Premium Times (Abuja)

20 February 2014

Nigeria: Sanusi's Suspension - Presidency Asks Nigeria's Foreign Investors Not to Panic

Photo: THIS DAY
Reserve Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi.

The presidency has asked Nigeria's foreign investors not to panic despite the suspension of the Governor of the Central Bank, Lamido Sanusi, by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mr. Jonathan's spokesperson, Reuben Abati, who stated this on Thursday, also allayed the fears of investors, assuring them of the safety of their investments and urging them not to be anxious over the development; which it attributed to financial recklessness and internal bad governance by the Central Bank, CBN, boss.

Mr. Abati, who spoke at a news conference at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday, said "on the issue of anxiety, I think nobody needs to be anxious. This decision has not been taken on the country's monetary policy. The monetary policy of the country remains the same and there is stability in the system and so investors in the Nigerian economy have no reason whatsoever to fear.

"That decision was taken only with regards to internal governance issue within the central bank. In the statement, issues raised were very clear that there are issues of internal governance. Government remains committed to the stability of the economy, stability of the naira and stability of the country's monetary policies.

"The lady who has taken over in acting capacity has been long within the system and so everyone can remain assured that there will be stability and that the institution will remain very strong".

The presidential spokesperson said Mr. Sanusi was accused of financial recklessness and unprofessional conduct by the Financial Reporting Council, FRC.

He said one of such cases was Mr. Sanusi's alleged inability to clarify queries raised over his 2012 end of year statement by the FRC which is in charge of reviewing CBN finances and conducting investigations on its administration.

Mr. Abati said the council accused Mr. Sanusi of persistent refusal and negligence to comply with the Nigeria's procurement act; as well as using CBN funds for unlawful intervention into programmes all over the country without due process.

The presidential aide also said the CBN governor's suspension is not related to his allegations of non-remittance of revenue and poor administration of oil subsidy by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to the Federation account.

He said Mr. Sanusi was free to continue to collaborate with the National Assembly in its investigations.

"The question has also been raised on whether this has to do with the ongoing appearances in the National Assembly by the suspended CBN governor. I will like to state very clearly that this has nothing to do with that. I have given you the background so that you can see that this is the process.

"This government remains committed to ensuring integrity and accountability and discipline in every sector of the economy. And it encourages persons who have issues, who have things to say to express their rights through the freedom of expression under the constitution. Indeed the government of Nigeria is also interested in what the legislature is doing and do not be surprised if government goes further to initiate further audits as has been suggested in some quarters.

"And indeed we look forward to a situation whereby Mr. Sanusi will continue to assist the legislature in their investigations and will continue to testify because what government is interested in really is transparency and accountability and anything that will further promote that objective is perfectly welcome" Abati said.

Mr. Abati also claimed he was not aware of directives to arrest Mr. Sanusi. He, however, stated that the law should be allowed to take its course in all the allegations against the CBN governor.

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