Good night,Darling Godwin. You’ve been a wonderful partner. Yes. The Journey since 4 June 2014 has been long, bumpy,but, memorable. Sadly, we must part ways.
Virtually all Warnings. All Advisories. All the Pleadihis first comingngs from everyone in “power” – about how to react to the rampaging CoronaVirus (COVID-19) distil into 3: Don’t Panic. Stay Rational. Take a Deep Breath.
So, why is Mr Emefiele in PANIC?
Who is Mr Emefiele?
Good question. Well, here’s a briefest résumé of Mr Godwin Emefiele, Nigeria’s Chief Banker. In tautology, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN): Holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance.A MBA in Finance; three highbrow Exec Certificates ( read, more Masters degrees) from Stanford University. From Harvard University. From the Wharton School of Business. More?
But, perhaps, more than any qualification, a course, Critical Thinking, caught my eye. It implies, to my mind, thinking out of the box and radical, out of the ordinary solutions.
Mr Emefiele is qualified. Eminently qualified. But, sadly, I have to let him go, with cymbals, drums and bags and bags of plaudits. What Nigeria needs now is not a “fine” banker, but, a “crude”, non textbook,non Member of the IMF or a friend to the World Bank. These are scary times. And, whoever, is CBN Governor must drag us roughshod to new times. Between 2014 and 2019, Mr Emefiele’s many experiments FAILED. We’ve being Floating since.
What the heck is stimulus packagej over Nigeria,but, at levels far below Mr Trump. So, the whole world is in shock. Caught unawares and believing that money is the solution or magic wand to drive away COVID-19. In Nigeria, new schemes have sprung up, in whatever form, to make quick money. And Mr Emefiele fell for them. In the sudden panic, quick thinkers are making bags full of money. Somebody thought up the crazy scam – Nigerian students in Wuhan. Brilliant. Simple. According to the Nigerian Ambassador to China, Amb Baba Ahmad Jidda,the Federal Government released the sum of RMB 235,000( that is Chinese Yuan) Clever people. two hundred thousand sounds small and negligible. Lie. At the current rate of exchange,as at 25 February,2020, of 52 Naira to a Yuan, this amounts to Twelve Million Naira(#12m). This amount is “to provide ( the Nigerian students) with the needed personal protection equipment”. All this amount will be handed to the leadership of Association of Nigerian Students in Wuhan. Smart. The Nigerian Students will be garbed in the get up of the astronauts in the International Space Station; as each of them will receive nothing less than #1/2 milion each.
Then before the CBN Intervention came, the Senate rushed a bill that the Executive should release almost Seven Hundred million Naira( #700m) to the University of Abuja, for ONE quarantine building. Clever guys all over.
Meanwhile, the Diaspora Commission has forgotten our girls in Italy. They must be starving. And no one is saying anything. Why?
And in all these, Mr Emefiele, the Nigerian Nation’s chief money manager sits serenely.
By the time, the world comes out of the CoronaVirus scourge, the moulting will be completed. A New World Order will be born. And I’m hoping Nigeria will line up behind China.
Why should Mr Emefiele panic over CoronaVirus? He’s scaring me. In the same way, our Hon Minister of Health, Dr Ehanire, scared me. When he, the Health Minister appeared on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Good Morning Nigeria,last Saturday, he scared me. It got to a point, one of the discussants, Dr Otabor, disagreed with him, on the steps to take,examine and refer a suspect. Sad. He had no idea of the enormity of the CoronaVirus pandemic. This is not a soapbox for Political grandstanding. This is Death onrushing. We cannot stand like the Dinosaur and be swept off !
In the same vein, Mr Emefiele has panicked and like all straitjacketed bureaucrats, he cannot unbend. If he could save Zenith Bank; if he could hold down inflation and take us out of devaluation, I wonder why he has not been able to think out of the box. Yet, he hasn’t. He should know his two experiments have failed. Two of his key pronouncements, ended as talk. First, on the status of the Naira : The CBN will continue to operate a managed float exchange rate regime – in order to REDUCE the impact which continuous volatility in the exchange rate could have on the economy.
