Breaking! Good Riddance …Why Nigerians Celebrate CBN Govenor, Godwin Emefiele’s Rumoured Sack

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Breaking! Good Riddance …Why Nigerians Celebrate CBN Govenor, Godwin Emefiele’s Rumoured Sack

Breaking! Good Riddance …Why Nigerians Celebrate CBN Govenor, Godwin Emefiele’s Rumoured Sack
March 05
15:12 2019

By Bunmi Adedayo

“When the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” This sacred quote of the Holy Book aptly describes the reactions of millions of Nigeria on Monday when the rumoured sack of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, rented the air. The news, which turned out to be untrue though, caused seismic excitement on the blogosphere as millions of Nigerians took to the social media space to celebrate the rumoured exit of the former Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc, on whose five-year tenure the curtain falls in June.

The voices of joy expressed were so vociferous and sustained that the name ‘Emefiele’ trended for the better part of yesterday on social media. Quite a huge number of people raised questions about the leadership and stewardship of the former university lecturer turned financial expert.

The millennials, many of whom have been at the receiving end of Emefiele’s recruitment policy of exclusion, came out with guns blazing and unsparing in chastising him on social media for showing unconcealed preference to give the juicy CBN jobs for the kids of the rich, mighty, influential, privileged and connected at the expense of the very qualified children of the less privileged. Emefiele’s excuse that the CBN opted for secret process of hiring new staff because the bank was doing “Targeted Recruitment” has been found to be an exercise fraught with fraud aimed at in good books of some vested interests and appeasing them to help him keep his job when news was rife that he would be asked to resign in 2015 when the incumbent government came on board.

Although, myriad of criticisms have been shot in the direction of his boss, President Muhammadu Buhari, the country’s poverty rate has risen from 60 per cent to 71 per cent bringing about 91 million Nigerians to live below $2 per day under the supervision of Emefiele. Others were quick to call him out for conniving with bank MDs and CEOs to inflict harsh policies on customers. The N65 withdrawal charge on transactions done by a card holder on another bank’s ATM was adjudged robbery in daylight and many are still pained by it though it is said to have been phased out.

Emefiele oversaw the worst period of Nigeria’s economic challenge. All the metric released in recent years by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics have shown a consistent decline, until lately when the economy is showing little recovery. The monetary policies driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria, under Emefiele leadership, have contributed significantly to the country’s economic woes. Many have ascribed the economic shambles witnessed in Nigeria to his lack of appropriate skill set to foresee, understand and manage situations well. He has been accused of lacking foresight, strong economic understanding of Nigerian economic terrain and above average knowledge of how financial markets work. Some of his disastrous actions include: ban of FOREX sales for certain items, a move which most financial markets experts strongly frowned at. Timely liquidity injection would have relieved the pressure on FX and not a ban on sales.

Emefiele caused a major crisis when the gap between the official rate and parallel market went from 35% in June 2016 to almost 60% in December 2016. This became so when he sent a conflicting messaging on execution of foreign exchange policy by announcing to the world that he was floating the Naira to allow the forces of demand and supply to determine the exchange rate while also reducing the spread between the official and parallel market rates. Within a few weeks, he began doing the complete opposite.  His restriction of domiciliary account deposits sent the worst signals to those with US Dollars, thereby restricting the supply of US Dollars into the Nigerian system.


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