Press statement by Coalition of Civil Society Groups in support of CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele

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Press statement by Coalition of Civil Society Groups in support of CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele

Press statement by Coalition of Civil Society Groups in support of CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele
March 23
16:18 2016

It has come to our attention that a shadowy, bogus and unscrupulous group parading itself as a civil society organisation has been circulating messages threatening a protest against the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

1. Against this backdrop, we, the Executive Committee of the Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria, have called this press conference to address a host of issues related to this.

2. To start with, we wish to put it on record and make it categorically clear that the phony group in reference is not (and has never been) a civil society organisation and is therefore not recognised by the Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria. Regardless of how this group intends to mask itself as a civil society organisation, our independent research revealed that it is in fact a political organisation of paid agents and sponsored groups representing the interest of a certain geopolitical zone in the country. The political nature of their agenda shows that their intentions are not by any means noble, and their objectives are far from making the lives of ordinary a little bit better. The promoters of this group are persons who are known to be troublesome and have the capacity to disrupt the public peace.

3. Having said that, the Executive Committee of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria fully appreciates the difficulties and anxieties of many Nigerians given the tough economic times that are confronting us. But this situation was not caused by one man or one institution and therefore, it is rather unfair to try to put the blame on any one person or organization. What we need right now are collective and constructive solutions to our structural problems rather than scapegoating.

4. And even if we must “scapegoat”, should it be against a man or an institution that have been at the vanguard of protecting ordinary Nigerians from the disastrous effects of the global shocks due to the sharp drop in oil prices? We must note that the prevailing difficult economic condition is not limited to Nigeria. It is global and more entrenched among developing and emerging markets. Compared to its peers, the Nigerian economy has not performed poorly. Among commodities exporting economies for instance, inflation, GDP growth and employment are far worse in countries like Zambia, Ghana, and Argentina with inflation between 19-28 percent. As a matter of fact, Brazil and Russia are in recession while South Africa is struggling to record positive growth. These are all linked to the fall in the commodities prices in the international market. Emefiele and the CBN have so far managed to keep the inflation far below what is being witnessed in many comparator countries.

5. We believe that the policies of the Emefiele led CBN are indeed aimed at protecting ordinary Nigerians from the destructive capitalistic instincts of a few plutocrats and bourgeoisies. Emefiele’s policies have truncated the rent-seeking ability of many of these economic parasites and saboteurs. And we believe it is for this singular reason that both Emefiele and the CBN are being vilified in the most unfair and disgraceful manner by a sponsored group of anarchists.

6. Nigerians have been taken for a ride for too long. Our collective patrimony has been cornered by few looters for too long. We can no longer stand idly by and watch these thieves, in collaboration with foreign neo-colonialists and imperialists, keep the masses of our people under perpetual bondage. This is the time to free Nigeria and its people from the dirty hands and greedy mouths of a few.

7. By our reckoning, Emefiele is in fact being persecuted for the his policies on:
a. Bank Verification Number (BVN), which is an identity mechanism put in place by the CBN to ensure that everyone who operates in the Nigerian banking system is uniquely identifiable. It limits frauds and identity theft. It also ensures that those who have looted our commonwealth and concealed them under various account names are detected. Given their inability to hide their identities these thieves have avowed to hound Emefiele for daring to destroy their criminalities. May God never allow them to them succeed!
b. List of 41 items not eligible for foreign exchange at the CBN. A lot of elites and moguls have been depleting the country’s foreign exchange reserves by aggressively importing goods, which can be easily produced here in Nigeria. By their action, these czars have killed jobs in Nigeria and created jobs abroad. They have exported prosperity abroad and imported poverty into their fatherland. But as long as their huge profit margins are guaranteed, they do not care. What Emefiele and his team have done is to say that we can longer import unemployment and export wealth out of Nigeria. In this regard, the CBN’s policies is already yielding goods results. Our research shows that local manufacturers like Erisco Foods (manufacturers of tomato paste), Wapco Aluminium, GZ (manufacturers of aluminium cans), Obasanjo Farms, and the association of cold rolled steel manufacturers of Nigeria have seen increased patronage. The significant rise in sales is translating to increased employment of more Nigerians. As their operations expand to meet demand so will employment. Emefiele should be commended for this and allied polices enunciated in order to sustain the drive.
c. Reform of Bureau de Change (BDC) was undertaken to ensure that genuine business people engage in this business and not fronts for those who continuously loot of our national Treasury. Indeed these looters and their sponsors have used all sorts of guises to register several BDCs with which they drain foreign exchange from the CBN and use such to transfer their loot abroad. It is only in Nigeria that BDCs expect Government (CBN) to give them foreign exchange before they do business. Emefiele has since stopped this haemorrhage. They have also vowed to remove him from office. May God never allow them to them succeed!
d. Saying no to “Further Devaluation” because it will reduce value of the Naira and will worsen the welfare conditions of the long-suffering and poverty-stricken masses of Nigerians. Most of these looters have amassed huge amounts of dollars with their stolen money and they are putting pressure on the CBN to devalue the Naira so that they can further get richer by converting their dollars back into Naira. They don’t care that this will make life even more miserable for the masses of low income Nigerians. This debate has raged on for a long time and Nigerians, speaking with our truly elected President have repeatedly returned the resounding verdict: WE DO NOT WANT DEVALUATION!!! Attempts have been made to use all sorts of media house, international magazines, newswires, and others home and abroad describing Nigeria’s monetary policy as unorthodox and unconventional, to attack not just Emefiele and the CBN but also President Buhari, who has maintained that he would not support devaluation at this time. We are also aware that huge sums of money have been paid to some newspapers, notable influencers on twitter, Facebook and many bloggers to champion these nefarious plots.

8. We would also like to address the guised grouse of the so-called employment bias at the CBN. Let us begin by asking a very pertinent question. How many public agencies in Nigeria have advertised for vacant positions in the last 10 years? Does this lack of advertisement mean that they have not been recruiting all these while? If one accounts for the continual exit of staff through retirements, resignation, dismissal, transfer of service, death, etc. then all these agencies would have closed up for lack of staff. Yet, all these agencies have fresh faces all the time. So why is this shadowy group singling out the CBN? This contention should actually be the prerogative of the Federal Character Commission rather than a civil society organisation, let alone a phony political group. The Federal Character Commission should be allowed to determine whether the CBN or any public agency broke any rule with respect to recruitment or geopolitical balancing of their staff.

9. We hereby give notice that we, the masses of Nigerians, have resolved to take what remains of our economic destiny into our hands and to stop the CRIMINAL AGENTS OF COUNTER-CHANGE in their tracks. We have resolved to engage in the following actions to defend our future:
• We have begun the compilation and will soon publish the infamous list of all the criminal elite and their collaborators on this plot of shame;
•We shall call Nigerians out on a street march to register our condemnation of the attempt to thwart the CHANGE movement and take Nigeria backwards;
•We shall continue to support the policies of CBN Governor Emefiele, the Economic Team, and President Buhari as they try to make our lives better, even though it means denying unscrupulous business men their darkest means of livelihoods;
•If this unscrupulous group does not call off its purported march planned to hold in a fortnight, we as the Coalition of Civil Society Group shall embark on a counter protest simultaneously to force them down. We will be waiting for them; and
• We shall match the CRIMINAL AGENTS OF COUNTER-CHANGE tweet for tweet, blog for blog until we chase them all out of our country.
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria


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