Apart from the fact that the “plan” failed, Nigerians were/ are subjected to unexplainable hardships. In fact, one cannot understand how Mr Emefiele and his stable hands could not see that this horse will not be forced to drink water. In 2018, he “injected” $40 billion into the foreign exchange market. To hold up the Naira. Then, frantically, he began another journey of trading foreign exchange in the Chinese Yuan. It failed.
So, in another brave speech, Mr Emefiele said, the CBN will support measures to increase and diversify Nigeria’s export base and help in shoring up reserves, by aggressively implementing the #500 billion facility. That facility was/ is a non starter: Textiles, Refineries, increase in local content production ,either didn’t start, never were intended to start or just plain flopped. And the crazy, uneducated, gullible Nigerian Media, wrote tons and tons of editorials, opinions and newsreels, on the Transformation to come. Yet to come.
Who Got what?
Where, to whom and what was the #500 billion gifted? Here we are caught pants down by CoronaVirus. The Hon Minister of Health, said, since we do not produce, we have to “wait” for imports. Most countries have shut their doors. Where are the imports coming from? I’m sure our reserves of hand gloves, face masks and sanitisers are almost depleted. So, what happened to the Pharmaceuticals and local content increase? I found that our exports of medicinals and pharmaceutical products were outstripped by our imports of those categories of products. Medicinal/ pharmaceutical export = 383,678 in 2018 and import = 774,500.081. So, who’s fooling who?
Of course, in the euphoria of plethora of bogus awards, you lost your head? I don’t know. But, likely.
Honestly, Mr Emefiele, you’ve done your best. Thank you. Take a bow.
Medicine After Death?
Mr Emefiele, you know as well as I do that floating a multiple exchange rate policy, was mere English speaking. We were just showboating our grasp and depth of the English language. I wonder what your former students,in UNN and Uniport, must be saying. Could Oga have forgotten that class permutations are not the same as reality on the ground? Fairyland is NOT and cannot be Isale Eko. No. Reality is harsh and relentless.
How could you at any point have foisted the multiple exchange policy on us? Oh! How could you? Especially, in Nigeria, where we breed geniuses like rabbits, in a warren. I understand both the International Monetary Fund(IMF) and the World Bank, tried many times to dissuade you. That devaluation was better than a policy doomed to fail from the start. A multiple exchange rate policy, in Nigeria? Haba, sir! Even my son, a JSS3 student,then, felt that someone or the entire Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) was not thinking straight. I assured him then that when you plan to fail, even the angels’ singing will turn to noise in your ears. Here we are, nearly 5 years of bumbling, realising the Policy failed. All those foreign exchange wasted. The foreign reserve depleted. All the gains of the small small Middle East wahala wasted. An article, quoting an “anonymous senior CBN official”(read: Mr Emefiele) ,” today,21 Mar,2020,we allowed the rate at the importer and exporter (I and E) window to adjust in response to market developments”.
All for vanity. Wasted. And all the sufferings of Nigerians, blamed on an innocent man, PMB. They called it Buharinomics. We applauded . But, we were hopelessly fooled. You taught us not to pander to public opinion. For public opinion is like the mob: Faceless and Fickle.
Liman, Sabi Sabi
Ehen na. Briefly, see how the multiple exchange rate policy was supposed to work. In an olodo society :
a)Official rate, b) Bureau De Change(BDC) operators,c) rate for importers and exporters; and d) others. While for over three years, the official rate was #306 to the dollar, all others bought at #360. It’s a no brainer to see the yawning Black hole: subject to abuse, manipulation and front loading : an open invitation for corruption.
Civil servants,”Government business”,some selected “priority” companies, benefitted from the supply of cheap foreign exchange.
Mr Emefiele, you failed us.
While you were holding off the IMF and World Bank, you were quite aware that you were also devaluing. When the Information Minister, Lai Mohamed, said in April,2019, ” right now, the currency is converging naturally at about 360 Naira to the dollar” and, insisting ignorantly, that devaluation was not on the table. We realized that there’s no cure for buffoonery.
Meanwhile, Mr Emefiele and his team were burning into our Foreign Reserve: September, 2019 , our Reserve was 41.91billion USD. In November,2019, it slid to 39,8803.2USD. Then, by December, 2019, we burned more millions. The foreign Reserve stood at 38,595.3 billion USD. All these to “stabilize” the Naira.
