Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has, for the second consecutive year, has been named Central Bank Governor of the Year in Sub-Saharan Africa. The award was presented by the global business magazine, Emerging Market.
Sanusi’s award in Washington DC came a day after two Nigerian bankers (Evelyn Oputu, chief executive officer of the Bank of Industry) and two banking institutions (First Bank of Nigeria Plc and Stanbic IBTC) won international recognition for their achievements in banking during the financial year. The awards were presented by the Africa Banker magazine.
These awards are yearly events held alongside the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank annual meetings and attended by Central Bank Governors, Finance Ministers and Bank Chief Executive Officers from across Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Asia.
The Editor of Emerging Markets, Taimur Ahmad, said the awards recognise and honour the leading policy makers in each region as adjudged by the editorial team taking into account the views of leading regional experts. He said Sanusi was recognised for the second year running “for his strong policy track-record and continued bold reforms in monetary policy over the past year.”
“The CBN, under Governor Sanusi’s stewardship, has consistently been ahead of the curve. Governor Sanusi has also continued to push through a radical financial sector reform agenda, while having the courage to draw attention to corruption and misuse of funds,” Ahmad said.
Sanusi attributed his award to the collective efforts of his CBN colleagues, the support of the Federal Government and the law makers of Nigeria. He acknowledged that the reform process has been challenging, affirming that all the banks will be fully recapitalised by the end of September 2011, thus drawing a line under the banking crisis in Nigeria.
“We have done all of this without losing any depositors’ funds,” Sanusi asserted. “Furthermore, the banks themselves are paying for the bail-out and the reforms, not the taxpayer.”
He called for better preparedness for the inevitable repercussions for Africa.
He noted that the Nigerian banking reform experience could provide some lessons for Europe, which continues to grapple with their financial crisis while bankruptcy looms for many of its countries.
In a related development, FirstBank won the “Most Innovative Bank of the Year’; Stanbic IBTC Bank picked up “Deal of the Year through its Golden Sugar Refinery Project financing”, while Evelyn Oputu, CEO of the Bank of Industry and one of the most respected businesswomen in Africa and internationally, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award. She set a new record for being the first woman to receive this particular accolade.
Chairman/Managing Partner of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) that bought UK’s Gatwick Airport for £1.51 billion from the British Airports Authority, Mr Adebayo Ogunlesi, also got recognition from the same Publication.
Present at the Emerging Markets event, which held at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, were about 300 guests. They include a former Minister of Finance Mansur Murtar and Minister of Finance/Co-ordinator of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
At the Africa Bankers awards were Ms Arunma Oteh, Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); Jean-Louis Ekra, President of Africa Export-Import Bank, and Arnold Ekpe, chief executive officer of Ecobank.
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