Saturday, 29 August 2009


“I had to hurt many in this time. However, I believe that the good fortune in which the entire nation is participating today must richly compensate every single one for what he had to give up dearly on his own part.”

- Adolf Hitler (1935)

Sausi Lamido Sanusi, if I was President of Nigeria, and you acted like this under my watch, I’d arrest you.

Not for diagnosing that the banking sector was in crisis, this was common knowledge. Not for proposing the injection of bailout funds into distressed banks, because the banks needed to be bailed out. Not even for exercising your powers as defined in the Band and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), even though I feel a little discretion would have gone a longer way.

No, I’d arrest you for the incompetence you have spectacularly displayed so far in handling the events of the past weeks, and your even more spectacularly ridiculous statements.

I say this because you are not a cowboy, you are the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). One of the key roles you are required to play as the regulator of the financial sector is that of building and maintaining confidence.

Do you seriously mean to tell Nigerians that the only way you could handle this matter was to:

1. Go on the airwaves to announce that the sector is in danger of collapse;

2. Announce that you have sacked five Bank chiefs;

3. Further underline the gravity of the situation by grimly proclaiming that the possibility exists that more bank heads will fall because a few more banks are in distress;

4. Release an inaccurate list of debtors who own ‘non-performng loans’;

5. Initially tell Nigerians that the banks will be saved by the injection of funds and the new management teams, then state that more funds might be required, then go overseas to peddle these banks to foreigners like a street hawker?

Your actions, and the almost retarded manner in which they were executed, have caused unimaginable damage to the sector, no matter how hard your army of spin doctors and propagandists try to rebrand this fiasco.

How did you even manage to unilaterally appropriate and administer the N400 billion bailout? The National Assembly did not approve the intervention, and now they want to know (belatedly) who died and made you king. In fact, what calculations were done to arrive at the N400 billion figure in the first place, since the CBN has since admitted that the debt figures it acquired might currently be inaccurate because they are almost three months old?

I hear embarrassing stories of oil companies who took bank loans to execute GOVERNMENT contracts. The contracts have been executed, the Government has still not paid them, and their names are on the list.

And your romance with Madam EFCC is so sad it’s funny. Since when did defaulting on a loan become a criminal offence? If, as Madam EFCC claims, she is going after people who obtained the loans fraudulently, in whose court of law were these judgments of ‘fraudulence’ obtained. And furthermore, in this dispensation of the rule of law, how come the EFCC is still holding people who have gotten court orders that they be released immediately?

My friend, I want to believe that your intentions are noble but you’re ruining a good thing by acting like a bull in a crockery shop.

You remind me of Mallam El Rufai, exiled former Nigerian Minister, a man I used to admire (note the past tense). He had the same glint of mad genius in his eyes, and the same zeal and obsession towards the achievement of greatness. Slow down, take a deep breath, let history be your teacher. I want to believe you can be a great man; you don’t take a knife to your throat because you want to scratch an itch.

And don’t insult our sensibilities or play to the gallery by using the old “for the common good” argument. Hitler did, and look what happened to him and his noble cause.

I’ll leave you with a quote from the Central Bank of Nigeria, replying to the backlash that followed the publication of an outdated and inaccurate debtor list:

“The Central Bank of Nigeria regrets any inconvenience caused as a result of the typographical errors mentioned”


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