Nigeria downplays Sanusi/Jonathan feud and shifts focus to WEF Africa - CNBC Africa

Nigeria downplays Sanusi/Jonathan feud and shifts focus to WEF Africa


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Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. PHOTO: Think Africa Press

As Nigeria prepares to host the continent in May at the African region World Economic Forum, it will be the first time the country is granted this privilege.

The affair however will also be the last major event in the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s tenure which ends on 2 June.

“The central bank is a very strong institution, it’s got very competent people. We’ve worked with the bankers’ committee to establish a process to ensure that everybody buys into what we are doing as an industry. The national assembly has been supportive, the president, the government and like I said in a relationship sometimes things happen and they get resolved,” Sanusi told CNBC Africa at the 44th meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The feud between the president of the West African state, Goodluck Jonathan, and Sanusi which has made headlines over the past few weeks seems to have ended despite concerns about the impact of the dispute on the organisation of the event. However, Head of Africa at World Economic Forum, Elsie Kanza is certain this has not been the case.

“We are working very well as one team, this meeting is being hosted by the country. The president has put together a committee that pulls different officials from various ministries so the difficulties and the tensions didn’t affect us directly and are in fact symbolic of the reforms that are ongoing in Nigeria. I think with the level of democracy and openness allows public officials to disagree and still be able to move forward, so we are confident about the outcomes because the changes Africa faces now, need people to be honest and to agree to disagree,” Kanza said.

She believes there is more honesty in the debates, she is also certain that this is critical due to the development challenges that Africa faces.

“Africa is growing but we are not seeing similar reduction in poverty as well as inequalities so there’s a lot to talk about the trickle-down effect not coming through. At the same time, you need growth before you can affect these challenges, so that means we need to rethink the way we are doing things to ensure that Africa continues to grow while also addressing these much more entrenched challenges. Bring down poverty, reduce inequality and create jobs,” she added.