Fitch Ratings has affirmed Nigeria’s Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at ‘BB-‘ and ‘BB’, respectively. The Outlooks are Stable.

The issue ratings on Nigeria’s senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds have also been affirmed at ‘BB-‘ and ‘BB’, respectively. The agency has also affirmed Nigeria’s Short-term foreign currency IDR at ‘B’ and Country Ceiling at ‘BB-‘.

KEY RATING DRIVERS 

The affirmation reflects the following key rating drivers:

The foreign exchange market and international reserves are stabilising after the shock of Central Bank (CBN) Governor Sanusi’s suspension on 20 February. Demand for FX in the official auction reverted to normal levels in March and CBN intervention in the inter-bank market has fallen away. The inter-bank Naira/US dollar rate has strengthened from its lows although it remains outside the upper limit of the 155 plus or minus 3% band.

Official reserves rose in March, helped by an increase in the ECA fiscal buffer (Excess Crude Account). Although reserves have fallen appreciably over the past year, they remain in line with ‘BB’ category peer medians at a Fitch projected 4.6 months current account payments (CXP) at end 2014, although weaker than similarly rated oil exporters (Angola and Gabon).

On 25 March the Monetary Policy Committee continued the gradual tightening of liquidity seen over the past year, with an increase in the private sector cash reserve requirement to 15%. Inflation fell to a new low of 7.7% in February, within the target range of 6%-9%. Fitch believes that as an institution, the CBN has been strengthened in recent years and should retain its autonomy over monetary and financial policy, notwithstanding the suspension of the former governor.

Oil production remains volatile but rose in 1Q14 to average 2.25mb/d, in line with the trailing 12-month average, and above the recent low of 2.1mb/d in November/December 2013. Improved production and increased efforts to tackle pipeline vandalism and oil theft may help explain the increase in the ECA in March. The issue of corruption in the oil sector and lack of transparency in oil flows has gained heightened prominence this year and the President has agreed to a forensic audit of the flows between state-owned oil company NNPC and the budget.

A tight budget has been approved. It assumes a conservative oil price of USD77.5/bl and a more realistic oil production assumption of 2.39mb/d. Although production shortfalls are likely to continue, allowing further drawing on the ECA, the authorities aim to increase the ECA this year. The budget envisages a fall in revenue and spending, although the latter will be achieved mainly through a more realistic assessment of capital spending capacity.

Other factors supportive of the affirmation include:

Nigeria’s low debt burden, which after the recent GDP re-basing is just 12.6% of GDP (general government) at end-2013, is well below medians throughout the rating scale. Fitch’s debt sustainability analysis shows the debt ratio would remain well below the ‘BB’ median in any plausible scenario.

Continued strong growth, which has averaged 6.8% over the past five years, led by non-oil growth of an average 7.7%. Revised national accounts show growth accelerated to 7.4% in 2013, with a 5.2% increase in the energy sector as gas production increased, notwithstanding a fall in oil production.

The GDP rebasing shows a more diversified economy, with the non-oil sector comprising 86% of GDP and services now put at 52% of GDP (previously 29%) with the oil and agriculture sectors now having a reduced share in GDP.

Nigeria’s sovereign and overall external balance sheets, current account surplus, debt service ratio and external liquidity are all stronger than ‘BB’ category medians. However, the current surplus has been declining (4.1% of GDP in 2013) and may be overstated given large errors and omissions. FDI is less than 1% of GDP, amongst the lowest in the region.

Reform progress remains mixed. Electricity generators and distributors are now in private hands but transmission remains a problem and output remains volatile, affected by gas supply and other problems. Agricultural reforms continue to gain traction, leading to higher output and a reduced import bill. However, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) remains stalled. Strong vested interests make structural reform a continual struggle.

Nigeria’s ratings are constrained by weak governance, as measured by the World Bank, low per capita income, even after the 89% uplift to 2013 GDP due to rebasing, and vulnerability of public finances and reserves to oil price volatility. Political noise has increased this year ahead of the February 2015 presidential and gubernatorial elections. The Boko Haram insurgency has also intensified this year though is geographically contained.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

The main factors that individually or collectively might lead to rating action are as follows:

Positive:

  • Accelerated structural reforms that bring faster, more inclusive growth and higher employment and per capita incomes.
  • Signs of a sustained increase in electricity production and passage of the PIB would be especially positive.
  • A longer track record of low single-digit inflation.
  • Improved external buffers, either in the ECA or the new Sovereign Wealth Fund (NSIA).
  • Improved governance as reflected in World Bank and anti-corruption indicators.

Negative:

  • Renewed pressure on reserves that further depletes Nigeria’s fiscal and external buffers.
  • Reversal of key structural reforms.
  • A serious deterioration in domestic security, whether stemming from terrorism or election-related violence.

 

KEY ASSUMPTIONS

Nigeria is highly dependent on oil for fiscal and external revenue. Fitch assumes Brent crude will average USD105/bl in 2014 and USD100/bl in 2015.

Fitch assumes the current stance of relatively conservative macro policy and incremental structural reform will remain in place in the forecast period, which goes up to the election year of 2015.

In particular, no significant fiscal spending overruns are assumed. At the same time, no significant acceleration in non-oil growth or net exports has been assumed nor any further reduction in petroleum subsidies, which would benefit public and external finances.

Fitch believes passage of the PIB before the election is unlikely, but failure to do so is assumed not to have any serious short-term impact on oil production. However, oil theft and associated capacity shutdowns are assumed to continue, although not worsen, meaning average oil output will remain around 2.2mb/d, significantly below potential of 2.5mb/d. It is also assumed that there is no major resurgence of violence in the Delta region.

The Boko Haram terrorist insurgency is assumed to remain contained and not to have serious consequences for economic performance.

Sanusi Absent From Probe Panel

Suspended Central Bank governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido failed to appear before the financial reporting council probe panel on Thursday in Lagos.sanusi_lamido

His deputies, former CBN deputy governor Mr. Tunde Lemo, and some other incumbent deputy governors of the apex bank were available to answer questions on the spending of the CBN

the Managing Director, Bank of Industry was also present at the investigation while the acting governor of the CBN Mrs. Sarah Alade took permission to attend to some official matters

FG Challenges Jurisdiction of Court To Entertain Sanusi’s Suit

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

The Federal Government has challenged the jurisdiction of a Federal High Court in Abuja to entertain the suit filed by the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi over his suspension from the apex bank.

At the hearing of the suit in Abuja, counsel to the federal government, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) told the court that it lacks the jurisdiction to entertain a labour dispute between an employee and his employer as the National Industrial Court is the proper place for such a suit.

Lawyer to the suspended governor, Kola Awodein (SAN), however argued that the suit was properly filed before the court and prayed the court to determine the suit expeditiously.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole after listening to all the parties for and against the hearing of the suit adjourned it to the April 8 to hear the originating summons filed by Mr Sanusi along with the preliminary objection filed by the federal government.

“The drafters of the law did not state categorically which case can be determined by taking both the preliminary objection and originating summons together.

“In the instant case, where time is of essence, so that the plaintiff’s tenure does not expire before the case is determined, the court rules necessitate we hear both applications together.

“By Order 1 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court, it is judicially expedient that the hearing of the originating summons be heard with the preliminary objection,’’ Kolawole said.