07 February 2014, Abuja -Senator Emma Anosike represented Anambra North in the Senate between 2003 and 2005. Before then, he served in the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003. He is presently, the chairman of the Governing Council of Federal College of Education, Abeokuta, Ogun State. In this interview Anosike picked holes in last Tuesday’s allegation by the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi that $20 billion from the nation’s oil revenue is yet to be accounted for. He accused the CBN governor of speaking from the two sides of his mouth.
What is your take on the allegation by the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi that $20bn is missing from the nation’s oil revenue?
I feel so disappointed. The Central Bank Governor should stop playing to the gallery. The last time he spoke to this country, he came out, first of all made an allegation and the second time, he came and apologized that he had reconciled with them.
This time around, he has said that $20 billion is missing. What do we believe? How do we have confidence in this kind of person? Moreover, he should stop this kind of smear campaign. If he has any problem with the government, he should not go ahead and be blasting the government that he is serving.
As a Central Bank governor, what is important in this issue is for him to do what he is supposed to do at the right time.
CBN is like a parastatal to the Ministry of Finance. He should able to go directly to his Minister and tell the Minister what his misgivings are. It is not to come out on the road and start shouting. More over, he has to find a way of interfacing between himself and the government. He can’t be shouting. I am not saying that he should not open up to the National Assembly. But before he opens up to the National Assembly, somebody appointed him.
Somebody felt comfortable by saying “yes” he can do the job. He is supposed to be reporting to people. He is a regulator which is key. He has told us that a lot of banks are supposed to be sold. He has not told us what is happening to our banks as a regulator. The interest rate is going high every day.
The issue of integrity and mannerism is critical in any body that is the central bank governor because any statement he makes becomes very sensitive. You don’t just talk careless on the road, open up and start singing. You don’t sing as a CBN governor.
But some think the CBN is doing Nigeria some good by letting Nigerians know the true state of things?
It is unfortunate. If he wants to do it, he is doing it the wrong way. You don’t need to overheat the system. He has a better way of doing that.
By what he is doing, he’s giving us the impression that there is problem. There is no problem. Anybody can get up and make allegations.
Why I became uncomfortable was that he made this allegation early, later I saw him on the television with Ministers of Finance and Petroleum.
All of them sat down and said no, what I said was wrong. We have reconciled the papers. They were correct, etc. And now, he has got to the National Assembly and brings up another issue. That was why I talked about integrity and mannerism.
But some persons believe that he was threatened to recant his earlier stand?
Then, there is no integrity. At his level, as a CBN Governor, if he feels uncomfortable with the government, let him resign. Who intimidates who? If he feels uncomfortable, he should resign. He has donated money to some individuals.
What if Sanusi had decided to correct an age long anomaly in the system assuming there was one with his outburst?
I am not against his opinion. He has the right to his opinion. He has where he got his own information from. But what I am saying in effect is that he should not be strong on that opinion.
What he should do as a regulator, for instance, as a governor of CBN, if he observes things like that, you have the NNPC GMD, draw his attention. He didn’t tell us that he has spoken to the GMD and he refused to reconcile. No, what he should be telling Nigerians is yes, we have observed this but we are working with NNPC to reconcile it.
– Livinus Nwabughiogu, Vanguard