Thursday 2 December 2010

Nigeria: Sanusi a worthy Nigerian

Speaking the truth to occasion

It was heartening to read that the Nigerian Senate attempt to bully the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria yesterday did not get far.

Mr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi whose almost eccentric dandy bowtie attire conceals a steely reserve is unready to buckle at the yelping of a cabal of loafers whose megalomania exceeds their ability to reflect on why they have been elected.

The governor at a lecture delivered at the 8th convocation of Igbinedion University has said 25.4% of the nation’s overhead cost [1] was spent on the National Assembly.

To the psychotic headmaster’s office

For this statement the Senate called him in for a carpeting along with the technocrat Finance Minister who apparently is supposed to be his boss and what a boss he was.

The Finance Minister vacillated with mollifying sycophancy that the Senate committee found it more amenable to have the governor talk through the minister rather than have him speak directly to them.

There was no doubt that the truth was finally out about how exorbitant [2] our legislature is, a point I have made time and time again in many blogs and this left the Senate Select Committee chaired by a garrulous lout with the unfortunate prize of undeserved democratic leverage quite livid with rage.

In whatever way the Finance Minister tried to redefine the context of what was said by the governor the fact remained that the Nigerian legislature burns NGN 136.2 ($892 million) and the fact is there isn’t much to show for the hot-air, postulation, grandiloquence and politicking that goes on in there on behalf of Nigerians.

What we pay for - harassment

As at November 2010 a newspaper report suggested in the House of Representatives this term had 459 bills of which 319 were about to be abandoned leaving them with a work rate of just 30%, the Senate was at that time too disorganised to give an account of what work they had done but we know where the money is going now.

Having tried to browbeat the governor and even belittle him they resorted to ad hominem attacks which just speaks volumes of the flock of cretins we have wished upon ourselves through allowing for our democratic process to be usurped by criminals.

The fact of the matter was that the governor did not pluck the figures out of the air but was quoting figures he got from the Director General of the Budget Office.

Much as the Senate disputed the figures they had no alternative figures that could be independently corroborated as truth of what they cost the country which left Mr Sanusi quite within his rights not to feel apologetic, not by a smidgen for revealing that veritable fact.

I will honourably quit

For one senator to suggest that the governor might not have the character to stay in office was just below the belt but the governor displayed qualities that you rarely find of Nigerians in public office, that of character, of principle and the resolve not be cowed by power-brokers whose intelligence is questionable at best.

When asked if he still liked his job and there was every indication after that kind of heinous barracking to suddenly cultivate a dislike and willingness to walk away with your reputation intact, he delivered a line that I doubt any one politician with their snouts so deep in the trough would ever have to courage to say.

My name is Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, (my name is) not Central Bank Governor. I enjoy my job but if you want me to quit, I will honourably quit.”

At which point he drew applause from the crowd of spectators who would have been invited to see the governor ridiculed and humiliated but now had seen the Senate committee behave like a mob ready to rubbish and besmirch the good reputation of a very able and competent Nigerian.

Get incited now

Meanwhile, the Nigerian legislature are left with that little problem, Mr Sanusi’s statement which the committee chairman thought was made to deliberately incite Nigerians against the National Assembly might well just get Nigerians agitated first for their cost and now for their harassment.

Whoever thought Nigerian politicians do not like to be loved even under false pretences? Well, with all the comments that have followed the news stories, Nigerians can only wish for more Sanusi’s, less of that ilk of legislators and as for the Finance Minister; a career so glorified in Goldman Sachs seems to have lost both its glitter and its mystique, he has been subsumed into the quagmire of Nigerian skulduggery.


[1] Sanusi stands by comments on National Assembly spending |

[2] Akin: Nigeria: Our exorbitant government


CodLiverOil said...

I enjoyed your metaphorical wielding of the koboko on the Senate members.

But I'm not particularly impressed with Mr Sanusi either as since appointment, the external foreign debt has ballooned, in spite of the one good thing the Obasanjo administration did, which was to virtually eliminate it.

Click here for Nigeria's ballooning foreign debt

With this knowledge is Mr Sanusi such a hero? As for the Senators, when their counterparts in other parts of the world are disgraced so comprehensively they have no option but to resign. Knowing Nigerians no such sentiment will cross their minds.

Thank you.

Akin Akintayo said...

Hello CodLiverOil,

I can understand your sentiment but the reasons why our foreign debt is ballooning are insufficient income generation from oil, taxes, duties, licences etc.

It would appear in the speech Mr Sanusi gave he covered a whole series of issues with regards to waste, budgets, excess and so on.

Which is where this piece of information is useful, our democracy is just unsustainably exorbitant someone has to rein in the costs.

It starts with the truth and hopefully some action to see that through.

It is not the job of the governor to create business opportunity for facilitate a conducive environment for business whilst ensuring the government has the means to perform its obligations as ratified by the legislature.

Mr Sanusi is speaking to a bigger context and picture here, I hope we see it and react accordingly.



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