Naira Scarcity: Emefiele Plans to Scuttle Tinubu's Victory, Says Ex-Minister
A former minister of finance in Nigeria, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has accused the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, of attempting to scuttle the victory of the event of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
Okonjo-Iweala released a statement accusing Emefiele of criminal acts of accumulating illicit funds in order to finance the opposition’s presidential campaign. She further alleged that the Central Bank Governor is deliberately creating a shortage of foreign currency to hamper the well-being of Nigeria’s economy.
Accusations of Illicit Funds
Okonjo-Iweala has accused Emefiele of accumulating millions of dollars in illicit funds in order to finance the opposition's presidential campaign. She claims that he has been illegally appropriating funds from the governor’s reserve and other unknown sources, a move which is in direct violation of the CBN Act.
Deliberate Naira Scarcity
Okonjo-Iweala alleges that Emefiele is deliberately creating a shortage of foreign currency in order to impede the well-being of Nigeria’s economy. She claims that the shortage of the Naira is a tactic to undermine Tinubu’s chance of victory in the upcoming presidential election.
The Way Forward
It is essential that the Central Bank of Nigeria take firm action to address the charges, and to ensure that the upcoming elections will be held in a fair and transparent manner. In light of these accusations, the following steps must be taken:
- Conduct an investigation into the allegations of illegal appropriation of funds, and take suitable action if warranted.
- Increase the amount of foreign currency available in the market to increase its availability and reduce the strain on the Naira.
- Bring about more transparency in Central Bank's operations and ensure that all activities are within the boundaries of the law.
The current allegations against Emefiele have serious implications for the stability of Nigeria’s economy and must be resolved as soon as possible. The Central Bank must take swift and decisive action to ensure that this crisis is averted, and that free and fair elections are held.
The former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has accused Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, of attempting to scuttle the victory of the Governor of Lagos, Babajide Tinubu, in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.
Speaking at a public forum organised by the Centre for Economic and Leadership Development (CELD), Iweala accused the CBN Governor of taking actions – such as keeping tight control on the national currency, the Naira, and not allowing it to appreciate – which would run contrary to the achievement of Governor Tinubu's achievements in Lagos State.
Iweala claimed that Emefiele had deliberately held onto the Naira, which she called “scarcity of Naira”, as a way to ‘devalue' Tinubu' success stories. She alleged that the CBN governor has been trying to stifle the country's economic boom, as exemplified by Tinubu's successes in Lagos, by hindering foreign exchange coming into the country.
“The apex bank is not appreciating the nation’s currency at this period to enable people to benefit from it in terms of purchasing power and for other reasons. This is why the apex bank is withholding the Naira and not allowing it to appreciate”, Iweala said.
Iweala further accused the CBN governor of keeping tight control on the nation’s currency, thus limiting the amount of money that can be traded and accessed by Nigerians. She also urged the CBN Governor to take action to allow the Naira to appreciate and make it more accessible.
Iweala’s assertion has been met with mixed reactions, with many in the economic community echoing her sentiments, while others have questioned her accuracy and motives. Meanwhile, the CBN has remained silent on the allegations made by the former Finance Minister.