A rights group, Save Nigeria Movement has described a publication in the Pilot Newspaper, February 8 edition, credited to Reform Nigeria Now (RNN), a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) youth group, in Makurdi, the Benue State capital where it accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of favouring members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the bank’s policies as empty allegation.
The group also hinted that the RNN in a desperate attempt to malign the CBN and its management exposed its ignorance by failing to point out any policy of the Godwin Emiefele led CBN policy that favoured only members of the ruling APC.
A statement signed by the group’s convener Rev. Solomon Semaka and made available to journalists in Abuja, wondered why anybody would be so clueless as to blame a man who has done so much for the Nigerian economy, making it strong and resilient.
According to the statement, it is surprising that even though the CBN under Mr Emiefele has ensured that those who accessed its intervention programmes are genuine businessmen and those who truly needed it unlike the previous regimes where a few racketeers were milking the country dry, will be accused on speculative innuendoes.
The SNM maintained that only those who were profiteering from the lapses of a weak CBN are likely to throw tantrums now that the leakages are blocked.
“We are sad and disappointed at the handiwork of mischief makers who are intimidated by the robust economic reforms going on in the apex banking institution in the country. There is no doubt that those who ripped the country dry of foreign exchange have resorting to blackmail. They must know that nothing will derail the CBN and its leader from serving the country faithfully.
“While the world was groaning under the weight of the economic hardship brought about by COVID-19, Mr. Emiefele and his team quickly swung into action and insisted that the best way to stimulate the economy was to encourage domestic production. To this, the CBN in conjunction with Nirsal Microfinance Bank awarded loans to millions of Nigerians under the Targeted Credit Facility Scheme for households and SMEs. The fact that the Nigerian economy rather grew even in the face of a near collapse of world economies is a huge testament to the astuteness of the CBN governor and his policies” the statement noted.
Similarly, unemployment was one of the greatest challenges of the Nigerian economy. Successive efforts to reduce youth unemployment did not often yield results but recently, the youth-friendly policies of the CBN have drastically reduced youth unemployment in the country through different intervention schemes initiated and funded by the CBN for the benefit of all Nigerians regardless of political, tribal and religious affiliations.
“The CBN in the last few years has drastically reduced youth unemployment through proactive and youth-friendly interventions such as the Tertiary Institution Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIESS), the Youth Empowerment Development Programme (YEDP) in conjunction with FCMB and several other programs which are exclusively targeted towards youth empowerment. How can anybody claim that these policies are pro- APC when it is clear that they are for the good of the economy?” The group wondered.
The introduction of the e-naira and several other policies of the CBN, the firm regulation of commercial banks especially in the area of arbitrary charges, deductions, as well as the prompt responses of the CBN consumer protection committee to the excesses of money banks and other financial institutions are policies undertaken for the good of every Nigerian. Politicizing these noble initiatives and policies only to discredit a man whose track record is blameless is shameful.
“Nigerians cannot continue to entertain the gimmicks of failures who feel they can drag noblemen to the court of public opinion without any concise allegations and hope to win. The CBN has done so well to stabilize the exchange rate of the naira to the dollar and is doing everything within its power to bring it down even more. Those who are bent on tarnishing the image of Governor Godwin Emiefele with the aim of pushing him away so that they can continue their nefarious acts should stay clear”, the group convener warned.