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Sunday, 29 December 2013

NNPC $50bn saga: Sanusi to go on forced pre-retirement leave

NNPC $50bn saga: Sanusi to go on forced pre-retirement leave

By BLAISE UDUNZE
Indications have emerged that Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has been compelled to take an early retirement following his recent leaked letter to President Goodluck Jonathan detailing the theft of close to $50 billion in oil proceeds by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Sanusi will be eased out of office three months before the expiration of his tenure, in which a source disclosed that the CBN governor agreed to the early retirement following threats from the presidency to investigate his spending habits. A recent report quoted anonymous sources as claiming that President Goodluck Jonathan believes that Sanusi has been making erratic pronouncements just to demean the office of the president.
Sanusi’s tenure as CBN governor is supposed to expire in June 2014, after which he is expected to pursue his ambition to become the next Emir of Kano.
Late President Umaru Yar’Adua appointed Sanusi governor on June 3, 2009.
However, when Saturday Sun contacted the spokesman of the apex bank, Mr. Ugochukwu Okoroafor, said that he wasn’t aware of the development, saying he was outside the office as at the time he was contacted.
In a brief text message to our correspondent, he further responded, “This is news to me. I am outside the office today. You can reach me later to give me time to get the true situation. I request you exercise caution in handling an issue of this magnitude.”
Meanwhile, another source who preferred not to be named owing to the sensitive nature of the matter in another report said the terminal leave had nothing to do with the recent scandal in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
According to the source, the need for the terminal leave became imperative as Sanusi had not been observing his vacation as and when due.
The source said, “The governor has said it so many times that he would not be staying longer than his tenure.
“Recall that he granted an interview where he spoke extensively that he won’t want his tenure to be renewed.
“I think left to the governor, he would even prefer to go now but there are feelers that he would even go before his tenure expired in June since he has some outstanding leave that he hasn’t taken.
“So based on that, he might take his leave early next year and this might lead him into retirement as the CBN governor.”
Besides his policies as the CBN governor, Sanusi’s views on national issues have attracted both criticisms and commendations.
The CBN governor had in recent times being under attacks, the recent being his letter to President Goodluck Jonathan that the sum of $49.8bn was not remitted to the federation account by the NNPC.
But following the controversy, which the letter generated, a committee was set up to reconcile the account.
But the committee failed to produce a concrete explanation for the unremitted oil revenue. Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNP), which is at the centre of his allegation, has vehemently denied any such diversion of funds meant for the Federation Account as alleged by the CBN governor.
According to the NNPC, three agencies of government are involved in collecting accruals from oil for the Federal Government and that the one that concerned it was properly lodged in the Federation Account with the CBN.
The corporation said that CBN should have crossed checked his facts with relevant agencies before embarking on such misinformed letter and leaking it to the media.
The NNPC insinuated that Sanusi might just be driven by a hidden political agenda or simply playing to the gallery.
TheSun

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