Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

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Muhammadu Sanusi II
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi 01.png
Muhammad Sanusi II in 2017 at SOAS
Emir of Kano
Reign8 June 2014 – present
PredecessorAdo Bayero
Born (1961-07-31) 31 July 1961 (age 57)
Kano, Kano State, Nigeria
SpouseSadiya Ado Bayero, Maryam, and Rakiya
HouseGidan Rumfa, Kano
FatherAmbassador Aminu Sanusi, Chiroman Kano
MotherHajiya Hafsat Aminu
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria
In office
3 June 2009 – 20 February 2014
PresidentUmaru Yar'Adua
Goodluck Jonathan
Preceded byCharles Soludo
Succeeded bySarah Alade

Muhammadu Sanusi II (CON, born Sanusi Lamido Sanusi 31 July 1961) is the 14th Emir of Kano, who was crowned on 8 June 2014 after the death of his granduncle Ado Bayero (who died on 6 June 2014). Emir Sanusi was a banker and former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He was appointed on 3 June 2009 for a five-year term, but was suspended from office by the then President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan on 20 February 2014 after he accused the government of a $20 billion fraud in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)[1].

Sanusi during the WEF 2013

Sanusi is the grandson of Muhammadu Sanusi I, the 11th Fulani Emir of Kano.[2] A banker and Fulani nobleman, he is also a respected Islamic scholar.[3] Sanusi received two awards from The Banker magazine: Central Bank Governor of the Year (worldwide) and Central Bank Governor of the Year for Africa.[4]

Time magazine listed him on its list of the 100 most influential people of 2011.[5] In 2013, Sanusi was honoured at the third Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) in Dubai for his advocacy in promoting Islamic banking and finance during his tenure as governor of Nigeria's central bank. He received the Global Leadership in Islamic Finance Award 2015 as the fifth GIFA Laureate, following Tun Abdullah Badawi (2011), HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah (2012), Shaukat Aziz (2013) and Nurrsultan Nazarbayev (2014).

Sanusi was born into the Fulani Torobe (Sullubawa) clan of Kano on 31 July 1961.[6] As the grandson of Muhammadu Sunusi, he was automatically a member of the Sullubawa clan of the Torobe Fulani. His father, Ambassador Aminu Sanusi, was a career diplomat who was the Nigerian Ambassador to Belgium, China and Canada and the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Sanusi received his primary education at St. Anne’s Catholic Primary School in Kakuri, Kaduna from 1967 to 1972, where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate. He then attended King's College, Lagos, where he graduated in 1977. Sanusi was offered provisional admission to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Zaria, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in economics in 1981. He received a master's degree in economics from the school in 1983, and taught there until 1985. Sanusi studied at the International University of Africa in Khartoum, receiving a degree in Islamic law. He was posted to Gongola State (now Adamawa and Taraba States) for his mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) service.[7]


In 1985, Sanusi was hired by Icon Limited (a subsidiary of Morgan Guaranty Trust) and Barings Bank. He joined the United Bank for Africa in 1997, working in the bank’s credit and risk-management division, and rose to the position of general manager. In September 2005, Sanusi became a board member of the First Bank of Nigeria as an executive director in charge of risk and management control. He was appointed Group Managing Director (CEO) in January 2009. At this time, Sanusi was chairman of Kakawa Discount House (where he was a board member of FBN Bank). He was the first person from northern Nigeria to be appointed CEO of FBN. On 1 June 2009, during the presidency of Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, Sanusi was nominated governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; his appointment was confirmed by the Nigerian Senate on 3 June 2009, during a global financial crisis.[7] He is recognized in the banking industry for his contribution to a risk-management culture in Nigerian banking.[8] First Bank is Nigeria's oldest bank, and one of Africa's largest financial institutions.[9] Sanusi was the first northern Nigerian CEO in First Bank history.[10]

Central Bank governor[edit]

