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Sanusi bags The Banker’s awards

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LAGOS — The renowned global financial intelliegence magazine, The Banker, a publication of the Financial Times of London, has conferred on the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN,  Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi double awards.

The awards are the Central Bank Governor of the Year for the entire world, and that of the African continent.

According to a release signed by the Country Representative, Nigeria of The Banker Magazine, Financial Times, London, United Kingdom, Mr. Kunle Ogedengbe, the magazine noted in its 2011 January Edition, which will also be distributed at the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland, that in the  last 18 months that Mallam Sanusi has been in office, he has salvaged a crumbling Nigerian financial sector, including implementing reforms that have put Africa’s most promising market back on the map for investors globally.

Editor of the magazine, Mr. Brian Caplen, noted that few candidate names can generate an overall consensus on judging panels and yet, when it came to finding the best global central bank governor of the year, Mr Sanusi was chosen unanimously.

Caplen stresses that Sanusi embarked on a radical anti-corruption campaign aimed at saving 24 banks on the brink of collapse and pressed for the managers involved in the most blatant cases of corruption to be charged and, in the case of two senior bankers, convicted.

Despite the big challenge of facing up to powerful people who held considerable sway in the country, Sanusi never looked back and got the support of the public as they were made aware of the scale of corruption, which made the public to support the change he promoted.

Two months into his governorship, Mallam Sanusi embarked on the bailout of Afribank, Intercontinental Bank, Union Bank, Oceanic Bank and Finbank and dismissed their chief executive officers in a move designed to show that banking is no longer business as usual but institutions that must serve the economy as a whole.

Another key reform of the banking sector introduced by Mr Sanusi has been to limit the tenure of bank CEOs to a maximum of 10 years. They will have to leave office at the end of their term regardless of their record. This policy has already led to change of leadership at UBA, Zenith and Skye banks.

Caplen added that the reforms initiated by Mr Sanusi have been hailed as necessary to sanitise the banking industry and that observers have argued that, had these reforms not been initiated, Nigeria would have entered into another round of banking distress.

The implementation of stricter disclosure policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria has also led to a culture of greater transparency in the sector, he said.

The magazine noted that the reforms of Mallam Sanusi are to enhance the quality of the Nigerian banks, establish financial stability in the system, provide enabling and healthy financial-sector evolution as well as ensuring that the financial sector contributes to the real sector rather than just serving the banking sector alone.

The Banker, a publication of Financial Times Newspaper which is regarded as the most influential newspaper in the world, is a global financial intelligence magazine published since 1926. It is the definitive publication that provides guide to bank ratings and analysis globally and the definitive reference on international banking for finance experts, governments, chief finance officers, CEOs, Central Bank Governors, Finance Ministers, and other decision makers globally.

According to The Global Capital Markets Surveys (GCMS), the only independent media benchmarking study available in the capital markets industry and provides insight into who reads what at the world’s financial institutions, amongst monthly finance titles globally The Banker is number one globally, in capital markets, EMEA region and bank as well as financial institutions.

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