I hate to say I told you so. July last year we released one more of several alerts as to the danger and damage of CBN governor Godwin Emefiele to the Nigerian economy. The article was titled, “Recession: Nigeria’s Economy Cannot Improve So Long As Godwin Emefiele Remains In Charge.”
In it I highlighted the pertinent reason why Nigeria was in an economic recession and Jonathan’s Godwin’s central role in this. I summarized that piece thus:
“Finally agreeing to better advise to devalue the naira, Godwin still fails to properly adjust and regulate the exchange rate and availability of dollars in the market and maintains a dual rate longer than necessary, thus allowing his cronies to buy and sell dollars to make billions from the hustle as he adjusts the strings as he likes, akin to what the stock market calls “insider trading.”
At the helm of the recession and naira devaluation disaster is one man: Godwin Emefiele. A staunch Jonathanian cabal, friend only of the cabal and enemy of the poor Nigerian masses. In several articles over the years I have written on the policies introduced by Godwin Emefiele as inherited from his predecessor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, SLS (Now Emir), both bankers who know only how to help the big banks make a killing in a ponzi scheme-like fashion on the backs of the multitude. I had written such about SLS in 2013 during his tenure, describing his anti-masses policies that were turning Nigerians into paupers, too poor to marry even a single wife. That article was captioned, “CBN: The Poverty In Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s Legacy.” In February of 2014, as Sanusi handed over the baton to fellow banker Godwin, I predicted more of the same SLS exploitative disastrous policies from Godwin in my article titled, “A Banks Man: Expect Higher Charges with Godwin Emefiele as New CBN Gov.”
When president Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, the first thing many of us expected was for him to attempt to resign or force the resignation of Jonathan’s CBN governor Godwin Emefiele. We had seen how when opposed by SLS, Goodluck Jonathan had assumed such a posture. We expected the same from Buhari and his exploiting various means including all other arms of government to impeach or arrest the central bank governor.
At the start of the new administration it was clear Buhari did not like Godwin Emefiele. There was hope that Godwin would be eased out and prosecuted for his key participation in all the looting and subversion of the Nigerian economy under the Goodluck-Dasuki years. Sadly this never happened. There followed tales of nepotism, Godwin Emefiele handing over juicy central bank jobs to all top elite and politicians in the senate and ministries, to the presidency and others in the APC party. President Buhari’s nephew was reportedly a benefactor of these juicy appointments, and suddenly the chatter faded and Godwin remained on his desk, growing in power in inverse proportion to the Nigerian economy.
The Cabal Forex Subsidy
Similar to the Jonathan era, a new subsidy was introduced for the cabal. This was the forex subsidy. The cabal received millions of dollars in subsidized forex from the central bank under Buhari and Godwin Emefiele. Reuters investigated and found that in just 11-weeks a single cabal, Aliko Dangote received as much as $100 million dollars in CBN subsidized forex. This could translate to billions of CBN subsidized dollars for the few cabal’s personal interests and business investments per year. This was happening while fuel prices were jacked up as Nigeria’s masses were denied the paltry billion needed to keep fuel prices low. Small businesses were sacrificed and denied dollars while Godwin ran his racket, ensuring a wide gap between the official rate reserved for the chosen few and the parallel market rate. His predecessor now Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II complained that Godwin was making billionaires every day, stating that with a single phone call he could purchase millions of CBN-subsidized dollars and sell this to make a turn around of a few million dollars. Yours truly heard of several racketeers, offering to sell Godwin’s cabal CBN-subsidized dollars.
To maintain the gap as I explained in my earlier article on the cause of the recession, Godwin Emefiele simply continued to play the strings on dollars demand and supply, ensuring a low supply of dollars to the masses. See: “How Godwin Emefiele Caused Millions of Nigerians To Lose Their Jobs, September 2016.” At every instance where there was a chance of crashing the rate and the BDCs, Emefiele would impose new rules and shut down banks, etc to ensure the choke on dollars remained. His latest open advert on his games in the papers as recent as this January. In pretense of increasing Nigeria’s slave-mentality foreign reserves, Godwin ensured dollars supply was limited, continuing various games and unnecessarily raising the foreign reserves to levels as high as the Obasanjo years, at the expense of the local economy and the lives and survival of Nigeria’s 180 million. The pretentious crooked governor was bent on wrecking the Buhari government and Nigeria along with it. In frustration as to why Buhari will change and continue to work with such a crooked and greedy person like Godwin Emefiele, I released a Youtube video: “How Buhari Has Changed.”
But acting president Yemi Osinbajo was not having it. According to the Pulse, *president Osinbajo read the riot act to the crooked Godwin as people had started writing articles in anticipation of the dollar hitting the 700 naira mark. Godwin Emefiele released dollars into the economy and the rest is history.
As soon as I read the article “Naira rises by N4 as CBN intervenes with $411.8m,” in the Vanguard some 5 days ago, I knew there was a radical change of FGN posture. I knew that at last naira would for once go up with Buhari down and out. It did. At last for the first time since the APC government took over Nigerians are having a breather. Financial Times had recently said that dead or alive, there was no real difference under Buhari. While I may object to their assertion in its entirety, I could see Nigeria had new life in its leadership. Small and medium enterprises can buy dollars at under N390 this new week and buy equipment and raw materials for their collapsed businesses. People can pay back vendors abroad they have been avoiding for the past two years. A simple measure has brought immense hope in a nation held to ransom by the cabal and at the mercy for the past year and half of an ailing president who is dependent on others including those at the center of the emptying of Nigeria’s vaults throughout Jonathan’s years.
Some say it is too early to praise *president Yemi Osinbajo, and that by doing so we may be putting his life at risk while setting off the enemies of Nigeria on desperate cause to sabotage his mission to set us free. I say thanks but no thanks for your caution. God is in control. God will set Nigeria free. God will protect *President Yemi Osinbajo and protect Nigeria. And God will continue to use means we expect and means we cannot to frustrate the clogs in our wheel of progress.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah; @EveryNigerian