By Bamidele Aturu
|Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria
It is our duty to inform you that the Central Bank of Nigeria has made a partial response to the request we sent to the Governor of the Bank on the 31st of December, 2012 pursuant to the relevant sections of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011. The response of the Bank is attached to this mail for your records and use.
While we are not completely satisfied with the response so far made, we must commend the Governor for not behaving like most public officials who would have simply ignored the request. We are of the view that the reaction of the bank to our request will encourage public institutions to conduct their affairs transparently.
We intend to do a follow up to the request as it appears that the Bank misunderstands some of the questions contained in the formal request. First, when we requested for the monthly remuneration of the Governor we were not asking him or the Bank to comment on an earlier decision which the Bank is contesting. We are aware of that decision.
Also, we were aware that section 8 of the enabling Act of the Bank empowers the Board of the Bank to fix his remuneration and that it is the responsibility of the President to approve whatever the Board fixes. Indeed we stated this fact in our request. The answer we expected was a specific figure not a comment on an existing case. We still expect the Governor to answer the question as he is in a position to know exactly what he earns and if he does not know he could have simply said so.
Second, we are impressed that the Governor is entitled to only N25,000 as daily allowance when he travels within Nigeria. That is not excessive at all by Nigerian public officials’ standards and given his lofty position. However, it is a little troubling that while the Bank was willing to state the local daily allowance it refused to state what the Governor earns when he travels outside the country saying that he receives what the Federal Government approves. We expect him to give a specific figure. The N25,000 he takes locally was also approved by the Federal Government. So why disclose one and not the other.
Third, we agree with the Bank that the time frame we gave, as required by law, was insufficient to calculate or sum up the amount spent on chartered flights within and outside Nigeria. To this end, we shall be doing a follow up and although we are required to give 7 days, we promise the bank not to sue immediately until about 28 days after the follow up to give the bank added tome to add up the figures.
Once again we commend the Governor of the Bank and the staff for weighing in on the side of probity, transparency and accountability.
Thank you and God bless
CBN Governor’s response:
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