After Obasanjo's And Sanusi's Letters: The Next Steps
It is obvious that Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi will not resign his position as I and others had called for. He would not do so because there had not been any precedent of any Nigerian resigning his position because of poor performance of one's job or even for policy disagreements. Since Mr. Sanusi is staying he can still do Nigerians some good from his position.
He should initiate a thorough review of CBN policies and procedures. He should focus on answering just a simple question: 'what in the system made it possible for him, the governor, to believe that a sum as large as $50 billion was missing from the bank? Why was it possible for a former president of Nigeria to also believe the same thing?'
If he finds out why it happened and corrects it, he may have done Nigeria some good. It would be enough excuse for not resigning. Such a hoax would no longer be perpetrated on Nigerian leadership in the future.
Before getting into detail let us state some assumptions: Mr. Obasanjo believed the story because it came from Mr. Sanusi, the one who should know. Mr. Sanusi believed the story because it came form somebody high in his organization. In other words neither Mr. Sanusi nor Mr. Obasanjo made up the story.
Mr. Obasanjo is less guilty of believing the story because he got the information from CBN governor. But Mr. Obasanjo had been the president. He knows the size of Nigerian economy; the size of Nigerian FG budget; the level expenditures, the allocations, etc. How could all those transactions go on with $50 billion missing and nobody noticed? What changed in system that would make such a belief possible? Mr. Obasanjo knows a person or two who should know. Why did he not consult them? What change/s could be put in place to make future leaders to think through this before accepting such a big hoax?
Mr. Sanusi's buying the hoax is more perplexing. Mr. Sanusi knows that when money is paid into the bank, the money does not just sit in the vault. CBN invests the money by buying bonds, lending the money to commercial banks at interest; making it available for state allocations, running the government, etc. Commercial banks in turn lend this money to business people which make the economy trudge along. With a loss of $50 billion the economy ought to have collapsed completely. If this amount was lost why has the economy not collapsed? If his lending department responsible for lending money does not lack funds, where were they getting the money they were lending? Why has the investments department not stopped doing business? Are all these departments in collusion with the bank thieves?
How could his accounting and auditing departments miss all these things or why have they not informed him of the approaching disaster? There are or should have been scheduled deposits. Why were the losses of the scheduled deposits not reported for 19 months?
Each of the above would have taken place BEFORE $50 billion would go missing. The question that Mr. Sanusi should be trying to find answers is why he believed the hoax? What is in the system controls, and accounting controls that made him buy the hoax? Did he trust the messenger too much? Did he ignore some wise advice?
The next step would follow as light follows darkness. Implementation of a process that identifies reporting channels: a-b-c-d…the governor. At each stage, the questions that must be asked, and what a satisfactory answer should be before going to the next steps. Finally what the CBN governor should do before proceeding to the president with information.
Of course before establishing this review (back end process) he must first establish the front end. This would be how deposits would be made and accounted for and reported on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. When this system is put in place and understood completely by his staff, he could then go bed knowing that he would never again be a victim of a hoax worthy of an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.
If Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi does all these things he would have re-earned his place as Nigeria's Central Bank Governor.
By Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba