Monday, April 25, 2011

Time Magazine Lists Lamido Sanusi on World's 100 Most Influential People

Yet another reward for hard work has come the way of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), with the inclusion by the New York based Time Magazine in its 2011 TIME 100, the magazine's annual list of the most influential people in the world.

The Time 100 list, now in its eighth year, recognizing innovation, activism and achievement of the world's most influential individuals, listed Sanusi who was appointed CBN Governor in 2009, as number 11.

Also on the list were world renowned Nobel Laurel in Economics, Prof. Joseph Stiglitz; the German Chancellor Angela Merkel; U.S. President, Barack Obama; British Prime Minister, David Cameron; U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton; and Lionel Messi, FIFA Footballer of the year, among others.

According to Richard Stengel, TIME Managing Editor, "the TIME 100 is not a list of the most powerful people in the world, it's not a list of the smartest people in the world, it is a list of the most influential people in the world. They're scientists, thinkers, philosophers, leaders, icons, artists and visionaries; people who are using their ideas, their visions and their actions to transform the world and have an effect on a multitude of people."

A statement by Mohammed Abdullahi, Head, Corporate Communications and spokesman of the CBN, recalled that this is the second time in the history of the TIME 100 that a Nigerian is being listed by TIME, just as Sanusi is one of the only two Africans who made the current list.

The award, just like in the past, it is believed, rewards the CBN Governor's courageous leadership, at a time when the sector required tough and decisive intervention.

Soon after assuming office as CBN Governor, Sanusi, former executive director, Risk Management and chief executive of First Bank, dissatisfied with the perceived rot in the nation's banking industry embarked on a stress test of Nigeria's 24 banks in June 2009 to ascertain their health status.

Addressing a media parley last year, he expressed shock that the outcome of the test jointly conducted by the CBN and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) need confirmed much more than in thought. While nine of the banks- Afribank, Bank PHB, Finbank, Intercontinental, Oceanic International, Spring, Union and Wema, failed the test on all-three counts of capital adequacy, liquidity and corporate governance. Unity Bank was found wanting in capital adequacy, and was subsequently directed to recapitalize within one year along with Wema Bank.

In an unprecedented move that jolted the entire industry and economy, Sanusi, invoking his powers under the enabling laws, removed on August 14 and October 2, 2009 respectively, the executive management teams of eight banks, sparing Wema, whose new owners and management took over also in June 2009.

A managing director and four executives were appointed for each of the eight rescued banks to run the institutions under CBN supervision for two years, with an immediate task of ascertaining the true position of the banks.

Sanusi soon followed with a publication of the list of recalcitrant big bank debtors particularly to the rescued banks, as a result of which many scampered to pay off to avoid crime watchdog- the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

His vision and actions earned him the reputation as one of the most respected and authoritative voices on financial and economic matters on the continent, including a special invitation in November 2010 by the US Congressional Sub-Committee on International Monetary Policy and Trade, to give testimony at a congressional hearing titled "The Global Financial Crisis and Financial Reforms in Nigeria."

In January this year, Sanusi was named African and Global Central Bank Governor of the Year 2011 by the Banker Magazine, a publication of the Financial Times.

Daily Independent

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