So, before Mr Emefiele disburses the CoronaVirus stimulus package, we suggest as follows:
1. Revive the Textiles, BUT, recover the money given to them, earlier from the #500 billion facility.
2. Revive ALL the Refineries. Again, what happened to the earlier money?
3. Revive all the pharmaceutical companies, to source and produce Locally. Again, where is the earlier money?
4. Rearrange the IPPIS.
5. Refurbish all our Teaching Hospitals, General Hospitals, PHC
6. Provide funding to all legitimate private hospitals.
Were there no monitoring committees? Was the disbursed fund Father Christmas gift?
A memo to PMB
Sir, in every dark cloud, there is a silver lining. Since COVID-19, will NOT kill all of us, at once, we must look at the great opportunities it is giving us, in Nigeria. It will give you a clear and honest chance to drop, change and revive your cabinet: All non performing Ministers –
1. Minister of Niger Delta;
2. Finance Minister
3. Education Minister.( Promote the Minister of State)
4. Health Minister
5. Minister of State-Health
6. Minister of Sports
7. Minister of Information
8. Minister of Science and Technology
9. Minister of Labour( promote the Minister of State)
10. Minister of Defence
11. Minister of Federal Capital Territory
12. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs
Excellency, these Ministers are irredeemable. Make a clean sweep.
Stealing is Stealing by whatever name
Suddenly . Very suddenly, every one has an idea – about how to steal money. How to make quick,”clean” money. I hear some people have been jubilating about the President’s order to employ 1000 people from each of the774 LGAs. How do you pick 1000 unskilled rural workers? Keyamo has been struggling to explain it. We enjoy the ‘albatross necklace”: Npower, Sure-P, HGSFP, the Vulnerables, the poorest of the poor, on and on. Fruitless ideas. And inexplicably, each new President accepts these harebrained, unthought of, ideas !
We now have more scammers running all over our streets and cyberspace.
Dishonesty has taken the front seat in our lives.
Front loading will never allow any genuine effort to stabilize the Naira, with millions to be made and legitimately.
Hand writing on the Wall
Mr Emefiele, please read the handwriting on the wall: The recent Open Market Operation(OMO) of the 19 March, 2020,in which foreign investors stayed away is a pointer to the failure of your experiment. There were zero bids for all categories on offer.
Dear Mr Emefiele, good bye and good night.
This week,we continue to implore President Buhari to please reread this Post,first published on 23 March,2020.
As I republish this article, President Buhari will be marking FIVE years as President. Again, I have to remind him to take a look at his Cabinet. Good drugs it is said are really bitter: Remove the nonperforming Ministers – and where there is a Minister of State, use him.
This is a query for the Hon Minister of Foreign Affairs: I understand that TWICE the evacuation of stranded Nigerians in India stalled. I gathered that last week,(Thursday,04/06), the scheduled flight from India was again aborted, even though,there were 2 Air Peace planes on the ground,in India. What is happening,Sir?
…And America rumbles…but, more than anything else, the greatest revelation is that like all bullies, Donald Trump is a coward. Psychologists have been having a field day. And it ain’t near the Bombing of London..and he scampered into the Bunker. Cowering. Shivering and mumbling. Did you see his rumbled suit? His white,scared and crumbled face? He shuffled to the front of the church. Turned the Bible upside down and the front facing backwards. Maybe, he pee’d on himself. He actually slinked away. Wow!
President Buhari had the laugh on Nnamdi Kanu, Peter Fayose, Femi Fani Kayode and their coterie of Clowns, this week. At least, each time, these jokers tell their paid media hacks that PMB is dead or mildly that he has gone out of the Country, he shows up LIVE. A few days ago, the IPOBIANS,led by the faceless Emmanuel Powerful, announced thatNnamdi Kanu was going to be “live”. We waited the whole day, only after, that Radio Biafra,put on somebody trying valiantly to be MNK. Shame on them.
Thanks for reading.
Would you like to be receiving this post in your email weekly?
Stay safe and safe distancing…