Opinion: Nipping In The Bud The Nefarious Emefiele’s Agenda

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By Tokunbo Adaja

I think, Nigerians should by now be wise enough, especially patriotic Nigerians and leaders, to know that the future of Nigeria depends on our collective desire to make necessary sacrifices and contributions for our collective survival.

The prevailing scarcity of the redesigned naira notes does not mean that we should allow the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to adopt unorthodox method in filling the gap. The explanation of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, during the meeting of the Council of State in Abuja that the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc (NSPM) lacks the capacity to print the required quantity of currency for the nation should be considered as a ploy for Mr. Emefiele to ‘sell’ the country to foreigners or agencies. It must be recalled that the CBN, as originally reported, instructed the NSPM to print 500 billion naira which was delivered as agreed upon without any issue. Mr. Emefiele never accused the establishment of incompetence or ‘lack of capacity’ when the redesigned naira notes were presented to and launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2022.

Also, when this crisis started, Mr. Emefiele assured Nigerians that enough notes had been produced and distributed to all the banks in Nigeria, including agents that will attend to the needs of people living in rural communities. Mr. Emefiele further claimed that the scarcity was caused by hoarding as well as sharp practices engaged in by bank executives, and promised that, CBN would trail and bring to book all the saboteurs. Also, CBN showed to Nigerians, video clips where the new notes were kept or hidden behind old notes in some commercial banks.

It is, however, nonsensical and contrary to logic for Mr, Emefiele to turn round and present to the Council of State on Friday 10th, February 2023 that the NSPM Plc ‘lacks the capacity’ to produce the required quantity of the redesigned notes. Thus, suggesting that CBN may need to print the notes outside Nigeria. This, to me, is a dangerous development.
Nigerians will recall that the subsidy phenomenon that has become unresolvable started, like this, in the 1990s when the NNPC was accused of inability to refine enough petroleum products for the nation’s daily consumption. And, approval was granted for the importation of refined petroleum products to bridge the gap between production and consumption. Today, that supposedly patriotic action has become a monster and a nightmare to both the high and the low in Nigeria.

Any attempt to go the way of printing our currency outside Nigeria means that we have collectively agreed to mortgage and ruin the economy. If fuel tankers, crude oil, etc could disappear, without any trace, in Nigeria and no agency or official could be held accountable; what will then happen to ‘imported’ naira notes?

Nigerians should not because of the subsisting hardship fall into the gimmicks of some selfish and unpatriotic Nigerians that are interested in ‘pocketing’ the nation as well as enriching themselves. Mr. Emefiele’s CBN should be stopped from contracting the printing of the redesigned naira notes to foreign agencies or individuals. The NSPM Plc should be encouraged to live up to the expectations of Nigerians by printing the required quantity of the redesigned notes while Nigerians should exercise patience for things to normalize. The current experience, to me, was premeditated by some cabals to achieve their economic and political interests. If not, how on earth can CBN mopped up 2.1 trillion naira from circulation and replaced it with 500 billion naira only?

Tokunbo Adaja is a Professor of Mass Communication at the Joseph Ayo Babalola University.

Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of Precision Online Newspaper.

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