2023: CSOs Slam Akeredolu, Ezekwesili, Others Over False Attacks Against Emefiele

<strong>2023: CSOs Slam Akeredolu, Ezekwesili, Others Over False Attacks Against Emefiele</strong>
  • x-ray achievements of the CBN Gov, say he’s most qualified

Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, over 1,000 Civil Society Organisations under the auspices of Coalition of Civil Society Groups, CCSG, has thrown its weight behind the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, after purchase of presidential forms at the National Headquarters of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abuja.

The coalition pointed out that they are giving their support to Emefiele’s presidential ambition because of his unparalleled achievements, professionalism and patriotism he brought to bear on managing the various sectors of the economy as the nation’s apex bank Governor.

In a statement signed and delivered at a world press conference in Abuja on Saturday by the President, CCSG, Etuk Bassey Williams, and Secretary General, CCSG, Abubakar Ibrahim and several civil society organisations, the coalition said Emefiele can vie for any political position in Nigeria like any other Nigerian based on his constitutional rights.

In this vein, the group cautioned Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu ,SAN, and one time Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili as well as politicians whom the group noted have ganged up to malign and run down Emefiele, and warned that the groups sponsored by the intimidated politicians should immediately desist from their cheap blackmail and calls for him to resign.

Furthermore, the coalition expressed dismay over the poor strategy some politicians aimed at overheating the polity, and said would be vehemently resisted if they still go ahead.

 “It is really unfortunate that some politicians have nothing to offer because they have run out of steam and are only out to blackmail credible Nigerians who do not rest but keep the economy working.

“We need to tell the naysayers’ and other paid agents that during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emefiele was able to mobilise the private sectors and salvage the situation, despite the harsh financial state of the country, he also introduced several policies to support the poor; the farmer’s anchor borrower programme that just witnessed first of its kind of rice pyramid a few months ago”, the statement read in parts.

According to the CCSG “Given his pedigree, Emefiele was expected to bring on board novelties at the Bank and that he wasted no time in doing. While building on the policies of his predecessors, the core of Emefiele’s innovative stance at the CBN was development financing.

“To him, the CBN was to act as a financial catalyst by targeting strategic sectors that could create jobs on a mass scale and reduce the country’s import bills. He declared that the CBN would deploy developmental initiatives to create an enabling environment with appropriate incentives to empower innovative entrepreneurs to drive growth and development, and today we are seeing the impact and results”.

Statistics reveal that more than 1 million farmers cultivating over 16 different commodities in the country’s 36 States have so far benefited from the programme, which has also generated over three million direct and indirect jobs across agricultural value chains as at end 2019.

In a bold move to contain rising inflation and to cushion the impact of the drop in the supply of foreign exchange to the Nigerian economy, he adopted unconventional monetary policies that he himself described as extraordinary measures needed to tackle extraordinary challenges.

The statement also indicated that, “Interestingly, not only did the CBN tighten monetary policy rates over a period, the Bank introduced demand management approaches to conserve Nigeria’s reserves and support domestic production of certain goods. In a bid to encourage local manufacturers to consider local options in sourcing their raw materials, the CBN, under his leadership restricted access to foreign exchange on 41 items, now increased to 43. Four of these items alone, at the time, constituted over N1trillion of Nigeria’s annual import bill. In addition to this, the Bank also established an Investors and Exporters, I&E, window, which allowed investors and exporters to purchase and sell foreign exchange at the prevailing market rate.

“Then there was the further liberalisation of the foreign exchange market through the operationalisation of the Revised Guidelines for the Operation of the Nigerian Inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market in June 2016. The commencement of this policy guideline introduced the Naira Settled Foreign Exchange Futures Market.

Due to the weakening of the Naira at the time, coupled with the exposure of several banks to the oil and gas sector, which squeezed the balance sheets of some domestic banks, the CBN intensified its risk-based supervision of the banks to guarantee financial stability”.

In spite of the effect of the recession that Nigeria experienced, her economy remained the largest in Africa by the size of its GDP, the statement added.

 While bemoaning Nigeria’s high import bills, in excess of N1.3 trillion annually, particularly for items such as rice, fish, wheat and sugar, the Apex Bank’s boss said the Bank’s Interventions in the agricultural sector would be driven towards improving productivity in areas with high domestic demand, where opportunities exist to improve domestic supply, such as rice, fish, wheat and sugar and conservation of foreign exchange.

“We can go on and on about the great achievement he has recorded and surpassed his predecessors. He is qualified to be the President of Nigeria, and no wonder the issue of campaign banners of Emefiele is the handwork of Nigerians who are pleased with his effort and achievement as a CBN Governor.

“This also points to his loyalty to Mr. President and his desire to make the APC government deliver on their promises to Nigeria.

“The call is a clarion call for his service to the nation at large, having performed credibly well.

“We also pass “Vote of Confidence” on the workaholic and goal-getter game changer, Mr Godwin Emefiele, as we throw our weight behind him, and we promised to use our massive structures across the 36 States and FCT in all 744 local government areas to ensure we mobilise Nigerians to actualise the Emefiele Presidency come 2023.

“We are resolved and rooted to make this happen as we traverse Nigeria. Those who know they cannot stand out heat should join us to ensure a credible and vibrant leader takes over and continues to build on the successes recorded by the Buhari-led administration.

However, they said nobody or groups can chase Emefiele out of office, and warned that they would not sit down and watch some politicians threaten and intimidate a patriotic Nigerian like the CBN Governor.


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