Worried by what it considers spurious and consistent attacks on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its governor, Godwin Emefiele, a group known as the Nigeria Economic Advancement Forum, has lambasted Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, saying he has an ulterior motive behind his sudden criticisms of the CBN in particular and President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic policies in general.
In a rather lengthy statement issued yesterday and signed by its National Chairman, Abduljamid Musa and National Secretary, Mercy Daniel, the group maintained that “the mission and intentions of Vice President Osinbajo can barely be disguised,” especially as he has in the last seven years swallowed ” hook-line-and-sinker, politics, programmes and policies of the Buhari administration,” questioning what has now changed.
The statement said it is worrisome that at a time Nigeria, like other nations, is striving to jumpstart its economy following the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the vice president is opting to “break ranks with President Muhammadu Buhari and his government.
Describing the vice president as “the biggest ostrich in town,” the group wondered why Professor Osinbajo would drag in the mud the monetary and fiscal policies of a government he serves as second-in-command and defacto head of the economic management team.
According to the group, the just ended Mid-term Performance Review Retreat for Ministers, Managers of Nigeria’s economy and other top officials of government , was an inappropriate platform for Osinbajo to have asked the CBN governor to adjust the Naira exchange rate “to be as reflective of the market as possible to boost supply”, pretending not to know the cocktail of factors that led to that, as an official of the administration with an unfettered access to privileged information. This was even as it condemned the vice president for saying that the Naira exchange rate was “artificially low and discourages foreign capital inflow to the country.”
The forum noted that the CBN has since the pandemic, been working assiduously to stem the rapid fall of the Naira against the Dollar. It posited that the CBN under Emefiele has often explained that no currency is managed at fixed rate value and that the value of any currency is to the degree of the strength of the economy of the concerned nation.
To drive home its point the group also gave a long list of the economic policies spearheaded by the CBN under Emefiele and carpet the VP for turning the “solemn forum into a soapbox of sorts to grandstand, or betterstill campaign, this time against his boss, the President and by extension, the administration”.
The group then called out the VP on his “sudden, populist pretensions against a soft-target” such as the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele .
The statement also took a swipe at the VP for what it considers a misplaced use of “convenient and political savvy to scapegoat the CBN” and the nation’s monetary policies that he has been part of, for years.