Irked by the nationwide suffering from the poorly implemented monetary policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), a pro-democracy group, North-South Progressives Alliance (N-SPA), has called on the Governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele to resign from office before he grounds the economy to a final halt.
The group maintained that Emefiele has not only run out of ideas but cannot also tap into the ideas of those who have freely offered them for quick and sustainable solution to the current hardship faced by Nigerians.
The group at a conference in Abuja said since the introduction of the new monetary policy, the CBN Governor has continued to carry himself as being above the law.
Addressing newsmen, the Co-convener of N-SPA, Ayobami Oyalowo said the new policy is making life miserable and unbearable for the Nigerian people, adding that the policy is also bringing disrepute to the good intentions of President Buhari’s administration and achievements of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Reacting to the decision of the apex bank not to comply with the Supreme Court order, the group complained that the cashless policy of the CBN has succeeded in creating an unprecedented economic hardship ever recorded in the history of the country.
Oyalowo lamented that the policy has sucked out blood from the heart of the nation’s economy insisting that the apex bank must toe the line of common sense and save Nigerians from the avoidable hardship the whole country is thrown into.
Flanked by other chieftains of the group, most of who are members of the ruling APC, the Co-convener noted: “It is no longer news that Nigerians are suffering untold hardship as a result of ill-timed, myopic and poorly implemented monetary policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who in a bid to instantly transform the country to a cashless economy has succeeded in creating an unprecedented economic hardship attributed part to some of the very policies of the same Central Bank of Nigerian on the past.
“The CBN has sucked out blood from the heart of our economy. While banks across the country are under lock and key, queues at ATM points are growing by the day. In major Nigerian cities like Kano, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Asaba and Maiduguri, you could count the number of banks that are in operation, since there is no cash to service the growing list of customers requesting their money.
“Farmers are losing their harvest because nobody is buying them. The few who are lucky to get buyers are forced to sell at ridiculously cheap prices just to dispose of what they have. The informal sector is grinding to a halt and a yet-to-be-determined amount of jobs are being lost on a daily because the lifeblood of their operations has been disrupted by a policy the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria cannot actualise.
“We have seen video evidence of elderly men and women writhing in pain, some of them crying their hearts out because they cannot access their own money to buy drugs, food or meet other basic needs. Those who are not so lucky have paid with their dear lives and only time can tell how many more will pay the supreme price for no fault of theirs.”
Oyalowo further complained: “Despite this glaring and sad realities, the Central Bank of Nigeria, under the management of Godwin Emefiele has refused to review the failed policy and make amends where necessary. Instead, the CBN Governor has continued to lie to the Nigerian people, claiming to have enough money in circulation, while blaming the banks for creating the scarcity of the new notes, even when many of them do not have access to the currency he claimed is widely in circulation.
“Not even the intervention by the National Council of States who advised that the old notes be recirculated has yielded any action from Emefiele. Even the call by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), The World Bank and many other national and international bodies have been ignored by the CBN governor. The CBN under Emefiele is simply playing the ostrich, thus putting a spanner in the wheel of the progress made by the President Buhari-led administration in the last 8 years.
“The North-South Progressives Alliance is deeply offended by the ineptitude of the CBN governor whose policies, rather than accentuating the economic growth of the country have become a tool for not only the destruction of the economic fabric of the nation but the dignity of the Nigerian people.
“It is for this reason that we have gathered here today to add our voices to that of the Nigerian Governors Forum and many other organized bodies and individuals in Nigeria to ask the CBN to allow common sense to prevail.
“While we are convinced that there is more to this policy as intended by Godwin Emefiele than meets the eye, it is nonsensical to put millions of Nigerians in jeopardy just to target one or a few individuals whose interest does not align with his. This is not the time to plot an evil agenda, but the time to put hands together for the growth of the economy, especially in the face of a global downturn. The cashless policy is ill-timed, poorly implemented, wicked, anti-people and anti-Nigeria.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria must hasten to the call by notable individuals and organizations, both within and outside the country by not only reviewing the policy but putting in new measures that will ease the hardship on Nigerians in a matter of days.
“It is also trite to demand that the head of the apex financial body, Godwin Emefiele resign forthwith since he has not only run out of ideas but cannot also tap into the ideas of those who have freely offered them in ensuring that a quick and sustainable solution to the current hardship faced by Nigerians is brought to bear.”
The group then warned opportunists who are overtly or covertly using the poorly implemented policy and the chaos it has brought upon the country to grab onto power to be weary of the wrath of the Nigerian people.
Oyalowo revealed that his group has “been inundated with reports that some elements within and outside the corridors of power are deliberately promoting the failed policy to push Nigerians into unrest across the country, forcing the postponement of the general election and create a state of emergency to hand over power to an interim government to enable them to continue their selfish agenda on.
“Let it be known that Nigeria remains a constitutional democracy, and the ballot remains the only recognized process through which leadership can be enthroned in the country. Any attempt to force any or a selected few on Nigerians through any back door channel shall be vehemently rejected and we shall not hesitate to mobilize Nigerians across the board to resist such a plan even before it is hatched. This is our word of caution. Those who have ears, let them hear.
“We also wish to use this opportunity to speak to those who are threatening to silence our members from speaking against their evil and devilish agenda. We are the North-South Progressive Alliance. We can never be silenced. Let them be told that we will mobilize every available human and material resource to stand firm and resolute behind every one of our members. Wherever you are in the corridors of power, we shall defeat you.”