The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mallam Lamido Sanusi, has said the apex bank was working with the Ministry of Finance on plugging areas where the nation’s reserves have been leaking into corrupt hands.
Speaking at the Metropolitan Club forum yesterday, Sanusi identified corruption as one of the major problems facing the country, stating that the sanitisation exercise in the banking sector should be replicated in other sectors to have a sound economy.
Sanusi who was the guest speaker at the forum debunked claims that the nation’s external reserves? rose to $67 billion under the Musa Yar’ Adua administration, saying the highest it had been was $62 billion.
He explained that the raging controversies around the external reserves were needless, stressing that governments all over the world resort to spending part of the reserves when the need arises, stating that “You save money when prices of oil are high and you spend when price is low. It is part of the excess crude account that we use to finance the oil subsidy.
“We must join hands and fight corruption in all strata of the economy. It is causing distortion and destruction to the economy. We fought it in the banking sector and we can all see the positive results. However, it is not only in banks that we have thieves. They are everywhere. So other sectors should follow the CBN example,” he advised.
He justified the intervention of the apex bank in the critical sectors of the economy, noting that the development was impacting positively on the power and agriculture sectors.
“Beyond our core functions; we have a responsibility to grow other sectors of the economy. Banks must play their intermediation role in assisting the real economy for the creation of jobs,” he said. He noted that the CBN has achieved milestones in its roles, stating that inflation was now single digit, there is stable exchange rate and the reserves is on the rise, The CBN Governor frowned at the over reliance on oil which forms 80 per cent of the nation’s revenue, noting that oil subsidy which was N290 billion in 2009 hit N2.1 trillion in 2011.