The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

How Lamido Sanusi cleaned up Nigeria’s banks

In August 2009 the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria announced that he was removing the top management of five leading Nigerian banks as part of a bailout package. More bosses were subsequently thrown out. About 200 bankers and investors are now facing criminal investigations. Here for the first time, Sanusi explains to Nick Kochan why he intervened.

Lamido Sanusi, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria

"If they are interested in owning Nigerian banks, they are very welcome to look at them"

Lamido Sanusi, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria

What was the background to your actions and plans for the banks? How do you deal with the claim that you have waged a vendetta against the banks?
Lamido Sanusi, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria
When I was appointed governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria [in March 2009] I found banks on the verge of distress, on the verge of a major crisis. Banks had been mismanaged. They had lost their capital betting on the stock market and on oil prices. We had to inject money as lender of last resort. As supervisors, we could not continue to allow people to manage institutions by running them into the ground. We found evidence of criminal activity that we handed over to law enforcement agents. Those matters are before the courts of law.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree