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Re: Tinubu’s Emefiele decision

I had planned to build on my arguments on ‘Tinubu’s Emefiele decision’ which appeared on this page last week. But as it were, the piece…

I had planned to build on my arguments on ‘Tinubu’s Emefiele decision’ which appeared on this page last week. But as it were, the piece elicited quite a few reactions from readers, which I always value, not just because I gain a lot from it, but also because talking back is important for the same reasons that public commentary is important.

Many of the things I wanted to add today have been said by some of the readers.  I have, therefore, reproduced some of the reactions here, including one from a ‘concerned CBN staff’, and my reply to him/her in a text message.

Ultimately, for me, the problem for Tinubu is not if he should sack Mr Emefiele or not, but when and especially how. The removal from office of a CBN governor is no small matter of policy or politics, and even where it becomes necessary, as I believe it does in Emefiele’s case, it must be done in accordance with due process.

This is particularly so for Tinubu who, as a candidate, openly accused the government, and by implication, the leadership of the CBN, of aiming to sabotage his election by the naira redesign policy. This makes what several readers here have suggested—for Tinubu to sack Emefiele—difficult, since it would also appear political and probably diminish the legitimacy of whoever is appointed next.

Perhaps,  appointing Special Prosecutor to look into the whole CBN naira redesign policy would be a more appropriate approach.

Haba Suleimannnnnnnn!

What’s our offence again???? I thought we should be allowed to be, now that elections are over!!! I think what you should have sought to find out before this, was whether there was a request to redesign currency before now.

Again, I wish you would have read the part for the Act that talked about redesign and the role of the president.

Similarly, l advise you to find out the relationship between currency redesign and monetary policy. Many people think redesign is part of the policy. It is not.

We have our MPC as we speak but we don’t wait for the president to approve our decisions. We had to get presidential approval for currency redesign… It’s all part of the price of a governor of the Central Bank from a developing country.

You just have to pity us. We are just being obedient servants to the country.

Concerned CBN staff

Okay, Sir/Madam. Thank you very much for the additional information. I am better guided. I also agree about the developing country context. Certainly, it is a difficult job with loads of expectations, some of them, unrealistic. I understand that. But Mr Emefiele has made it even harder for himself, in view at least… I believe that the policy influenced the election and it doesn’t matter in whose favour actually.

I also believe that given the political climate, the CBN governor ought to have been more circumspect so that he would not appear to become enmeshed in politics, which unfortunately is what has happened.

The real problem that draws the CBN governor into the politics of it all is the timing/short window and lack of new currency. It is all the President, yes. But my point is that the CBN has a duty to not get enmeshed in politics, and by making the new currency sufficiently available, and by giving a wider window, the appearance of being enmeshed in politics would have been avoided.

And honestly, there is nothing wrong with a CBN governor, whether Mr Emefiele or any other, to want to be president. But the first thing to do in that case would have been to resign and go for it, instead of standing on the fence and looking to have it both ways. That is the problem.


Emefiele’s tenure as CBN governor has been a disaster for the country and the general public. The suffering and hardship deliberately imposed on the public by the currency redesign policy is the clearest evidence of that.

Emefiele played into President Buhari’s penchant for “fighting” corruption by all means by selling him the idea that currency redesign would help in that fight. So Buhari took ownership of the policy with characteristic zealotry, allowing no on-hand experience to influence implementation.

Actually, Emefiele may not wait until the handover to Tinubu. It’s a sure bet that he is a Nigerian-American, going by reports of an alleged row between him and a relative in the United States over a $24 million real estate deal. He may just hightail it to the US before that and leave Tinubu to fix the mess.

M T Usman

I read and agreed with all that you said. There is a total lack of honour and integrity among Nigeria’s public officials. Buhari should have sacked Emefiele the moment he showed interest in partisan politics.

The catastrophic currency exchange was enough for Emefiele to vacate office and for Buhari to profusely apologise to Nigerians.

Disobeying the Supreme Court ruling was an egregious display of shameless arrogance of power. It was disingenuous for Buhari to shift the blame to Emefiele and Malami who are his appointees. If he addressed the nation and defiantly ordered only N200 as legal tender, why didn’t he do another address?

I have long lost respect for the CBN governor who appears beholden to a special interest.

Ambassador Dahiru Suleiman

Your column of yesterday on Daily Trust back page refers, please. I totally agree with you on the many political games committed by him in violation of his oath of office. For that reason and many others, he should be arrested and prosecuted.

The naira has been losing against the dollar, from N150 to the dollar to currently N800-N900 because of his criminal activities.

When Mr Ani was Finance Minister, he used the Diaspora remittances (currently about 30 billion US dollars, far more than the foreign direct investment) to stabilise the naira.

What is happening now is the CBN under Emefiele, in collusion with the commercial banks, are recycling the remittances back in effect robbing the economy of the chance to strengthen the naira as Mr Ani did.

The question is, what is our current finance minister doing or is Emefiele more powerful? The man should be arrested and prosecuted as more of his crimes would then be uncovered and he would not be alone.

  1. I. Sodangi

If I am Bola Ahmed Tinubu elected as the president of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will sack Mr Godwin Emefiele as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)


Tinubu’s Emefiele decision is simple: let the discredited CBN (mis) governor voluntarily step aside ahead of the president-elect’s inauguration, or be fired shortly after with ignominy.

You craftily played with words on whether he was guilty as charged on some of the legal violations listed in your piece. If he could deny any partisan political involvement in the violation of the CBN extant law, what about paying the N100m APC presidential nomination form?

On the currency redesign issue, why was he unapologetically adamant amidst the agony caused by its botched implementation? What of the flagrant disregard of the Supreme Court ruling on the currency swap saga several days after it was made?

But the bottom line is, PMB, on whose table the buck stops, had tolerated and bolstered the ego of Emefiele beyond imagination. This is someone the president inherited from former President Jonathan amidst the Dasuki arms money scandal and yet kept him on the job.

To worsen matters, his tenure was renewed after it expired despite his questionable performance. He was still left on the job despite all the political, social and economic mishaps caused by the conspiracy-laden currency redesign exercise.

It looks as though there is more than meets the eye in the relationship between the presidency and the intransigent CBN governor.


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