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State of Economy: Group Condemns Call for CBN Governor, Emefiele’s Removal

The Executive Committee of the Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria, has kicked against the calcaulated move by a group, against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

The group in a statement signed by its President, Etuk Bassey Williams said it wished to put it on record and make it categorically clear that the phony group in reference was not “(and has never been) a civil society organisation and is therefore not recognised by the Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria”.

It contended “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”.

However, the Coalition said it appreciated the difficulties and anxieties of many Nigerians, given the tough economic mood confronting the country, still, argued the lull in the economy was not caused by one man or an institution, hence, why it was unfair to put the blame on one person or an organization.

Mr. Williams suggested what was needed to be done now were collective and constructive solutions to the country’s structural problems rather than “scapegoating”.

“And even if we must “scapegoat”, it asked if it 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” the Coalition noted.

The group also rationalized that the policies of the Emefiele led CBN were aimed at protecting ordinary Nigerians from the destructive capitalistic instincts of a few plutocrats and bourgeoisies, adding that the apex Bank boss’s policies have truncated the rent-seeking ability of many of these economic parasites and saboteurs, therefore, believed it was for this singular reason that both Emefiele and the CBN were being vilified in the “most unfair and disgraceful manner by a sponsored group of anarchists”.

While noting Nigerians have been taken for a ride for too long, the Coalition posited that the “collective patrimony” has been cornered by few looters for too long, thus could no longer stand idly by and watch the thieves, collaborating with foreign neo-colonialists and imperialists and keep the masses under perpetual bondage. It said it was time to free Nigeria and its people from the dirty hands and greedy mouths of a few.

The Coallition highlighted Emefiele’s policies for which he is allegedly being persecuted. This according to it include: Bank Verification Number (BVN), which it explained was an identity mechanism put in place by the apex Bank to ensure that everyone who operated in the Nigerian banking system is uniquely identifiable.

The group added that the policy limits frauds and identity theft as well as ensures that those who have looted “our commonwealth and concealed them under various account names are detected”.

Another policy according to the statement is list of 41 items not eligible for foreign exchange at the CBN. The group contended that a lot of elites and moguls have been depleting the country’s foreign exchange reserves by aggressively importing goods, which could 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 policy is already yielding good 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 witnessed 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” the statement demanded.

Again, it cited reform of Bureau de Change (BDC) which it countered (its opposition) was undertaken to ensure that genuine business people engaged in it and not fronts for those who continuously loot the national treasury.

It hit that the looters and their sponsors have used all sorts of guises to register several BDCs with which they drain foreign exchange from the CBN and used such to transfer their loot abroad.

It expressed surprise, lamenting that it was only in Nigeria that BDCs expected Government (CBN) to give them foreign exchange before they do business, adding Emefiele has since “stopped this haemorrhage”, hence the protesters’ vow to remove him from office.

“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.

“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 Muhammadu 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” the Coallition claimed.

The group asked “how many public agencies in Nigeria have advertised for vacant positions in the last 10 years as well as wether lack of advertisement mean that they have not been recruiting all these while?”

It argued that if one accounts for the continual exit of staff through retirements, resignation, dismissal, transfer of service, death and the like, the agencies would have closed up for lack of staff.

Since this has not been the case, the group wondered and asked “why is this shadowy group singling out the CBN? Instead, it offered that the contention should actually be the prerogative of the Federal Character Commission, rather than a civil society organisation, let alone a fictitious political group.

Meanwhile, the Coallition has declared that it has resolved to take what remains of the country’s economic destiny by its hands and to stop the “criminal agents of counter-change in their tracks”.

To this end, it indicated that it has begun the compilation and would soon publish the infamous list of all the criminal elites and their collaborators “on this plot of shame”; threatened to call Nigerians out on a street march to register its 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” it assured.

The Coallition also insisted “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” asserting it shall match the criminal agents of counter-change tweet for tweet, blog for blog until they were chased out of the country.

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