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NEWS  

Nigeria Disowns Nigerian Banks in Sierra Leone
By Aruna Turay
Nov 5, 2009, 17:12
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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has totally disowned all the Nigerian owned banks operating in Sierra Leone.

Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi of the Central Bank of Nigeria on his visit to Sierra Leone on Wednesday 4th November 2009, informed a cross section of newsmen that it is good for all to note that the Nigerian Banks operating in Sierra Leone are Sierra Leonean banks and not Nigerian Banks as they are licensed by the Central Bank of Sierra Leone and not Nigeria. He said they are governed by the rules of Sierra Leone and supervised by the Central Bank of Sierra Leone.

The Governor was addressing newsmen in the Bank of Sierra Leone Auditorium, Sam Bangura Building in Freetown. According to Governor Sanusi, all the said Nigerian Banks operating in Sierra Leone are regulated and monitored by the Central Bank of Sierra Leone and not by the Central Bank of Nigeria. He said these banks might be owned and managed by Nigerian nationals in and out of Sierra Leone and having their Headquarters in Nigeria, but that does not implies they are owned by Nigeria or referred to as Nigerian Banks. The Governor stressed that the Central Bank of Nigeria would not shoulder any pitfall by these banks.

Speaking on his visit to Sierra Leone, the Governor described his visit to Sierra Leone as aiming to appraise the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Mr. Sheku Sambadeen Sesay and other stakeholders of recent developments in the banking sector in Nigeria.

Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi thanked Sierra Leoneans for their hospitality, adding that his visit to Sierra Leone is not just a briefing visit but also part of a process of building corporation across the boarder with his opposite members in West Africa. He said by way of background, it is no news that the global financial and economic crises starts from the United States of America as a result of the of over exposure of prime mortgages. He said many of our countries were insulated from the first rounds effect of the crises because their economies were not as integrated into the world financial market, adding that many of them suffers from the second round effect of the collapse in the quality prizes in particular. He said one lesson the Nigerians have learnt is that capital is good for a bank, but it is not enough, noting that the management and the governance structure are extremely important no matter how much it can take the bankers; it can be whittled or loan away through irresponsible or reckless lending. The Governor cited that they used three parameters such as capital adequacy, liquidity and governance to access banks that should operate in Nigeria.

Earlier, the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Sheku Sambadeen Sesay informed newsmen that Governor Lamido Sanusi is undertaking missions to countries, including Sierra Leone, where there is a large presence of Banks with Headquarters in Nigeria to appraise them on developments in the Banking Sector in Nigeria and likely implications in these countries. He said Governor Sanusi has held discussions with H.E. the President, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, and other key stakeholders in the financial services industry including all Managing Directors of all Commercial Banks.


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