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Sanusi suspension won't affect policy

21 February 2014, 17:25Reuters

Lagos - Finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Thursday that a change of leadership at the central bank would not affect economic policy, after central bank governor Lamido Sanusi was suspended.

"Macro-economic stability and a tight fiscal stance ... will continue to be maintained," a statement from the office of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.

"The government will continue on policies which will help the naira to stabilise."

She expressed confidence in interim bank governor Sarah Alade, who will see out Sanusi's term until it ends in June.

President Goodluck Jonathan named the managing director of Zenith Bank Godwin Emefiele as the next central bank governor, the chairperson of the Senate committee on finance told Reuters by telephone.

Jonathan suspended Sanusi on Thursday, putting Alade in charge in the interim.

Senator Ahmed Makarfi confirmed that Emefiele's nomination had been sent to the Senate for approval to take office when Sanusi's term would have expired in June.

He said the president had a prerogative to suspend the central bank governor using his executive powers, and that the Senate would only need to approve a full removal.

Sanusi is an increasingly outspoken critic of the government's record on tackling rampant corruption in Africa's leading energy producer.

Sanusi had been presenting evidence to parliament that he said showed the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had failed to remit around $20bn that it owed to federal government coffers.

NNPC has repeatedly denied Sanusi's allegations.

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- Reuters


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