…as he gives testimonial of his office as CBN Governor
By Ebunoluwa Sessou
Former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has called on the federal government of Nigeria to involve more women in decision making in the country. Adding that those in political spheres of the country should put their money where their mouths are.
He disclosed this at the Ajesola Solarin Majekodunmi Foundation, ASMAF, and Promoting Education of the Girl-Child and Launching of 100,000,000 ASMAF Secretariat held recently in Lagos.
According to him, women are 100 percent better in performance when given a chance. And they represent half of humanity and the remaining half of humanity was produced by them.
The Emir who applauded women for being instrumental to the successes he recorded as CBN Governor, said, his decision to increase the percentage of women representation in the banking sector especially in CBN’s Senior Managerial positions by 40 percent and 30 percent in the Board of Directors was borne out of his determination to give voice to women.
While giving a testimonial on his assignment as CBN Governor, he said, “We had eight females as Directors of CBN. We put them in areas that were traditionally reserved for men. Among those women was Tokunbo Martins who became the first female Director of Banking Supervision and every Bank Managing Director was reporting to her.
“There was a female Director of Internal Audit, Female Director of Risk Management, Female Director of Branch Operations and Female Director of Consumer Protection among others. Those who know me know that throughout my life, I have been passionate about the issue of women and I have been consistent about it.
“As the Governor of Central Bank, I decided to deplore Year 2012 for women in banking and we set up a committee that came up with a policy to recruit more female officers in the banking sector and we ensure that every bank worked towards ensuring that 40 percent of Senior Management positions went to the female folk while 30 percent of the board of directors was women.
“We also had experience at Central bank itself, we needed to promote women in their respective positions. There were no women in management positions and I was extremely angry. So, the next year, I decided to look at the CVs of the women and the first person that brought my attention to some of them was Bola Adesola. She sent me a text and asked if I knew Tokunbo Martins. I did not know her and I have never met her.
I never heard about her and I decided to so research on her. I requested for her file and I checked her CV and I was marveled at her CV. She was the most highly qualified individual in the rank and for three years, I had not met her. I called her to join me for lunch. By the time we finished the processing and came up with promotion that year, we had women positioned in different areas of management.
“One of the young women that were elevated during my tenure as CBN Governor recovered almost N70billion for CBN and that is what you will get when you put women in positions of authority.
“She is the Director of Human Resources, CBN, was put in-charge of consumer protection for years and bank customers know that she was very efficient”, he said.
The Emir however lamented that the percentage of women representation in positions of authority in Nigeria in the political cabinet, as ministers, commissioners among others are not encouraging. Adding that, it is the reason the country is not moving forward.
“When we talk about the girl-child, I think, we need to speak up especially those who are in positions of authority. “In few weeks time, I will be going to the Kano state House of Assembly to present a law that stipulates the age of marriage for the girl-child.
“Unfortunately, the Kano state House of Assembly is made up of 40 members and all of them are men. None of them has been forced into marriage at young age, none of them has been divorced, and none of them understands the problem of the girl-child. Imagine if we have ten women in the Assembly, they will push for the law and ensure that it is passed.
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When we say, we are committed to girl-child education, we should look at the budget and see how much money is put in building girls’ schools, how much money is put into training female teachers, how much money is being put into scholarships for girls?
“There are environments in this country where parents do not know how their girls would go to schools; some even want their girls to go to all girls schools. If you look at the North, you can hardly find female local government chairmen in the Northern states, you will not even find female education Secretaries. We have all girls’ schools where the Principal, the Vice Principal, Head Teacher and School Teachers are men; these are signals that the issues are many.
“We need to get women into decision making where they understand the issues relating to the girl-child without which we cannot make headway. I think we can have more women in the cabinet and local government areas of different states as well as school administrators”, he noted.