News / Africa

Nigeria Bank Chief Suspended Over Oil Money Allegation

FILE - Nigeria's central bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi attends an interview with Reuters at the World Islamic Economic Forum in London, October 30, 2013.
FILE - Nigeria's central bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi attends an interview with Reuters at the World Islamic Economic Forum in London, October 30, 2013.
Heather Murdock
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has suspended the governor of the central bank, who had accused the national oil company of not accounting for $20 billion of oil revenue. 
 
Until Thursday, Lamido Sanusi was Nigeria’s Central Bank governor.

In early February he made national headlines as he spoke to lawmakers about the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, known as NNPC.
 
“All that we have said as Central Bank, and I think that there is no disagreement - is that NNPC shipped $67 billion worth of crude.  They have repatriated or we have established that $47 billion has come back to the federation," explained Sanusi. There is $20 billion that has not come back.”

President Goodluck Jonathan announced Sanusi's suspension in a statement that accused the bank governor of “various acts of financial recklessness and misconduct."  

In reaction to the news, financial markets closed and the value of the Nigerian currency, the naira, took a steep plunge.
 
The head of the Democracy and Legal Advocacy Center in Abuja, Clement Nwankwo, says the NNPC wields tremendous power as crude oil sales fund most of the national budget.  He said Sanusi was fired for only one reason.
 
“Definitely because he has raised concerns about the accountability of the NNPC on oil revenues and that is really what it is,” Nwankwo stated.
 
Sanusi and non-government organizations have repeatedly accused the Nigerian oil industry of not accounting for huge amounts of public funds.
 
Abuja-based political consultant Fabian Ihekweme said Sanusi was not suspended because the accusations are untrue, but because the accusations are dangerous coming from the central bank governor, rather than a politician or an NGO.  

He said it is irresponsible for any central bank governor to make allegations like these publicly, because it frightens investors and consumers, which is bad for all Nigerians.
 
“Any allegations he makes, any statement he makes is capable of creating panic in the stock market of that country.  It is the same thing in Nigeria or any other nation.  I believe what Sanusi has been doing over time, if it was not properly checked, probably could have had an adverse effect on the Nigerian economy,” said Ihekweme.

But Ihekweme said he supports new laws to make Nigeria’s oil industry more transparent.  

Deputy bank governor Sarah Alade was appointed temporary bank chief, while the government investigates alleged “breaches of enabling laws, due process and mandate of the [Central Bank of Nigeria].”

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More