Position: Nigerian Central Bank Governor
Incumbent: Lamido Sanusi
Date of Birth: July 31, 1961
Term: Appointed June 3, 2009 by then President Umaru Yar‘Adua for a five-year term
-- Lamido Sanusi won an international reputation as a reformer following the bail-out of nine lenders just weeks after taking office at the helm of the central bank, a move which many bankers say saved the financial sector in sub-Saharan Africa’s second biggest economy from the brink of collapse.
-- He sent shockwaves through the corporate establishment, sacking the chiefs of eight of the banks and felling pillars of Nigeria’s financial aristocracy who had long seen themselves as beyond the reach of the regulators in doing so.
-- Sanusi’s fierce independence and readiness to tackle vested interests stem partly from his status as the grandson of the 11th Emir of Kano, one of the most powerful traditional rulers in Nigeria, and his royal lineage is seen as helping him cut through the turbulence of Nigerian politics.
-- He was highly respected before joining the central bank, having served as the chief executive of First Bank FIRSTBA.LG. Prior to that he served as chief risk officer at First Bank and at United Bank for Africa (UBA) (UBA.LG), two of the country’s largest lenders.
-- Sanusi gained degrees in economics and Islamic law from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, northern Nigeria, where he also taught economics before going into banking in 1985.
-- He has regularly spoken out about the need to fight corruption not only in the financial sector but in the political system in Nigeria, winning him as many enemies at home as he has friends in the international investment community. (For more Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: af.reuters.com/ ) (Reporting by Nick Tattersall; editing by Mark Heinrich)