The Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has appealed to the Senate to increase the Federal Government’s contribution to the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) fund to N500 billion.
Sanusi made the appeal in Abuja on Wednesday at an interactive session with the Ayo Adeseun-led Senate Committee on Banking, Currency and Insurance.
The CBN governor lamented that a bill forwarded to the House of Representatives on the matter had been thrown out.
“The CBN will contribute N500 billion according to the bill which is before the Senate. It is unfortunate that we could not meet with the House of Representatives before the amendment bill was thrown out.
“I appeal to you to take the amendment because we have an agreement with the banks, and many of them were not involved in the problem that led to the situation we see now.
“We are pleading that we have an agreement and if we renege, it will not be good,’’ he said.
Speaking on the recent recapitalisation in the banking sector, Sanusi said it was the responsibility of the apex bank to protect depositors and not shareholders.
“It is my job to protect depositors. If you go and buy shares, you are taking a risk. The bank paid dividends, you took the dividends.
“Share price went up; you sold and tripled your money. Those that sold made money. Those that didn’t sell lost. It is a risk you took.
“The depositor did not go to lose money. We told them don’t put your money in the pillow, go and put in the bank. He expects to get that money on demand,’’ he said.
The CBN boss said his “ obligation is to make sure that every depositor gets his money. I have no obligation to the shareholders. ’’
He said he was happy that shareholders were not happy because it was an indication that he was doing his job.
Speaking earlier, Adeseun said the interactive session was to enable the committee ascertain that the banking sector remained focused.