Finance Minister Debunks Resignation Rumour

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has denied the rumour circulating about her purported resignation.

This was done in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Paul Nwabuikwu.

The statement read: “It has come to our attention that a story is circulating online about the purported resignation of the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

“For the avoidance of doubt, this story is not true.

“The Finance Minister is still in place and assures Nigerians that all will be done to ensure that macro-economic stability is maintained through tight fiscal and monetary policies.”

The rumours started following the suspension of Mr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from the position of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday, February 20.

Meanwhile, Dr Okonjo-Iweala had spoken to journalists on Thursday, following the suspension of the CBN Governor, and she assured Nigerians of stability in the macro-economic framework of the country.

The Minister also announced plans to tighten Nigeria’s monetary policy, which according to her, would guarantee a robust economy.

She asserted that “our objective remains to maintain macro-economic stability”, adding that this “has been the hallmark of this government and administration.”

Sanusi’s Suspension: Selective Witch-Hunt Done In Bad Faith – CNPP

The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, has regarded the suspension of Mr. Lamido Sanusi as Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, as selective, witch-hunt and one done strictly in bad faith.

They made this assertion in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the CNPP, Mr Osita Okechukwu, while also stating that the organisation could not fault the powers of President Goodluck Jonathan, to suspend any official of the Federal Government.

“For the avoidance of doubt, for a long time tongues have been wagging on the way and manner Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi had converted the CBN into a charity organization; but Mr President did not take special notice nor was deeply concerned until Malam Sanusi opened the Pandora-Box in what we may term the cash-cow – Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

“CNPP like most patriots will celebrate the day President Jonathan suspends those whom Malam Sanusi had clearly exposed for allegedly squandering billions of United States Dollars (USD) of Crude Oil revenue without due process, lack of transparency and most importantly utter disregard to appropriation by the National Assembly.

“Until then, we regard the suspension of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, as selective, witch-hunt and suspension done in bad faith”, the statement read.

Sanusi Says Suspension No Surprise, To Seek Legal Clarification

The suspended CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi has said that he may have to seek some form of legal advice over his suspension by the Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan.

Mr Sanusi spoke to CNBC on the telephone on Thursday morning and he said that his suspension did not come as a surprise, saying he was rather surprised that it had taken this long.

Reacting to the allegations of financial recklessness, the suspended Governor said that he was aware of the audit of the reporting council and that all the questions and concerns that were raised, he had provided answers to.

“We all know what this is about. This is about consequences for decisions I have taken. This is something that is long overdue. I am surprised it took them so long”, he said.

Mr Sanusi went further to say that he may have to cross check the powers of the President to suspend a CBN Governor.

He said, “Even if I challenge it, I am not going back to the job, it will be in the interest of the institution to cross check once and for all if the President has the power to do this. The reason is if it’s not challenged, for now the next CBN Governors will not be independent for fear of being suspended by politicians. I do plan to have the courts confirm if indeed that authority exists and I will challenge it.”

When asked about the implications of his suspension on the market, Mr Sanusi said, “Basically, my concern is for the safety of the market, I have had a wonderful time in service to my country. I would not want to see all of my work unravelled. No individual is worth it.”

Mr Sanusi said that he was in Niamey along with other Governors of West African Central Banks to meet with the President of Niger and President of Ghana, when the information reached him. He left the meeting to hand over to his deputy, Dr. Sarah Alade, whom he had been asked to hand over to and who “fortunately” was with him in Niamey, capital city of the West African country, Niger.

Sanusi’s Suspension A Distraction From Finding Missing $20 Billion Oil Money – SERAP

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has described the suspension of the Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi as “a distraction and can only contribute to shifting the focus of the Government from the real issue, which is finding the missing $20 billion oil money.

SERAP, in a statement on Thursday by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said that, “The Government should not politicise the fight against corruption. Our concern remains the urgent, thorough, transparent and effective investigation into allegations that $20 billion oil money is missing from the account of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

“If it is true that the suspension is linked with Sanusi’s public disclosure of the missing funds, SERAP believes that this will be clearly wrong and contrary to the Government’s obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption to target a whistle-blower simply for putting the information in the public domain. No one should be victimized for contributing to the fight against corruption, which is the moral and legal responsibility of any serious, open and people oriented government.