President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua nominated Sanusi governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on 1 June 2009. His appointment was confirmed by the Senate on 3 June 2009, in the midst of a global financial crisis.[11] Analysts believed that Sanusi's tempered mien would be a counterpoise to the more-aloof disposition of his predecessor, Charles Chukwuma Soludo.[12] Based on his past record, it seemed probable that he would impose stricter controls.[13]

In August 2009, Sanusi led the central bank in rescuing Afribank, Intercontinental Bank, Union Bank, Oceanic Bank and Finbank with 400 billion of public money and dismissing their chief executives.[14] In September 2009, he said that 15 of the present 24 Nigerian banks might survive reform.[15]

In a December 2009 Financial Times interview, Sanusi said that he had initiated extensive reforms since taking office (known as the "Sanusi tsunami"). Some believed that he had a vendetta against some CEOs, and others pointed to proof of mismanagement of funds by some CEOs (most notably Cecelia Ibru) as justification for the steps he implemented. According to Sanusi, there was no choice but to attack the powerful and interrelated vested interests who were exploiting the financial system. He expressed appreciation of support from the president, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the finance minister and others.[16]

In January 2010, Sanusi said that the banks would only want to give credit to Nigeria’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) if the government paid adequate attention to infrastructure.[17] He admitted that since 2005, the central bank had not conducted routine examinations of the 14 banks allocated to it under an arrangement with the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).[18] Abubakar Nagona, president of Integrated Development and Investment Service (IDIS, a venture capital investment company), urged Sanusi to "not be cowed and succumb to undue pressure from operators of the same sector he is striving to bring sanity to."[19] At a February 2010 conference on Nigerian banking, Sanusi described his blueprint for reforming the Nigerian financial system. The blueprint was built around four pillars: enhancing the quality of banks, establishing financial stability, enabling healthy financial sector evolution and ensuring that the financial sector contributes to the real economy.[20] Later that month, Sanusi said that the crash in the capital market was due to financial illiteracy on the part of Nigerian investors.[21] The Banker recognized him as the 2010 Central Bank Governor of the Year, citing his radical anti-corruption campaign aimed at saving 24 banks on the brink of collapse and pressing for the managers involved in the most blatant cases of corruption to be charged and (in the case of two senior bankers) imprisoned.[4] Sanusi has spoken at a number of distinguished events, including the February 2012 Warwick Economics Summit (where he spoke about banking reforms in Nigeria and their impact on the economy).[22]

Sharia authority[edit]

During his banking career, Sanusi contributed to the debate over Sharia law. In 1997, he received a degree in Sharia and Islamic Studies from the African International University in Khartoum.[2] In the September 2000 Weekly Trust, Sanusi noted the problem of reconciling "belief in the universal and eternal applicability of the Shariah with the need for a wholesale adoption of its historically specific interpretation to meet the requirements of a particular milieu." He added, "Even a cursory student of Islamic history knows that all the trappings of gender inequality present in the Muslim society have socio-economic and cultural, as opposed to religious roots."[23]

At a 2000 Kaduna conference, Sanusi delivered a lecture on Islamic economics entitled "Institutional Framework of Zakat: Dimension and Implications". He argued that although the collection of zakat is a state responsibility, it may be the responsibility of the Nigerian government rather than the emirs of Northern Nigeria. At a July 2001 Abuja seminar, he spoke about "Basic Needs and Redistributive Justice in Islam – The Panacea to Poverty in Nigeria". Sanusi adopted the mainstream position that zakat is an instrument for redistributing income, arguing in favor of giving the role of redistribution to the government.[24]

In October 2002 he published a paper entitled "The Hudhood Punishments in Northern Nigeria: A Muslim Criticism", and presented "The Shari'a Debate and the Construction of a 'Muslim' Identity in Northern Nigeria: A Critical Perspective" at a seminar at the University of Bayreuth in July 2003. In August, Sanusi presented "Democracy, Rights and Islam: Theory, Epistemology and the Quest for Synthesis" at an international conference on Shari'ah Penal and Family Law in Nigeria and in the Muslim World: A Rights-Based Approach in Abuja.[25]

