…Ok. so I wasted all my “abeg sir...“
On 23 March,2020, I wrote a post here, begging Our President to change the person in the Office of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN). In that post, I had pointedly adviced Mr Emefiele to please resign like a good General, whose strategies had failed him.He refused. Mr President also refused to call him to resign.I had envisioned a scene at the Aso Rock Villa, like in Ancient Japan, thus: The President(Emperor) marches in. Greets the CBN Governor (the Shogun) And without wasting much time, says,” Godwin, you have done a wonderful job,but, you’ve failed me. Please resign.” Mr Emefiele takes a bow. Goes to the Villa garden. Spreads out a white sheet. Sits down. Meditates briefly. Then,pulls out his short sword and slashes himself, beautifully. Meanwhile, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Hon Minister of Finance,acting as his Second, with her long sword, slices his head neatly,off his neck. Such a lovely, melancholy scene. True fealty. True patriotism. Ah! Ah! Merely daydreaming. President Buhari’s faith in Mr Emefiele is unshakeable.
So, Mr President, why am I asking for Mr Emefiele’s head? He is eminently qualified. But, only in stabler economic times. Now, this feisty climate is too rough, for this staid, English Gentleman ( in all but colour).
Since his appointment on 4 June,2014, by President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Emefiele has tried his very best. He has steered the keeling economic ship of State through treacherous ( in all its nuances) waters to manageable safety. Thus, in 2016, we experienced a bogus recession. He reeled us out. Wet with relief, Mr Emefiele had used up all his strength…and has not been able to recover.
Mr Emefiele,sir, it does not need an economist or banker, to know Nigeria’s economy is in dire straits. However, I know enough of economic history. Incidentally, I took a course in Economics History, in my ABU days. So, I can hold my ground.
Here are my 7- point Charge Sheet against you. That,you, Mr Godwin Emefiele,59,male, Nigerian. BSc Finance. MBA Finance. Alumnus of Harvard, of Wharton Business School, of Stanford University, Ex-officio Member, International Monetary Fund (IMF). Member, International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM). Expert in Critical Thinking,Expert in Leading Change and Strategy,Expert in Negotiations, Expert in Service Excellence. Presently, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria ( heretofore,CBN):
* Failed to harness the ” expertise” of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).Thus, not taking advantage of the varied critical expertise at your disposal,since 2014;
* Failed to lead the charge against the USD, by marshalling the rest of Africa ( and the Third World) to install the Chinese Yuan,as the new International Currency of Exchange. The time is ripe. All indices for the ascendancy of the Yuan,point to that. Why did you enter into the Bilateral Currency Swap Agreement with the People’s Bank of China, in 2019? Most African Countries do more business with China, than the rest of the World.Was that not how the USD toppled the British Pound?
* You weakened the Naira, knowingly or unknowingly, by running a multiple foreign exchange rates regime,in Nigeria. Unbelievable naivety:
1) official rate = #305 to $1;
2) Importer/Exporter rate = #326 to $1
3) Bureau de Change (BDC) rate=#360 to $1.
4) Others (?)
* In shying away from devaluation, we were operating a heavily devalued currency ( and it’s still plunging);
* You Failed to realise that Nigeria is a unique country, where front loading is a constant;
* Due to front loading, which put pressure on the demand for USD, the CBN under you has dipped into our Foreign Reserve,more than at any time,in our history; thus,under you, the Reserve at Oct,2014 stood at $36.3billion.By May,2015, it fell to $28.6 billion. And by 2018, over $40 billion had been injected into the foreign exchange market.
April,2020, =$33.9 bn
There is no reasonable explanation for this slide, except lack of strict supervision and front loading.
Since 2015, Nigeria has “spent” billions of dollars, refurbishing, repairing and upgrading our textiles, refineries and making useless imports. All under your watch. Thus, what defence do you have for the doubling of the import bill(2018) of medicinals and Pharmaceuticals of $774,500.081, while the exports was $383,638,000. Just propaganda. Yet, the duties of the CBN, include,firstly, monitor the use of scarce foreign exchange reserves,to ensure that foreign exchange disbursements/ utilisation are in line with economic priorities and within the annual foreign exchange budget, in order to ensure available balance of payments position as well as the stability of the Naira.
* You, Failed in taking a firm stand on certain absolutely nonessential purchases. I’m speechless when I see listed, billions( $28.7bn) to be spent on invincibles( which I understand are services such as professional fees, financial services, business travels, medical tourism, pilgrimages,etc). Unnecessary wastes.
1) Mr Governor, in this time of COVID-19, what pressing transactions and import purchases are so important that people are buying foreign exchange? I had expected that as the Custodian of the Nation’s Finances, you would have spent the past FIVE years upholding your “sworn” Mandate,Viz,”increase in nonexport earnings: the CBN will support measures to increase and diversify Nigeria’s export base and help in shoring up reserves ..” So, what happened?
