• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Re: And from Soludo to Sanusi

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Bashir Ibrahim Hasssan

Speculations as to who would succeed former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Chukwuma Soludo, were within the twinkle of an eye, put to rest with the appointment of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the helmsman of the apex bank. Sanusi’s appointment, after a thorough screening by the Senate, qualifies him to be the 10th governor of the CBN, since its establishment more than 50 years ago. It is noteworthy that Sanusi’s screening before his appointment was the first of its kind in the nation’s history.
To well-meaning Nigerians, both home and abroad, Sanusi’s appointment is well thought-out and timely (look up some of the foremost national dailies that span June 2-15, 2009, for comments on the merit of Sanusi’s new appointment.
IK Muo, a regular contributor to the well respected opinion pages of BusinessDay, in his article titled “and from Soludo to Sanusi,” published in the June 6, 2009 edition of the newspaper, said “the appointment of Sanusi as the the CBN governor has once more exposed some unfortunate features of political governance in Nigeria.” Also, he said the CBN had no governor for five days (May 29 to June 2, 2009) before Sanusi’s appointment. This, he insisted, was avoidable and caused an incalculable harm to the image and economic interest of the country.

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Contrary to Muo’s assertion, President Umar Yar’Adua is believed by analysts and well- meaning Nigerians to be committed to restoring confidence in our financial institutions, banking in particular.
It is widely held that neither Sanusi nor anybody on his behalf, lobbied Yar’Adua for the former’s appointment. As a matter of fact, he, Sanusi and Yar’Adua, have been generally believed not to have ever met before anywhere. Thus, Muo’s attempt to read Sanusi’s appointment as a product of lobby from the emirate councils, governors’ forum, chambers of commerce, among others, is not factual.
Soludo’s exit from the CBN is beginning to look like the end of a wishy-washy approach towards repositioning the banking industry for greater heights.
‘Kanorisation?’ By this word, Muo means that besides Sanusi’s appointment, Mansur Muhtar, minister of finance, and Shamsudeen Usman, minister of national planning, are all bonafide indigenes of Kano. Interestingly, their appointments are based on merit. Muhtar is a first-class degree holder of economics from one of London’s prestigious universities. That was before he proceeded to earn his master’s and doctorate degrees. Usman, also, holds a first-class degree in economics from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU). This preceded his subsequent master’s and doctorate degrees in the same field.
Usman, similarly, is a distinguished public servant, who has performed creditably as deputy governor of the apex bank for years and also as minister of finance. That was before he handed the baton to Muhtar.