Sanusi's position has two underlying themes: Islam is concerned with delivering justice and should not be a tool for self-seeking political agendas, and the Wahhabist rhetoric of fundamentalists counters genuine Muslim interests.[26] He explains that Sharia is not divine but religious, and is neither uniform nor unchanging.[27]

Fuel-subsidy removal[edit]

Economists have favoured the removal of subsidies,[28] and Sanusi has spoken on numerous occasions in favor of removing the subsidy.[29] He cites the high level of corruption engendered by the practice, the inefficiency of subsidizing consumption instead of production (leading to slower economic growth), and the fact that the government borrows money to finance the subsidy—taxing future generations so present Nigerians can consume more fuel.

Sanusi, other economists and development practitioners[28] also note that the subsidy is biased in favor of the middle and upper classes, who use most of the fuel. Additionally, some people purchase subsidized gas in Nigeria to resell it in other West African countries.

Funds diversion[edit]

According to a 2013 TEDx talk by Sanusi, Nigeria lost a billion dollars a month to diversion of funds under the government of Goodluck Jonathan.[30] [31] The PBS segment quoted American and British officials that former petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke might have organized a diversion of $6 billion (₦1.2 trillion) from the Nigerian treasury. Alison-Madueke was arrested in London on 2 October 2015.[32]

Sanusi believes that he was fired from the Central Bank of Nigeria because he went public with charges that $20 billion was missing from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) under Alison-Madueke's management. According to Alison-Madueke, Sanusi made the allegations as part of her lack of aid to get him appointed as president of the African Development Bank (AfDB).[33]

Emir of Kano[edit]

See caption
Sanusi before the Durbar in September 2016

Sanusi was selected to succeed his granduncle, Ado Bayero, as the Emir of Kano on 8 June 2014. His appointment was controversial; some believed that it was a politically-motivated move to avoid fraud charges from his tenure as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Many expected Bayero's son to succeed him as emir, and protested Sanusi's appointment.[34] He was crowned Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II on 9 June 2014, the 14th Emir of Kano[35] and leader of the Tijaniyya Sufi order (the second-most-important Muslim position in Nigeria after the Sultan of Sokoto, leader of the larger Qadiriyya Sufi order).[36][37]

After Sanusi urged his followers to fight the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram, the Kano Mosque (the seat of his emirate) was bombed in November 2014; 150 people were killed.[38][39] In December 2014, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau accused him of deviating from Islam and threatened his life.[39] Sanusi replied that he is "safe with Allah", and likened Shekau’s comments (describing Sufis as unbelievers) to those of the heretical Islamic preacher Maitatsine.[40]


