BY BABAJIDE KOMOLAFE
Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Lamido Sanusi will proceed on retirement leave effective April 1st 2014, two months to the end of his tenure.
It would be recalled that President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua nominated Sanusi as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on June 1, 2009 and his appointment was confirmed by the Senate on June 3, 2009. Hence his five year tenure is scheduled to end on June 3rd 2014.
Contrary to speculations that he has been forced to immediately procede on retirement leave, Saturday Vanguard investigations revealed that Sanusi will still be CBN Governor till March 31st.
Though, when contacted, Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Ugo Okoroafor said he was not aware of the CBN Governor being forced to proceed on retirement leave, a highly placed regulatory official, who pleaded anonymity confirm that Sanusi is scheduled to proceed on terminal leave after March 31st. He however said this is normal, and it is not true that the Governor is being forced to proceed on leave.
“It is a normal thing; some people go on six months, some on three months. So, there is nothing abnormal about it. You cannot force your Central Bank Governor to go on leave, it could damage the economy”, the source said.
But this did not apply to Sanusi’s predecessor, Professor Charles Soludo, who left office on May 29th, when his tenure expired. A CBN source however said this was because Soludo was hoping he would be appointed for a second term.
According to the source who pleaded anonymity, the issue of the governor going on retirement leave is a normal thing for us.
It would be recalled that Sanusi had in a chat with Bloomberg on March 24th indicated his intention not to seek second term as CBN Governor.
Sanusi said that he had intimated President Goodluck Jonathan way back in 2011 that he would not be interested in seeking second term in office on the expiration of the present tenure in June 2014.
“I informed the President way back in 2011 that I would not be interested in serving for two terms,” Sanusi told Bloomberg adding that “the job has been done, largely”.
In November, he called for earlier announcement of his successor, saying the Federal Government should take a cue from the United States and announce the next CBN Governor three months to the expiration of his tenure.
He said, “I think the issue of Bernanke and Yellen, if you remember, it started about two months ago and Bernanke ends in December. Tomorrow it will be six months to the end of my term, probably a bit early for the government to start talking about the next person. But I do hope that about two or three months before then, there should be some announcement.
“Central bank governors don’t comment on who they think their successor should be. It is not our business to do that, it is the President’s decision.
But if I have input at all, I will try to encourage that we announce a successor two to three months before the end of my tenure so that everybody knows who that person is, what the views are and so people prepare accordingly. By the way, some of the names are out there in the newspapers and more can come out later.”