Many economic analysts including ourselves issued several warnings about the policies of Nigeria’s Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele; that they could only last so long and will eventually run Nigeria into the ground.
Apart from being the headman during the Jonathan era of handwritten notes authorized looting of the Apex bank, you cannot kill the major employer and driver of jobs and the economy: the small businesses, otherwise called SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and expect the country to survive.
A well respected business authority, Mr. Leo-Stan Ekeh warned the Federal government this January after months of Godwin’s forex restriction policies that “99% of businesses will fold by March” if the government continued the way it was going with foreign exchange. While the then instituted monthly forex withdrawal limit was later raised, the small businesses were condemned to a differential black market forex rate delivered by the banks with the permission of Godwin in violation of the constitution andSection 16 of the CBN Act 2007. This differential rate was unaffordable and business failed to return.
Many of us were called names for advising the Federal government to devalue the devalued Naira to eliminate corruption, attract investment and assist the already devalued currency attain a more reasonable rate as an official devaluation will allow; but out of ego, adamance or the desire to make a larger gap between the haves and have nots, the Central bank governor and Presidency refused to devalue the Naira and allowed only the cabal access to the official value. The consequences are here now.
Handouts to the poor is only palliative and cannot fix the economy. SMEs must be encouraged and supported over and above the cabal. When you kill the masses and only offer to turn them into beggars on government stipends, you kill the economy.
Where there is life there is hope. Godwin needs to be eased out. Nigeria needs a people’s man and not a banker at the helm of the Apex bank. There is good news at this eleventh hour that the government is finally planning a fancy named devaluation. This will help; hopefully it’s not too late. We hope this ‘flexible devaluation’ will not again be tailored to the advantage of the cabal and their industries over the masses and their SMEs.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah
@EveryNigerian; also on
http://Naija.Live online radio