Nigeria’s top banker to boost transparency

July 24th, 2009

The central bank’s new governor talks of his plans to turn round a sector mired in bad debts and improve transparency

Financial Times Deutschland

Not long ago, Nigeria’s banks seemed to be enjoying an almost miraculous renaissance. Once perceived as a swamp of currency scams and money-laundering, the sector had given birth to national champions with plans to march across Africa. In gleaming towers in Lagos, chief executives plotted to go global.

In the past year, the miracle has begun to look more like a mirage. Stock prices for Nigerian banks crashed, eroding confidence throughout the system. Rumours swirled that a bank – or banks – might be at risk of insolvency. In June, President Umaru Yar’Adua replaced Chukwuma Soludo, the architect of the transformation, with Lamido Sanusi as central bank governor.

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