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“Nigeria never had $67bn in foreign reserves” – Sanusi

By on March 6, 2013

Contrary to the claims by former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili that the country had $67bn in foreign reserve, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi on Tuesday said such amount never existed.

Sanusi who said this during a lecture in Lagos state affirmed that the highest the country has ever had in foreign reserve was $62bn.

According to him, “Nigeria never had $67bn in foreign reserves, the highest we had was $62bn and that was under the late President Umaru Yar’ Adua in 2010 and 2011.

“However, I agree that when the oil price was going up, we should have saved more. There is need for serious fiscal management, and that is what the Coordinating Minister of the Economy has been working on seriously.”

It would be recalled that Ezekwesili said that the governments of the late Yar’Adua and that of President Goodluck Jonathan collectively spent the sum of $67bn from the country’s foreign exchange reserve within a period of five years.

The apex bank governor noted that the banking sector was not set up majorly to create jobs.

His words, “I laugh when people say that the banking sector is not creating jobs by cutting operating costs. The banks are meant to create funds for people to create jobs, but the sector has suffered this fate because we lack major amenities. If you want to be a manufacturer in Nigeria, you must be ready to provide security, power and water for your company.

“We want a situation where banks will start playing the role a bank should play, which is the intermediation of domestic savings into the real economy for the production of goods and services.”

The CBN governor also said corruption in Nigeria was disastrous, adding that “Nigerians need to start asking questions about the type of people who are entrusted with roles.”