“Unless the Government comes clean about what exactly has happened to the $20 billion missing oil money, the NNPC will remain unaccountable to Nigerians for its action. This will not be consistent with the attitude of a government establishment funded with tax payers’ money.

“The Government’s action in finding the missing money and punishing suspected perpetrators is critical if it is to enjoy the trust and confidence of Nigerians in the fight against corruption.”

Jonathan Suspends CBN Governor, Sanusi

The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has suspended Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from his position as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The suspension was announced in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati.

The statement read that, “Having taken special notice of reports of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria and other investigating bodies, which indicate clearly that Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s tenure has been characterised by various acts of financial recklessness and misconduct, which are inconsistent with the administration’s vision of a Central Bank propelled by the core values of focused economic management, prudence, transparency and financial discipline;

“Being also deeply concerned about far-reaching irregularities  under Mallam Sanusi’s watch which have distracted the Central Bank away from the pursuit and achievement of its statutory mandate; and being determined to urgently re-position the Central Bank of Nigeria for greater efficiency, respect for due process and accountability, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has ordered the immediate suspension of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from the Office of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“President Jonathan has further ordered that Mallam Sanusi should hand over to the most senior Deputy Governor of the CBN, Dr Sarah Alade, who will serve as Acting Governor until the conclusion of on-going investigations into breaches of enabling laws, due process and mandate of the CBN.

“The President expects that as Acting Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Alade would focus on the core mandate of the Bank and conduct its affairs with greater professionalism, prudence and propriety to restore domestic and international confidence in the country’s apex bank.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria reassures all stakeholders in Nigeria’s financial and monetary system that this decision has been taken in absolute good faith, in the overall interest of the Nigerian economy and in accordance with our laws and due process.”

 

Sarah Alade To Serve As Acting CBN Governor

Dr Sarah Alade, will serve as Acting Governor of the Central Bank until the conclusion of on-going investigations into breaches of enabling laws, due process and mandate of the CBN.

This is following President Goodluck Jonathan’s suspension of Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from his position as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, on Thursday, in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati.

Dr. Sarah Omotunde Alade was the most senior Deputy Governor of the CBN and was appointed Deputy Governor (Economic Policy) Central Bank of Nigeria on March 26, 2007.

She attended the University of Ife, Ile-Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) where she obtained a B.Sc (Hons) degree in Economics in 1976. She also obtained an M.Comm degree at the University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia in 1983 and a Ph.D Management Science (Operations Research), from the University of Ilorin in 1991.

Dr. Sarah Alade commenced her working career in 1977 with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ilorin, Kwara State. In 1991, she joined the University of Ilorin as a Lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Finance. She joined the Central Bank of Nigeria in 1993 as an Assistant Director in the Research Department where she served as Head, State Government Finance Office (1993-1996), Head, Federal Government Finance Office (1996-2000) and Head, Fiscal Analysis Division (2000-2004).

Dr. Alade has served on the teams on major economic policy studies, and has been involved in the preparation of Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary and Credit Policy Proposals over the years. She was actively involved in the drafting of the Medium Term Economic Programme (MTP) for Nigeria and the IMF staff Monitored Programme/Standby Arrangement.

Dr. Alade was appointed Director, Banking Operations Department in May 2004. In that capacity, she served as Chairman Board of Directors, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) as well as Secretary, National Payments System Committee (NPSC).

Dr. Alade was a member of the Technical committee of the Vision 2010 and currently a member of the Technical Committee of Vision 2020 and member of the National Economic Management Team (EMT).

As Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Dr. Mrs. Alade superintends over the Economic Policy Directorate, comprising the Research, Monetary Policy, Trade and Exchange, Statistics Departments and Financial Markets Department. As Chair of the Monetary Policy Implementation Committee (MPIC), she interfaces with operational departments and coordinates technical inputs for the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

Dr. Alade, who is a member of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES), has several publications to her credit and is currently carrying out research into Interest Rate Policy and Monetary Policy Implementation in Nigeria. Dr. Mrs. Alade is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Operational Research. She is married with children.

“The President expects that as Acting Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Alade would focus on the core mandate of the Bank and conduct its affairs with greater professionalism, prudence and propriety to restore domestic and international confidence in the country’s apex bank.