Many economic analysts including
ourselves issued several warnings about the policies of Nigeria's Central Bank
governor, Godwin Emefiele; that they could only last so long and will
eventually run Nigeria into the ground.
Apart from being the headman during the
Jonathan era of handwritten notes authorized looting of the Apex bank, you
cannot kill the major employer and driver of jobs and the economy: the small
businesses, otherwise called SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and expect the
country to survive. It is simply not possible. 'Slave-driver'
Godwin's policies of restricting forex access to the masses and SMEs while only
giving same to the cabal large industries has only one possible outcome:
contraction and death of the economy and massive job loss as Nigeria is
currently experiencing. The many associated fines and levies by banks and now
by the new government make matters worse for the masses and their SMEs and
ultimately seal the coffin.
A well respected business authority, Mr.
Leo-Stan Ekeh warned
the Federal government this January after months of Godwin's forex
restriction policies that "99% of businesses will fold by March" if
the government continued the way it was going with foreign exchange. While the
then instituted monthly forex withdrawal limit was later raised, the small
businesses were condemned to a differential black market forex rate delivered
by the banks with the permission of Godwin in violation of the constitution
andSection 16 of the CBN Act 2007. This differential rate was unaffordable and
business failed to return. Thousands of shops
and small manufacturers have closed across the nation while only the
cabal were preserved and promised
unlimited access to CBN rate N197 dollars. The cabal/big business however
only employs a minute fraction of labor worldwide and in Nigeria, while SMEs
employ upwards of 70%! The recent job loss report –with over 500,000
jobs lost in just the past three months – is a testimony to Godwin's
reckless policies. The recession is the other.
Many of us were called
names for advising the Federal government to devalue
the devalued Naira to eliminate corruption, attract investment and
assist the already devalued currency attain a more reasonable rate as an
official devaluation will allow; but out of ego, adamance or the desire to
make a larger gap between the haves and have nots, the Central bank governor
and Presidency refused to devalue the Naira and allowed only the cabal access
to the official value. The consequences are here now.
Handouts to the poor is only palliative
and cannot fix the economy. SMEs must be encouraged and supported over and
above the cabal. When you kill the masses and only offer to turn them into
beggars on government stipends, you kill the economy.
Where there is life there is hope.
Godwin needs to be eased out. Nigeria needs a people's man and not a banker at
the helm of the Apex bank. There is good news at this eleventh hour that the
government is finally planning a fancy named devaluation. This will help;
hopefully it's not too late. We hope this 'flexible devaluation' will not again
be tailored to the advantage of the cabal and their industries over the masses
and their SMEs.
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