The Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Sarah Alade, who officially retired from the apex bank on Wednesday, described the investigation of the bank while she was acting governor of the bank as a humiliating experience.
Alade, who stated that the experience was humiliating for her and the entire management of the bank, said it was the first time that the bank would be investigated in its entire history.
She said these at a send-off organised by the apex bank to celebrate her 24-year service to the CBN.
Alade had served as the acting Governor of the CBN following the sacking of the former governor, Lamido Sanusi, now the Emir of Kano, by the Federal Government.
Sanusi was in February 2014 suspended from office and later sacked by former President Goodluck Jonathan over allegations of financial recklessness and misconduct.
This happened after Sanusi had claimed that over $20bn oil revenue was either stolen or unaccounted for from the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
In attendance at the send-off for Alade were the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele; Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma; and representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, among others.
Alade said, “Throughout my period at the bank, I have one slight regret and that’s during the period I was acting governor. It was the time that the CBN was being investigated. It has never happened before that the activity of the CBN is under investigation.
“We went for the IMF meetings and when we met with investors, they asked us: ‘what is happening? We understand that there was some financial mismanagement in the CBN.’ It was humiliating.
“I think for me, that was a low point. The credibility for this institution was eroded. For an institution this important to be subjected to that is bad. At the end of the day, it was not just the CBN that suffered for it, but the economy as a whole did suffer.
“So I want to encourage us that whatever we need to do, let us do it right. We must not subject this institution to that type of incident again.”
Speaking on the impact of the probe on the CBN, Alade said the exercise paralysed activities at the apex bank.