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As if to debunk media insinuations that he opted out of a second term bid as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), because President Goodluck Jonathan will not likely reappoint him, or the Senate confirm him, even when presented, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, on Tuesday evening said he intimated the President, as far back as 2011 of his opting out by June 2014.
Sanusi’s tenure is expected to expire in June next year, having been appointed in June 2009 for a five-year term by late President Umar Yar’Adua, to replace Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, who also did not get a second term.
Sanusi was quoted as telling Bloomberg in an interview: “I informed the president going back to 2011 that I would not be interested in serving for two terms.”
Adducing reasons for his decision, Sanusi further told Bloomberg that “the job has been done, largely.”
The apex bank Governor who re-echoed his stance on second term in a chat with Bloomberg on March 24, 2013 in Lagos, stated categorically that he would not seek renewal of tenure as he considers a single term enough to make a lasting positive impact in the financial system and the economy in general.
On the issue of retention of the 12 per cent Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) which serves as the benchmark for interest rate, Mallam Sanusi noted that “my own inclination is to just hold and just continue doing what we’re doing, because it has worked very well. “But I’m only one vote in the Monetary Policy Committee and as you can see, the votes to ease are beginning to increase,” as more MPC members may follow by voting for rate cuts, he said.
CBN Governor further cautioned on the quest for low interest rate thus “the impact of interest rates below inflation could be “horrendous” for economic stability, so in the short term the country has to live with high rates.”
Answering question on inflation, Mallam Sanusi, said that “our own forecasts don’t show us getting back to the kind of 12 to 13 percent levels we saw last year,” he said. “Inflation is where we’d like it to be, exchange rates are stable, reserves are heading towards and will soon cross $50 billion.”
On the foreign exchange market, he stated that “unless there’s some major external shock, the foreign- currency market looks to me one in which we can have stability,” and noted that the Bank has enough reserves to defend the naira and “keep it where we want,”
It would be recalled that the House of Representatives passed a resolution on February 20, 2013, ordering its committee on banking and currency to request the central bank lower its policy rate to below 10 percent to encourage borrowing and investment.