One had expected that you would FOCUS on using and encouraging manufacturers and vehicle builders to use local products. During the Nigerian Civil War, Igbos ( called themselves Biafrans ) held the entire Nation hostage. They refined their fuel. They minted their currency with local resources. So, why haven’t you used them? Why are we importing ordinary face masks from China – and our social media are awash with Nigerians trying to sell face masks, even ventilators?
2) Black Holes and the CBN’S PostCovid Projections
The FOUR projections for Nigeria by the CBN are again, dropping scarce resources into “black holes”. I thought we should be more proactive and creative. What is affordable housing? I see that Projection as aimed at the urban areas. Why would you build apartment buildings for my rural communities? We have the land; and we love our villages where they are now. 2ndly, Cutting edge research. This is as meaningless as it sounds. Highfalutin.signifying nothing, just that your aides have read too many Oyibo books.3rd, renewable energy. We must pace ourselves. Hundreds of Nigerian homes, both in the urban and rural areas, do not have ordinary NEPA – and the one available cannot even be run efficiently. Finally, what happened to the $500 bn bailout facility you gave out before Covid 19?
So, Mr President and Mr Governor, I stand in absolute belief in two truisms, 1) he who dares wins! 2) take a decision. No matter how unsavoury; for posterity will not forgive you for not taking a decision(I stole that from IBB).
Short Take On Almajiranchi
Since Mallam el Rufa’i first started sending the almajirai back to their States of Origin and we applauded him. Others,cursed him, it has become the norm now, to evict these unfortunates, from many States. And in these times of CoronaVirus. It’s crazy. It’s Criminal. And it’s unforgivable!
Even before the CoronaVirus passes on to other galaxies; and despite the deaths, the pains – physical, economic and emotional – it has done something for the Nigerian sociological system that no President or Governor DARED attempt : The Killing of the Almajiri System(Almajiranchi).With the expulsion of these little children ( mostly males) from the hotbed of Almajiranchi,Kano, we have LOST a long, enduring reminder of our soullessness. If only the FCT Administration will have the nerve to nail the last coffin, by picking up the almajirai and colonies of beggars,dotting the FCT.
The Downward Side of the Almajirai Eviction
Apart from Benue and Nassarawa States, most other States, PACKED these children in trailers and lorries – in this time of COVID-19. Where are the great defenders of human rights – Amnesty International Nigeria, SERAP, NHRC. You see yourselves! Your fight and Stance have been exposed. The way these children were picked up. Held captive, in camps. Devoid of any amenities – and in the case of Plateau State,herded into trailers, is a telling indictment of the partiality and evil of these so called “human rights bodies”. Two wrongs cannot make a right. Are these children not human beings ? Are they not part of our society? That their own Society failed them, in a continuing era of jahiliyah( absolute ignorance) , but, pretending to be enlightened, is not their fault.
Ya Allah! Ya Allah! Ya Allah! Bear Witness that I raise my feeble and worthless voice, at the inhuman, degrading and soul destroying manner, these children have been” sent back” to their States of Origin.
And this is Where I am Lost
I am truly lost, trying to explain the sudden decisions by the State Governors, in the height of the CoronaVirus pandemic, to round up the almajirai and trundle them out of their States. In packing these children in trucks. In trailers. In absolute defiance and disregard for social distancing and ban on inter State movements.
And the NCDC stood by stoically.
Was there any Study that suggested that these unfortunates were the cause of COVID-19? Are we NOT sentencing them to premature deaths? We all know now that there are asymtomatic cases. So, even after the cursory tests,some of these children could be carriers, and they test Negative, is no guarantee.
And the NCDC stands stoically by
We forget again and again, the Qur’anic injunction: For of great import is the Reminder. I’m taking it out of context to remind the State Governors, that their jubilations are short-lived. The Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) was quoted as saying: when you hear of a plague in a city, do not go there; and when you are in a city and the plague starts, do not leave the city( Imam Malik)
The reason for that admonition,O! Deaf, Arrogant Ears ! is: DO NOT SPREAD The Virus! By evicting these children now, in this Time of CoronaVirus, we are Happily spreading the Virus!
Here is an excerpt of the Introduction to Prophecies of Nostradamus: “In November of that year (1554), the Plague redoubled it’s virulence, spread by the waters( of the flood) and polluted corpses…Most doctors had fled with those people who were still well enough to move, THUS CARRYING THE INFECTION FARTHER..”
And we are gleefully evicting almajirai. Some State Governors, exulting that “I will not rest until the last Almajiri leaves my State.” While, in some States, it was a most momentous Media event. With drums, cymbals, media lights flashing and armed soldiers, Mobile Police and Vigilante,in a convoy, they went to “capture people who were “trafficked into the State”. It was a great victory! It was! And we leave the substance, because, we do not know how or are not ready to prepare for the battle against Covid 19.
But, States are beginning to pay dearly – our laxness, our narrow-minded politicking, our corruption.our servility. And our incurable dereliction of duty!
And the NCDC and the Presidential Taskforce stand stoically by – incapable of calling these Governors to order!
And the Numbers Grow – the Confirmed Cases. The deaths. And we copy America…but, they are dying too… Encouraged to suicide,by a demented President… And we copy them!