The internationally respected governor, Lamido Sanusi, could not immediately be reached for comment on the president's announcement Thursday accusing him of "financial recklessness and misconduct."
Last year Sanusi reported that $50 billion worth of oil sold by the corruption-riddled state oil corporation had not been paid to the government. The Senate Committee on Finance last week ordered an independent forensic audit into the missing money, which it said amounted to about $20 billion. Missing receipts apparently accounted for the rest.
Jonathan appointed deputy governor Sarah Alade to replace Sanusi, who had been expected to step down this year. Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer.