Restructure CBN leadership to ease hardship, CSO tells Presidency

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A civil society organisation under the aegis of Nigerian Unemployed Youth Vanguard has asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to immediately rejig the leadership of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a step towards ameliorating the current hardship been experienced in the country maintaining that the current leadership of the apex bank lacks the needed expertise to reverse the trend.

The CSO at a press conference in Abuja on Monday addressed by the duo of Comrades Danesi Momoh and Igwe Ude-Umanta, National Coordinator and Director of Programmes respectively, maintained that the management of Nigeria’s economic crisis as it stands now is far beyond the competency of Mr Olayemi Cardoso led management to fix.

The CSO which prides herself as been at the forefront of championing for the empowerment of Nigerian youths especially the teeming population of the unemployed through advocacy and policy engagements maintained that the call became imperative after a critical review of the policies and programmes of the CBN under Mr. Olayemi Cardoso without any clear solution in sight.

The group maintained that best way to end the hardship faced by Nigerians is to right the dysfunctional policies of the CBN and revive the ailing economy by injecting vibrant hands to manage the nation’s fiscal and monetary policies.

It regretted that since the coming on board of Mr. Cardoso as the CBN Governor all the policies introduced has only resulted to forex crisis, outrageous interests rates for businesses amongst others with its negative resultant effects.

“Our very early recommendation is that he should resign or be sacked without any delay. We are currently buffeted on all sides by crisis of continuing and worsening purchasing power of the Naira and a sickening forex nightmare; the catastrophe of hyper-inflation and consequent inability of many families to eke out a decent living. Nigeria is faced with monetary and fiscal problems without any clear solution in sight as Cardoso is clearly overwhelmed and powerless.

“It is a pity that under the Renewed Hope Agenda of the current administration, Nigerians are increasingly becoming hopeless. Nigerians are yet to see anything to fire up their hopes, or hear any tangible thing to build their faith about the reforms of the Tinubu administration as Cardoso continues to mask his incompetence in the arrogance of silence and evasion of accountability. This is unacceptable and Cardoso should be sacked to restore the hopes of Nigerians”.

The CSO hinted about their planned protest which was momentarily shelved for some obvious reasons, chief amongst which was the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) protest and the need to analyse the Communiqué of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) and see what is probably new.

“Sadly, concerning the outcome of the MPC, we are even more worried because it appears that it is the same knee jerk method of solution provision that has become the trademark of the CBN. We wish that they were better assurances that raising the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) holds they key addressing inflation, when it is clear that it will automatically affect borrowing for long term investments. It is left to be seen how businesses will thrive with 22.75% interest rates.

“Another very sad outcome of the MPC meeting was the nauseating prevention of journalists from asking questions and interrogating very important economic decisions from the MPC. It reconfirmed our fear that Mr Olayemi Cardoso is completely averse to critical engagement. If this is not a clear manifesting of incompetence, then it must arrogance of failure. Both are administrative vices, which should not be condoned by somebody who perhaps is leading the country to an economic Golgotha”, the statement added.

Even through the Naira has recorded some appreciable gains against the dollar in the last few days, the CSO insists that the steps taken to achieve that are not sustainable and it’ll be foolhardy for Nigerians to rejoice yet.

According to the group, “due to a number of fire brigade approaches, the Naira has gained an appreciable strength against the dollar, moving from N1960 penultimate week to N1440 as at yesterday. Ordinarily, it should be cheering news that the Naira will continue to appreciate. The problem however, is that the number of measures responsible for this appreciation are not sustainable. They are not based on clearly thought-out policy(ies) but a reaction to a near economic pandemic”.

The right group went down memory lane to remind Nigerians of Mr. Cardoso’s earlier promises to stabilize the Foreign Exchange regime through monetary price stability, tackling institutional deficiencies, restoring corporate governance, strengthening regulations and implementing prudent policies, none of which he has done which raises serious questions about his competency.

The group noted further that the only policies pursued by the CBN Governor such as lifting of ban on the importation of 43 items and the adoption of floating exchange rate to enable market forces determine the prices of forex has been injurious to the economy.

The release reads in part, “let it be known that allowing the importation of anything into the country is injurious to local manufacturing and production. Again, the issue of a total floating exchange rate is illegal by virtue of Section 16 of the CBN Act. As has already been sufficiently argued by Mr. Femi Falana, SAN and other patriotic, experienced and competent Nigerians.

“While he is far from achieving his promises to Nigerians, the ones he is implementing are illegal or injurious to the economy. How are we to survive policies that keep the country’s forex almost at the total mercy of Bureau De Change Operators and even cryptocurrency influences? We can rejoice temporarily that by daily issuance of circulars and a clamp down on BDCs, there is a downward trend in the forex crisis, but where is the stability promised? None available and none in sight. It is now clear that Mr. Yemi Cardoso was not and is not fit for this job.

“Yemi Cardoso’s tragic relationship with failed banks due to insolvency ranging from Citizens Bank to Spring Bank cast a definite dark shadow on his competence as a banker. We therefore, make bold to say that Mr. Cardoso is a disaster. There is nothing in his head and no magic can be expected from him. We urge Mr. President to act now, if he is sincere in fixing the economy and placing us on the path of growth and prosperity”.

The CSO ended by reiterating its commitment to mobilise Nigerians across all walks of life and other CSO’s for a sustained mega protest in the coming weeks across the federation including occupying all CBN branches, commercial bank premises and the National Assembly “if Cardoso does not resign or is not sacked. Enough is enough”!