  1. ^ "Special Report: Anatomy of Nigeria's $20 billion "leak"". Reuters. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Mr. Sanusi Lamido Aminu Sanusi". Central Bank of Nigeria. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  3. ^ "The Role of Islam in Nigeria". The University of Georgia. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Central Bank Governor of the Year 2011". The Banker. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  5. ^ "The 2011 Time 100". Time.
  6. ^ "Biography of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi". Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ Daniel Elombah (25 May 2009). "Who is Sanusi Lamido Sanusi". Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  9. ^ "Sanusi Lamido Sanusi – A Profile". Leadership. 15 December 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  10. ^ Chika Otuchikere (10 August 2008). "Sanusi Lamido Sanusi Becomes First Bank MD". Leadership. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  11. ^ "Nigeria: Senate Confirms Lamido Sanusi as New CBN Governor". TradeInvest Africa (Cape Town). 4 June 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  12. ^ IKECHUKWU EZE AND ALEX CHIEJINA (2 June 2009). "From Soludo to Sanusi: From panache to tempered mien". Business Day. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  13. ^ Ikenna Obi (2 June 2009). "From Soludo to Sanusi: Lamido Sanusi's CBN – Banks in for an era of stricter control". Business Day. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  14. ^ HARRY UNDERWOOD (3 September 2009). "Bonfire of the Bankers". The First Post. Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  15. ^ "CBN Dep Gov Restates Likely Emergence of 15 Banks". Thisday. 29 September 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  16. ^ Tom Burgis (17 December 2009). "FT interview transcript: Lamido Sanusi". Financial Times. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  17. ^ BLESSING ANARO (13 January 2010). "Provision of infrastructure, key to SMEs' credit access – Sanusi". Business Day. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  18. ^ Blessing Anaro (11 January 2010). "Sanusi must send clear messages to CBN staff". Business Day. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  19. ^ Hope Moses (29 January 2010). "Sanusi urged to remain undeterred in pursuit of banking reforms". Business Day. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  20. ^ JOHN OMACHONU (22 February 2010). "Waiting for Sanusi's blue print for banking industry resuscitation". Business Day. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  21. ^ ONYINYE NWACHUKWU (24 February 2010). "Sanusi links capital market crash to financial illiteracy". Business Day. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Warwick Economics Summit 2012 Programme
  23. ^ Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (18 September 2000). "Shariah And the Woman Question". Weekly Trust (Kaduna). Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  24. ^ Holger Weiss (2002). Social welfare in Muslim societies in Africa. Nordic Africa Institute. p. 182ff. ISBN 91-7106-481-8.
  25. ^ John N. Paden (2005). Muslim civic cultures and conflict resolution: the challenge of democratic federalism in Nigeria. Brookings Institution Press. p. 274ff. ISBN 0-8157-6817-6.
  26. ^ Ogbu Kalu (2008). African Pentecostalism: an introduction. Oxford University Press US. p. 237. ISBN 0-19-534000-0.
  27. ^ Wendy Chavkin, Ellen Chesler (2005). Where human rights begin: health, sexuality, and women in the new millennium. Rutgers University Press. p. 79. ISBN 0-8135-3657-X.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  28. ^ a b "End them at once!". The Economist. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  29. ^ ""Why I Started War Against Subsidies"- Sanusi Lamido Sanusi". The Street Journal. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  30. ^ Jola Sobutu (12 July 2015). "'Nigeria was losing $1bn a month under Jonathan,' Emir says [VIDEO]: Sanusi, a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, made the comment again during a PBS interview on December 2, 2015". Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  31. ^ Nick Schifrin (2 December 2015). "How a cancer of corruption steals Nigerian oil, weapons and lives". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  32. ^ Jolo Sobuto (12 July 2015). "Ex-minister might have personally supervised stealing of $6bn". Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  33. ^ Jolo Sobuto (7 April 2016). "Panama Papers will expose more Nigerians". Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  34. ^ Nigeria’s Muslim north: Modern mind in a seat of tradition,
  35. ^ Sanusi' Coronation As Emir: Schools Shut In Kano Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  36. ^ The Nigerian Voice: "ROAD TO AZARE" By Ajiroba Yemi Kotun 23 May 2013
  37. ^ All Africa: "Nigeria: Updated - Kano Blasts Claim Over 60" By Ismail Mudashir November 28, 2014
  38. ^ Daily Post: "Kano blast: 150 worshipers killed in ‘Sanusi’s Mosque’ after he travelled to Saudi Arabia" by Ameh Comrade Godwin November 29, 2014
  39. ^ a b National Post: "Boko Haram kidnaps 191, murders dozens as the group threatens Muslim leader for telling Nigerians to fight back" by Mustapha Muhammad December 18, 2014
  40. ^ This Day Live: "I’m Safe with Allah, Emir Sanusi Replies Boko Haram" by Ibrahim Shuaibu 21 December 2014

External links[edit]

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
Born: 31 July 1961
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ado Bayero
Emir of Kano
Succeeded by