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Sanusi Says Balance Is Important for Governor Successor

Nigerian Central Bank Chief Lamido Sanusi
While African nations welcome the investment and job creation that Chinese investment brings, leaders from Botswana’s Ian Khama to Nigerian central bank chief Lamido Sanusi, seen here, have questioned whether the relationship has benefited Africa as much as it has China. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s central bank Governor Lamido Sanusi said having the right balance in leadership at the institution is more important than whether his successor is an external or internal appointment.

Ensuring the governor and the four deputies are able to manage the various mandates of the central bank is key, Sanusi said in an interview today in Oslo, where he was attending a Norway-Africa business conference.

“It could be from within or outside, it doesn’t really matter,” said Sanusi. “What’s important is the institution and to have the right balance.”

Sanusi, 52, said in March he won’t renew his contract when it expires in June 2014. He helped to clean up the banking industry during a debt crisis in 2009 and has left interest rates at a record high for almost two years to bolster the currency and keep inflation under control.

Vetiva Capital Management Ltd., a brokerage based in Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos, said on Oct. 28 that the four deputy central bank governors and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, chief executive officer of Access Bank Plc, are the front-runner candidates to succeed Sanusi. The governor’s current deputies are: Sarah Alade, Suleiman Barau, Tunde Lemo and Kingsley Moghalu.

“If you have someone, say, with a strong economic theoretical background you need to make sure at the deputy governor level you’ve got strong banking supervisory, regulatory oversight background,” Sanusi said. “If it’s a banker that’s more into operations and financial stability then you make sure that you’ve got enough economists to complement it. It’s very collegial.”

Sanusi said he informed President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, two years after his appointment, that he would leave at the end of his term. He said he plans to notify Jonathan in writing about three months before he leaves and the president will then be free to announce his successor.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Treloar in Oslo at streloar1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at cwienberg@bloomberg.net

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