By Nnanke H Willie
There has been a deliberate attempt to rope all the failures of the APC and Buhari administration under Mr. Godwin Emefiele’s belt.
This vicious campaign against the career banker started almost immediately after the APC came into office and rose to a crescendo towards the tail end of the Buhari administration and of course exploded into a grand finale with a well-orchestrated suspension and gleefully videographed arrest of a supposedly fleeing Emefiele.
However, to believe the machinations of the high-wire political propaganda is to suffer a double jeopardy where a Babalawo sucks you dry financially and at the same time points at your uncle who has been feeding and sustaining your family while you passed through hard times as the cause of your misfortunes.
As the popular riposte goes: “No be Juju Be Dat?”
Unfortunately, millions of hapless Nigerians have fallen for the hype.
One vital question to ask is, if Emefiele was indeed as ‘bad’ as we know the politicians to be, would they be trying so hard to hang him dry?
This writer believes that Emefiele is the unfortunate outsider who got carried away with dutifully doing his job while the real economic saboteurs ran rings around him and have jointly dragged us to the current economic abyss that we have been plunged into.
Let’s take a few examples of the fallacies and explain why you need to reprocess all you have read, heard and watched so far about the fictional character of Emefiele that political gladiators want us to believe.
#1. Naira Devaluation:
There have been repeated accusations the Naira plunged to an all-time low while under Emefiele’s watch, the nation’s currency suffered a great deal.
The naira, which was exchanging for ₦190 to one United States dollar before he assumed office in 2014, sank to an all-time low, trading at over ₦750 presently.
As CBN Governor, Emefiele is not responsible for generating foreign exchange for Nigeria. The CBN governor’s job is to optimally manage the FOREX reserves and put policies in place to ensure that a paucity of FOREX does not lead to excessive devaluation of the Naira and maintain Nigeria’s credit-worthiness.
Emefiele should indeed be hailed for defending the Naira as much as he did.
There are many reasons why the Naira has suffered and will continue to suffer devaluation and they have nothing to do with this or any other Central Bank Governor.
Nigeria needs to generate dollar inflows to the country.
We do this through exports. Our greatest export for a long time has been crude oil.
Under Buhari’s regime, Emefiele played no part in the production and sales of crude.
Indeed, President Buhari was the petroleum minister and curiously, under Buhari’s watch, Nigeria lost about 50% of all the oil we drilled for years as various groups of players ‘stole’ and sold our oil in the global market.
Is it a coincidence that the activities of these ‘thieves’ only got revealed and checked in the dying months of the Buhari administration?
Was Emefiele responsible for this? No!
To make matters worse, while our loss increased after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year, all other oil-producing nations made jaw-dropping profits.
Nigeria under Buhari, made inexplicable colossal losses.
But the propagandists want you to believe Emefiele made the Naira fall.
It’s simply not true. If Nigeria doesn’t have enough dollar reserves, the naira will continue to be devalued.
Also, the Federal Government through its ministers of the trade, economy, finance and other income-generating MDAs are supposed to put fiscal policies in place to increase productivity, drastically improve exports and generate more dollar inflows while reducing our dollar needs through import substitution.
Though it was not his beat, Emefiele actually put policies in place to encourage these, but he was harangued, abused and sabotaged by most of the same people now nudging him to the political guillotine.
Also, it is on record that, the naira loses value significantly during every election cycle, especially during primaries.
The media was awash with news of dollar rains during the APC and PDP primaries last year used for bribing delegates.
Some contestants of those primaries came out to lament bitterly about the show of shame.
The result of the dollar mop-up by politicians saw a fall of the naira to almost N1,000 last year. This had nothing to do with Emefiele!
We are also aware that the dollar rain continued even for elections of principal officers of the National Assembly just this week.
Maybe that is still Emefiele’s fault?
Finally, the love of all things foreign and imported by Nigerians means that we would continue to need dollars for the most mundane of things.
Nigerians seem to be crazy about all things foreign: goods, schools, services, vacations, medicare, football and so on.
To enjoy these, we waste scarce resources on dollars and deny ourselves the opportunity to grow and advance our own industry in those fields.
This is all our fault, not Emefiele’s fault! If we do not stop. The dollar would crash further!
Nnanke Harry Willie is the Publisher of BRANDPOWER Magazine