Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi – by Tony Ishiekwene

By IndepthAfrica
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Feb 25th, 2014
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by Tony Ishiekwene
On the suspension of Mallam Sanusi Lamido, permit me to give a hint on who I am before passing a very well informed comment as against the myopia and ignorance being retailed by some of the people I thought were well educated and exposed to know who a Central Bank chief is and what powers he/she wields in a modern economy- they have more

powers than presidents, hence the autonomy and tenure certainty they are assured in any half-decent economy. It’s easier to throw an Obama or David Cameron out of power, than it is to kick out a CB governor.

I am both a trained Banker from UNN- the newly designated CBN governor and still the CEO of Zenith bank, Godwin Emefiele was my classmate, and close friend for 4 years at UNEC Finance department from 1980-1984. If I was selfish and nepotic, I would be singing Hosanna that my kinsman, friend and ally would soon become probably the most powerful guy in Nigeria, at least for the next 5 years. But I feel for him, if a sitting economically clueless president would be breathing down his neck and can kick his arse at will anytime he refuses to commit economic/monetary murder to suit such a president against the interest of the overall economy. I am also a UK qualified Accountant, for “zillion” years now. Moving on, I think Sanusi is suffering and blamed wrongly because of ethnic bigotry especially from the Ibo folks who have refused to cast out their “Igbocism” when discussing matters of national interest. Where the very brilliant and integrity-laden SLS an Ibo, you will see that the Nebus, Asogwaras and the Adubas will be speaking “tongue in cheek,” in attempt to portray the Igbo-Sanusi, as the next Saint after Jesus.

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All those giving any relevance to the lousy “Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria” should understand that FRCN are neither CBN Auditors ( Ernst and Young are), nor are they a legal outfit that should be able to advice anyone on legal action and outcome. Those guys have never developed any Accounting Standard to the world of Accounting nor have they been able to create any standard that is of relevance to the peculiar nature of Nigerian economy; they just haven’t got no clue, other than copying and pasting International Reporting standards developed by UK CCAB, or the US counterparts, largely the AICPA. Read their report on this CBN matter and all you see is a bunch of idiots spewing bull-shit: dabbling into law, that is not their forte, selectively picking out numbers without referencing to prior-year figures, thus “murdering” the “Consistency” and “Going concern” concepts, essential planks/principles upon which financial statements should be made, and relying on conjecture and innuendos, instead of asking for the facts, and their desperate design to nail SL Sanusi at all cost. Indeed, it was very obvious from the report I read that the FRCN were “hatchet” men brought to find fault, where non existed, witch hunt and blood hound Sanusi.

Sanusi has a board which he reports to; the board decides what Corporate Social responsibilities the CBN SMT must undertake at various times and at what value, contained in the annual approved Budget, so what trash is FRCN talking about NxBillion spent by Sanusi in donations, or NyBillions spent on police escort and security guards. Who cares mumu FRCN, bunch of idiots that can’t stand even before Ghana Accountants, never mind world-class Reporting standards and Accounting.

I have prepared year-end Statutory Accounts in the last 12 years, and my auditors at the end of each audit produces a “Management Letter” to the Board, not me the Head of Finance, even though I have to answer all the queries so far as they bother on issues of adequate financial reporting, disclosures or lack of adequate controls, fraud and technical book keeping and Accounting issues, before discussing the contents and my response at the next board meeting before the board approves the Financial statement and Reports. Ernst and Young are the Auditors, and they are World-class, so what stupidity is fake FRCN talking about?

In fact his management was indicted by the investigators Sanusi set up to prove the excesses of bank management/boards, who delighted in insider dealings, granting of unsecured loans to their shadow companies, non-provision of doubtful debts and non-performing loans and the outright stealing of depositors fund. But for Sanusi you will be waking up everyday and hearing of “Failed banks!” Yea, that was the case up to 2009 when SLS took over the mantle as CBN chief.

Nigeria is the den of corruption and any one determined to curb corruption always get crushed by the evil perpetrators. If in doubt, go ask a certain “Saint” Nuhu Ribadu, how corruption crawls on all fours against those who want to reduce the incidence of corruption. Corruption is thriving in Nigeria, because the “Ogas at the top” condones and ratify it; that is the difference between Nigeria and other semi-decent societies where things work. I have lived in the UK for 28 years, and I know UK parades some of the most virulent and intelligent crooks and criminals on earth; But their leaders are smarter and has a huge capital of integrity and character in their Balance sheet. So when they do catch your hands on the cookie jar, they make sure you suffer the stiffest penalty, so next time you would never try crime again, and they do this to even their family members or best friends caught in crime. That is the difference: Our (Nigerian) leaders on the other hand prefer to put mediocres and integrity-deficit morons in charge of our affairs, because that is what pays them best, and it doesn’t matter whether the overall interest is jeopardised, so long as their personal interest is protected.

Otherwise what is so difficult in this Sanusi, CBN, NNPC unaccounted for returns and so-called Financial recklessness. Who is guilty of financial recklessness: is it the CBN, under Sanusi’s watch that had its financial statements audited consistently, with transparent, regulatory compliant Accounts, and audited by a world-class Accounting firm, Ernst and Young, or an NNPC that has not had its Accounts audited since 2005- a whole 8 years of unaudited, very opaque, mumble-jumbo Financial reporting ( or rather non-reporting ) system? Please let’s call a spade a spade.

Whatever anyone says about current Nigerian political actors, I give my dues to Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The guy is one of the smartest and confident politician around that cosmos: He is very comfortable in “s-electing” very intelligent, capable and sincere bureaucrats to do the right job for his people. Unlike Obasanjo, who prefers thugs and charlatans around him, BAT is always comfortable in the midst of the best brains for the business: It takes a smart Tinubu to chose a Fashola as his successor to complete his vision for Lagos state, at a time the likes of Femi Pedro and Senator Tokumbo Afinkuyemi were “pretenders to the throne.”

GEJ has committed an illegality in “suspending” Sanusi unilaterally: the framers of the Central bank acts did not want what GEJ has done, because of its effects on monetary and economic stability hence CB heads in all democracies are shielded from the prying politics of their heads of governments. Could you imagine what GEJ has just done being replicated by David Cameron on BoE’s Mark Carney or Obama doing same to Ms Yellen, or Alan Greenspan before her? The pounds and the US dollars will be tumbling like crazy and economic tsunami would be plaguing them by now. Nigeria’s only luck is that the already comatose Naira is not a “Convertible currency,” but even at that the announcement has heralded a free fall of the Naira against the dollar and foreign investment withdrawal and asset sales- all no good news for a mono-economy, as is Nigeria!

Tony Ishiekwene

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