A former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, now the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II, says he is ready to face investigations into his tenure at the top bank.
Sanusi spoke in response to a call by Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate alleged “diversion” of public funds by the CBN, under Sanusi. The senior advocate also called for the probe of Sanusi’s predecessor, Charles Soludo.
Responding on Saturday evening, Sanusi said he was always available at any time to answer questions regarding his stewardship at the central bank.
On Falana’s claim that the CBN, “headed by Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi paid the sum of N2.5 trillion to a cabal of fuel importers”, the Emir explained that “The Central Bank does not pay and has never paid subsidy to marketers and the only circumstance this would happen is the Central Bank acting as banker to Government and carrying out instructions to make payments from Government accounts.
“There is absolutely no circumstance under which the CBN would have disbursed its own money for payment of subsidy or disbursed money on behalf of Government without authorization.”
While stating that the CBN was at the “forefront of the effort to expose the corruption in the subsidy regime and put a stop to it,” he called allegation on bank bailouts “strange”.
Sanusi continued, “The money was not given to bank shareholders and management but was provided to ensure that ordinary Nigerians and other depositors who kept their money in banks did not lose their savings as a result of the mismanagement of these banks and bad loans.
“The money remains a loan to those banks and is to be repaid from a combination of sources over the years. These include sale of collateral backing non-performing loans held by AMCON, recovery of those loans, sale of share of the banks held by AMCON and a sinking fund into which all banks are to make annual contributions.
“This will continue no matter how long it takes until the banking industry repays all amounts due to AMCON and the bondholders are repaid.
“All of this is in line with the law setting up AMCON and the purpose of setting it up in the first place.
“The resolution of the Nigerian banking crisis and the AMCON model are actually being held up as an example of how to deal with severe and systemic banking crisis. Not a single depositor in any Nigerian bank lost a single kobo due precisely to these arrangements.”