The Nigeria’s Central Bank governor says he has no regrets over his controversial shake-up and reform of the country’s banking system. Lamido Sanusi defended his position and answered listener’s questions on the BBC’s Africa ‘Have Your Say programme.’
He said that his intention was “to save the banks”, and that decisive action had been needed.
Mr. Sanusi’s reforms have rocked Nigeria’s financial sector and led to five bank bosses being fired.His choice of approach has been likened to a bull in a china shop and he has been called the most unpopular man in Nigeria.
But he said it was the only way to achieve his goals.“If you want to take action and action is decisive and far-reaching, you have got to do it in a manner that has the highest chance of success,” he said.
Mr. Sanusi said the answer to saving Nigeria’s banks was to rebuild trust in its economy.
“When the rest of the world recovers and the investors have money to put in, they’re going to go to Ghana, they’re going to go to Angola, they’re going to go to South Africa, and to Egypt.
“Not because those countries have greater opportunities but because people don’t trust the Nigerian system.
“And it’s important that we rebuild that trust if we want to be a player on the global stage,” he said.Mr. Sanusi said his decisions might result in some of the banks having to merge or even new banks joining the sector.
He also urged those in petroleum and the Ministry of Justice, “to take responsibility for their section of the country” and clean up the system.Mr. Sanusi’s campaign against fraud and mismanagement in Nigeria’s banking system has put him at loggerheads with many of the country’s financial elite.
Since his appointment, he has dismissed five major banking executives and pumped more than 400bn naira ($2.6bn; £1.6bn) into failing financial institutions.