Sanusi’s suspension mess: His enduring legacies, what the Law says and the private world of his successor (2)

SANUSI’s enduring legacies

SANUSI Lamido Sanusi, according to his admirers, brought a bit of sanity to the banking industry.  He ‘pulled down those sand castles from which greedy GMDs/CEOs sneered at the little people.”

At least, he made Nigerians know that no one owns a bank.  The outgoing CBN boss successfully brought some former bank chiefs to book and saved bank depositors from losing their hard earned money.

And being an expert in risk management, he ensured that loans are only given to those qualified at minimum risk.

Sanusi will also be remembered for the innovative cashless policy which has transformed the economy.

His monetary policies might be damn too conservative, but the marginal stability of the nation’s economy which has checked inflation to a certain extent, needs to be sustained by the new CBN management.

Today, almost all Nigerian banks are healthy.

Sanusi also introduced the tenure system for bank chief executives who now can’t continue in office after serving out their terms.

“At least GMDs won’t stay forever and make it look like the bank belongs to their fathers.  We loved him for this,” Ukamaka Evelyn Olisakwe, an ex-banker said.

Sanusi has also been scored high in the area of ensuring that banks comply with all financial directives of the apex bank.


lawTHE law governing the establishment and operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act, 2007 (the CBN Act).

Section 8 of the CBN Act provides for the appointment, qualification and remuneration of the Governor and Deputy Governor of the CBN.

Section 11(2) of the CBN Act provides as follows:

“The Governor, Deputy Governor or Director shall cease to hold office in the bank, if he

a. Becomes of unsound mind, or owing to ill-health, is incapable of carrying out his duties.

b.  Is convicted of any criminal offence by a court of competent jurisdiction except for traffic offences or contempt proceedings arising in connection with the execution or intended execution of any power or duty conferred under this Act or the Banks or other Financial Institutions Act.

c.  Is guilty of a serious misconduct in relation to his duties under this Act.

d.  Is disqualified or suspended from practicing his profession in Nigeria by order of a competent authority made in respect of him personally.

e.  Becomes bankrupt.

f.  Is removed by the President.  Provided that the removal shall be supported by two-third majority of the Senate praying that he be so removed.

The opinion of Ifeoluwa Dada, a legal expert is that the CBN Act does not provide for the suspension of a CBN Governor.  He also argued that the CBN Act explicitly provides for circumstances under which the Governor of the Bank may cease to hold office.  None of those circumstances, he argued, has been shown to exist in respect of the former CBN Governor. “While the President may remove the CBN Governor, he can only do so upon being “supported by two-third majority of the Senate praying that he be so removed,” Dada reminded those giving President Goodluck Jonathan kudos for ‘sacking’ Sanusi.

About SARAH ALADE,  the Acting CBN Governor



DR. Sarah Omotunde Alade is the Acting CBN Governor.  She is the first woman to head the apex bank.

Dr. Alade has been Deputy Governor (Economic Policy) since 2007, making her the most senior management staff of CBN.  She actually commenced her working career in 1977 with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Kwara State.

In 1991, she joined the University of Ilorin as a lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Finance and in 1993, she ‘ported’ to CBN, as Assistant Director in the Research Department where she served as Head, State Government Finance Office (1993-1996).  Dr. Sarah Alade, who pundits had earlier tipped to succeed Sanusi was also Head, Federal Government Finance Office (1996-2000) and Head, Fiscal Analysis Division (2000-2004).

She attended the University of Ife, Ile-Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), where she obtained a B.Sc (Hons.) degree in Economics in 1976.

Dr. Alade also obtained an M.Comm degree at the University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, in 1983 and a Ph.D Management Science (Operations and Research) from the University of Ilorin in 1991.

The private world of SANUSI’s successor, GODWIN EMEFIELE

Godwin Emefiele

Godwin Emefiele

SANUSI’S successor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele is a very private person.  The nomination of the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc as CBN Governor by President Goodluck Jonathan was not expected because he was never listed as a potential candidate for the job.

Emefiele, who was appointed Zenith Bank GMD in 2010, is an economic and financial expert with over 26 years experience in core banking. He also has academic background having taught finance at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and University of Port Harcourt.

His tenure at Zenith Bank has been quite successful having taken the bank to a higher level with its rating as one of the top three banks in the country.

Seldom seen at public functions, Godwin Emefiele is media shy.  You don’t even get to see his photographs!  The last time he went public was when he granted an exclusive interview to This Day newspapers on Sunday, February 17, 2014.

A graduate of Banking and Finance, Emefiele graduated as the best student in the Masters of Business Administration (Finance) programme of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

This one-time Deputy Managing Director of Zenith Bank is an alumnus of Stanford University, Harvard and Wharton Graduate School of Boston, where he took courses in Negotiation, Service Excellence and Critical Thinking.

Acknowledged to be calculative, taciturn and apolitical, those who recommended Emefiele to President Jonathan are in for a man who would do his job quietly without rocking the boat by overheating the financial system this interesting times, where every step has political undertone.

Emefiele’s nomination is being traced to his former boss, Mr. Jim Ovia, who is said to represent the interest of current and retired bank chiefs as well as stakeholders.



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