Dr Sarah Alade, the Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) who retired on Wednesday, urged the Governor of the apex bank to uphold the credibility of the bank.
Alade, who once served as the acting Governor of the bank following the suspension of the former CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi, now the Emir of Kano, said this at her send-off celebration in Abuja.
In attendance were the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele; Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udo Udoma and international partners from IMF and World Bank.
Sanusi, in February 2014, was suspended by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan over allegations of financial recklessness and misconduct.
This happened after Sanusi claimed that over 20 billion dollars was missing from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, as oil revenue.
“Throughout my period at the bank, I have one slight regret and that’s during the period I was acting governor.
It was the time that the CBN was being investigated. It never happened before that the activity of the CBN is under investigation.
“We went for the IMF meetings and when we met with investors, they asked us `what is happening? We understand that there was some financial mismanagement in the CBN’. It was humiliating.”
“I think for me, that was a low point. The credibility of this institution was eroded.
“ For an institution this important to be subjected to that, is bad. At the end of the day, it was not just CBN that suffered for it but the economy as a whole did suffer.
“So I want to encourage us that whatever we need to do, let us do it right. We must not subject this institution to that type of incident again,’’ she said.
Sharing her experience as acting governor of the apex bank, Alade explained that the investigation paralysed activities at the bank.
“I remember that during that period, I was reminded every morning that we have four governors.
“The suspended governor, the governor in waiting, the acting governor and the investigating governor.
“I remember that the investigating governor told us that there should be no initiative, no payments, no decision-making, nothing. The only thing we could do was to just maintain the bank.
“So the bank was sort of paralysed. We could not do anything. For me, it was a humiliating experience, but we did the best we could,’’ she said.
Earlier, The CBN Governor, Emefiele, described Alade as “a friend, colleague and a woman of extreme virtue’’.
He applauded her for hardwork and the 23 years she had served at the bank.
Similarly, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, described the retiree as one of the brilliant and inspiring Nigerian women in finance.
The high-point of her career came on February 20, 2014 when she was appointed Acting CBN Governor, following the suspension of the former CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi, who is now the Emir of Kano.
She also served as Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Central Bank of Nigeria from March 26, 2007.
Alade also served on the teams on major economic policy studies and was involved in the preparation of CBN’s Monetary and Credit Policy Proposals over the years.
She was actively involved in the drafting of the Medium Term Economic Programme for Nigeria and the IMF Staff Monitored Programme/Standby Arrangement.
She was also member of the Technical Committee of the Vision 2010 and currently a member of the Technical Committee of Vision 2020 and the National Economic Management Team.
As Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Alade superintended over the Economic Policy Directorate, comprising the Research, Monetary Policy, Trade and Exchange, Statistics Departments and Financial Markets Department.
As Chair of the Monetary Policy Implementation Committee, she interfaced with operational departments and coordinated technical inputs for the Monetary Policy Committee.