The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has been honoured eith the 2013 Central Bank Governor Award for Sub-Saharan Africa.
This award, which was part of the just-concluded World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) Summit in Washington, DC, was in recognition of Sanusi's efforts in reducing inflation to a single digit, making it the third time the governor has won the award since assumption of office in 2009.
Sanusi has won the coveted award consecutively in 2010 and 2011, before conceding it to the South African Reserve Bank governor, Gill Marcus, in 2012.
Announcing the award over the weekend, Ms Antonia Oprita, managing editor of Emerging Markets, said: "Emerging Markets is pleased to announce that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has won the 2013 Emerging Markets Central Bank Governor of the Year Award for Sub-Saharan Africa. The award recognizes Governor Sanusi's ability to bring down inflation to single digits this year."
According to Oprita, the CBN under Lamido Sanusi had brought inflation below 10 per cent despite the fact that food, a category where the bank cannot influence prices, makes up around half of consumer spending in Nigeria.
While receiving the award, Sanusi said it represented the efforts of the about 6,000 staff of the apex bank: "Our consistently tight monetary policy stance going back to 2010 should keep inflation within the single-digit target ... We have worked day and night through the banking crisis and now we are working toward restoring stability, financial inclusion and payment system transformation.
"It's a great honour for me because this is going to be my last annual meeting. I thank all my colleagues for their support and the government for the confidence reposed in me.
"I have worked with two wonderful finance ministers, Dr Mansur Mukhtar and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and I thank them for their support.
"The relationship between the CBN and the finance ministry is one that is characterised by bulk of hostility, sometimes interrupted by gunfire, but we have been able to remain good friends and respect each other's right to agree and disagree."
He said building stability in the system was not an easy task and applauded the federal government for the transformation reforms in various sectors of the economy.
The ambassador of Nigeria to the US, Mr Adebowale Adefuye, said the award showed the confidence the international community has in the Nigerian community and Sanusi's professionalism on the job.
"This is a plus for the federal government for putting professionals in different offices to manage our economy. It is an endorsement of the good efforts of the government for Nigeria's CBN to be selected as the Central Bank of the Year for Sub-Saharan Africa," he stated.
Dr Sarah Alade, the CBN deputy governor on economic policy, said the award showed that Nigeria's conscious efforts to stabilise the economy was being recognised.
"When the world recognises you among peers, it means that you are doing the right thing. The efforts at being able to have macro-economic stability has been recognised and that is an attestation to the hard, collective and collaborative work we do with Ministry of Finance and all the other agencies," she said.
Mr Tunde Lemo, the CBN deputy governor, operations, also said that taming inflation rate in Nigeria was a difficult task.
He, however, added that "we have been able to achieve it under the leadership of the current CBN governor, Malam Sanusi.
"But all of these may not have been possible without the political and capital support from the president as well as the support of the Ministry of Finance. For me, this is what we are celebrating.
"We celebrate key public officers who work in harmony and ensure that the Nigerian economy achieves sustainable growth.
"I am optimistic that the moment Nigeria succeeds in its structural reforms, the economy will record double-digit growth, year on year," he stressed.
The annual Emerging Markets Central Bank Governor and Finance Minister of the Year awards recognize the leading policymakers in each region.
The awards are chosen by Emerging Markets' editorial team, taking into account the views of leading regional experts, and the winners are announced in daily newspapers published at the IMF and World Bank annual meetings each year, with the award-winning policymakers honoured at an annual awards ceremony during the IMF and World Bank annual meetings.
Emerging Markets is a unique source of news, analysis and commentary on economic policy, international economics and global financial markets, with a particular focus on the emerging world.