Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has been conferred with award of the Central Bank Governor of the Year for 2010. The award was conferred on Sanusi, by The Banker Magazine, a publication of the Financial Times of London.
The announcement which was contained in the January 2011 edition of the global financial publication comes after an earlier one in 2010 in Washington USA, where the CBN boss was named African Central Bank Governor of the Year.
The Banker in a statement signed by its Country Representative, Mr Kunle Ogedengbe noted that “In the 18 months that he has been in office, Lamido Sanusi has salvaged a crumbling financial sector, taken on Nigeria’s powerful and corrupt bank managers and initiated reforms that have put Africa’s most promising market back on the map for investors”
It also added that the reforms initiated by Sanusi have been hailed as necessary to sanitize the banking industry, stressing that without them, Nigeria would have entered into another round of banking distress.
While commending his implementation of stricter disclosure policy in the nation’s banking sector, the magazine noted that the policy has also led to a culture of greater transparency in Nigeria’s banking industry.
Meanwhile Editor of the magazine, Mr Brian Caplen, in his response noted that “few candidate’s names can generate an overall consensus on judging panels and yet, when it came to finding the best global central bank governor of the year, Mr. Sanusi was chosen unanimously” It explained that the governor’s choice was informed by among other considerations, his whole-hearted pursuit of reforms in the Nigerian financial landscape.
Earlier in a chat with The Banker, Sanusi had stated that getting conviction for the rich and powerful Nigerians had sent strong warnings across Nigerians that the time for corruption was coming to an end. He however added that his biggest challenge at the moment was facing up to the people who had strong sway in the country, insisting that once the people were made aware of the scale of corruption in the industry, then pressing for change becomes easier.Governor had hit the limelight on August 14, 2009 with his reforms anchored on four pillars including, enhancing the quality of banks, establishing financial stability, enabling healthy financial sector evolution and ensuring that financial sector contributes to the real sector of the economy.
His reform incidentally led to the sack of five bank chief executives indicted for mismanaging the resources of their institutions. This was however bolstered with the injection of about N670billion into Afribank, Finbank, Intercontinental Bank, Oceanic Bank, Union Bank, Wema Bank and Spring Bank and appointed new board and managers in five institutions. Another key reform implemented by Sanusi was the pegging of tenure of bank chief executives to 10 years, with managing directors of UBA, Zenith Bank and Skye Bank setting the pace through a peaceful exit at the end of July 2010.
Commenting on the award, CBN spokesman, Mallam Mohammed Abdullahi said it was an indication that the reform was being recognized even by the international community. He said the recognition would further embolden the apex bank to continue doing more to strengthen the Nigerian banking industry.