NewsWest AfricaNigeria: Going out with a bang not a whimper


Posted on Friday, 07 February 2014 14:58

Nigeria: Going out with a bang not a whimper

By The Africa Report

Lamidu Sanusi, governor of Central Bank of NigeriaAfter shaking his country's ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) party with accusations of missing billions, Nigeria's Central Bank governor Lamido Sanusi is going out with a bang.

Sanusi is set for battles on multiple fronts in Africa's largest oil producing country as he enters the final five months of his tenure.

This follows a serious row with President Goodluck Jonathan over a leaked letter, and the failure of the National Petroleum Corporation to account for $12.8 billion in missing crude oil revenue.

The leaked letter led to another critical letter about Jonathan's leadership, penned by former president Olusegun Obasanjo and fellow party member.

Jonathan reacted angrily to the letters warning that they were threats to national security and reportedly demanded Sanusi's resignation.

But the central bank boss refused to budge at the end of December, 2013, saying he will serve his full five-year term.

Sanusi is scheduled to step down from his job on June 2.

After a dispute over the unaccounted $12.8 billion, former World Bank managing director and current Finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala put the missing money at $10.8 billion.

With his well-earned reputation as the man who straightened out the bank, the question remains whether Sanusi will be pushing for a resolution to the Ecobank crisis?

The head of Nigeria's Securities and Exchange Commission Arunma Oteh has raised questions about serious malpractice at the bank, but Togolese-based Ecobank is in no mood to listen.

However, given that nearly two-thirds of its balance sheet is in Nigeria, it might prove difficult for management to brush off concerns indefinitely.

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