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Hall of Fame

Profile of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

Birth We have seen the light of transparency and accountability shining in the banking industry, we have seen stability, success and hope...

Written by Nigerian Image · 2 min read >
Profile of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi


We have seen the light of transparency and accountability shining in the banking industry, we have seen stability, success and hope and we have seen Sanusi giving his best to make banks go back to work.

Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, born on July 31, 1961. His father was a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the 1960s and his grandfather was Emir of Kano and Islamic Scholar, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi. Sanusi graduated from King’s College Lagos in 1977 and studied at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, earning a BSc in Economics in 1981. He then taught economics at ABU from 1983 to 1985. He obtained a degree in Sharia from SUDAN. In 1985 Sanusi joined Icon Limited (Merchant Bankers), a subsidiary of Morgan Guaranty Trust Bank of New York, and Baring Brothers of London. He moved to the United Bank for Africa in 1997 in the Credit and Risk Management Division, rising to the position of a General Manager. In September 2005, he joined the Board of First Bank of Nigeria as an Executive Director in charge of Risk and Management Control, and was appointed Group Managing Director (CEO) in January 2009. He was also the Chairman, Kakawa Discount House and sat on the Board of FBN Bank (UK) Limited. Sanusi is recognized in the banking industry for his contribution towards developing a Risk Management culture in the Nigerian banking sector. First Bank is Nigeria’s oldest bank and one of the biggest financial institutions in Africa. Sanusi was the first Northerner to be appointed CEO in First Bank’s history of more than a century.

Appointment as CBN Governor

Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua nominated Sanusi as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on 1 June 2009 and his appointment was confirmed by the Senate on 3 June 2009, in the middle of a global financial crisis. In August 2009, the Sanusi led Central Bank of Nigeria bailed out some corrupt banks with 400 billion naira of public money, and dismissed their chief executives. He said “We had to move in to send a strong signal that such recklessness on the part of bank executives will no longer be tolerated.” 16 senior bank officials face charges that included fraud, lending to fake companies, giving loans to companies they had personal interests in and conspiring with stockbrokers to boost share prices. He also attacked the many powerful and interrelated vested interests that were exploiting the financial system, and expressed his appreciation of support from the Presidency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Finance minister and others.

The Banker unanimously recognized him as the Central Bank Governor of the Year 2010 citing his radical anti-corruption campaign aimed at saving 24 banks on the brink of collapse and pressing for the managers involved in the most blatant cases of corruption to be charged and, in the case of two senior bankers, imprisoned. Sanusi also observed that the crash in the capital market was due to high level financial illiteracy on the part of the Nigerian investors. As central bank governor, Sanusi is challenging authority again: firing the chief executives of ailing banks, criticizing lawmakers for overspending and rejecting advice from the International Monetary Fund to weaken the currency.

Following Goodluck Jonathan’s election victory in April, Sanusi is now looking to help revive Nigeria’s moribund electricity industry in the face of union opposition to the sale of utilities, while pressuring lawmakers to invest more in road and rail links and spend less on government running costs.

Sanusi Contribution for Nigeria Economy

Named as Central Bank Governor of the year for 2011 by London-based The Banker magazine, Sanusi has helped make Nigeria one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies. This may help Nigeria’s economy overtake South Africa to become Africa’s biggest by 2023, according to Razia Khan, head of Africa economic research at London-based Standard Chartered Plc. He is a practical, reliable, smart, efficient and realistic banker, who believes in action rather than words.

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Sanusi as Emir of Kano

MALLAM Sanusi was selected to succeed his granduncle, Ado Bayeo as Emir of Kano on 8th June, 2014. He is a reserved personality and deserves the award of excellence as a distinguished Nigerian.

Also Read: A Glance at the Northern Nigeria

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