CENTRAL Bank Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi appears content with reducing the damages the actions of the CBN on the five banks is wreaking on the economy to debates about his powers. He delights in stringing words as the economy stalls.
The economy is important enough for more profound approaches to be adopted in matters that affect it. From the utterances of the CBN Governor, it is becoming clearer that his decisions since August 14, when he sacked the directors of the five banks, assumed responsibility for their daily operations, and commenced moves to sell them, were decisions taken on the move.
Even our laws do not anticipate that those entrusted with the running of fundamental sectors of our lives, like the economy, would act with absolutely disdain for the laws that put them in office.
How can the CBN Governor deny being in London to offer foreign investors the banks? Is it possible that all the journalists at the event misquoted him? What was the purpose of the London event, if not a road show to market the banks? Assuming, as he is now claiming, the London event was to re-assure correspondent banks, is that not an admission of the damage Mallam Sanusi has unleashed?
There are no ways of capturing the full impact of the damage this rampage is doing to the economy. Things are at a standstill. Banks cannot extend credits to anyone.
The international banks are shutting off credit lines. The economy is grinding to a halt. Sanusi thinks his words are substitutes for the trust built over the years. He refuses to admit violating the laws from which he draws his powers.
Does the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act deny banks that run foul of CBN laws fair hearing? Has Mallam Sanusi considered the absurdity of CBN taking over banks, whose directors and shareholders have not seen the reports of the special examinations that indicted them? Is that action in line with the provisions of BOFIA or any other laws known to Nigeria?
Whatever the banking reforms were meant to achieve, it is getting clearer that the economy is hurting. There are no plans to stem the slide beyond the sophistry which has been carried to the National Assembly, where members of the House of Representatives were so fixated on the legality of the N420 billion intervention in the banks that it never asked Mallam Sanusi why he did not release the special examination report to the banks.
Denials about any agenda, explanations about the state of the banks, promises of releasing reports of the other 14 banks, would not clear the fouled atmosphere of Mallam Sanusiâ€™s continued disregard for foundational principles of rule of law.
The Federal Government can do more than supporting the reforms. It should tell the public whether the support includes blatant disregard for our laws.
Mallam Sanusi is the only one who understands the laws backing his banking reforms.