Emefiele’s Replacement: Cardoso and the Sacked 19 CBN Directors

Emefiele’s Replacement: Cardoso and the Sacked 19 CBN Directors

By Bolaji O. Akinyemi.

I still find it hard to believe that Igbos are given to tribalism where productivity and National politics is concerned. That’s my position in view of the volume of money in custody of Emefiele. Had Emefiele been a Yoruba man, he would have been supported in his corruption venture by the Yoruba Ronu crowd; joblessness lay about garage touts who would have hired buses and drummers and dancers from every Local Government Areas in the South West to rescue their son who has stolen enough to pay the bills that the logistics of their appearances in Abuja court to protest against his trial will generate.

Put the support for the lousy loud mouthed Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on his court appearance day side by side Emefiele’s; You will agree with me that an average Igbo man likes to work for his money, any kind of work though. The alright sir, “owo meji loke”, “ekira fun Baba” attitudes of the Yorubas is not in the nature of the Igbo man.

Had Emefiele come from the North, that would have made the protest against the government a lot easier. With enough money in hand to feed a million Almajiri, none of the court sessions would have held. The court premises would have been taken over by Almajiri in hope of morning Koko and akara then afternoon tuwo!

To imagine that Emefiele aspired for candidacy in APC is to tell Nigerians that there are many more Emefieles, elected or appointed through APC. Therefore, the path of objective criticism that some of us have chosen against this Government is the most noble contribution any Patriot can undertake in our collective responsibility to see the country rescued.

I have not been sparing in my criticism of the Government and this is not about to change. Neither am I impressed about Cadoso’s performance and the mileage gained by the CBN in its attempts to rescue the Nation’s economy. But how conscientious can you be at blaming a man you sent into a house whose light has been switched off by the previous Occupier for stumbling in his attempt to find the switch and light up the house to get to work!

In my article, titled; Replacing Emefiele: review of the past, the future in view. I made many suggestions that I would like us to reflect upon as we take a look at CBN operations under Cadoso, Emefiele’s replacement.

Emefiele was suspended from office by President Bola Tinubu in 2023, following investigations into operations at the bank.

I wrote, the piece, representing an average Nigerian’s thought process of what was, what is and what should be as far as CBN and its Governorship is concerned! I didn’t know about macro and micro economic indices in 1979, but I lived in admiration of the power of One Naira and what it could buy, back in those days.

In the article, I prayed a prayer; “May Emefiele never happen to Nigeria again”!

 Of course, I stated the combined failure that Buhari and Emefiele constituted and pointed out the level of system rottenness in CBN that must have supported the level of never seen before failure of the CBN under Emefiele; “However, it will be unfair to treat the combined efforts of Buhari Emefiele separately. If Emefiele was fatal in failure it was because Buhari enabled him. Emefiele did not fail alone as CBN Governor, the institution failed him and failed us. Isolating Emefiele for prosecution or persecution as the enemies of Nigerians will like to refer our accountability demand on him will make no difference if we aren’t prepared to look beyond Emefiele.

Looking beyond Emefiele will demand that we take a cue from other developed democracies where qualification of those to be appointed to head institutions resides in the institution they are to lead. This will excuse the President from the error of appointment based on political leanings. Qualifications naturally will balance performance. When an individual fails as a result of not being qualified, it is an indictment of the system and the state. Going forward, both the system and the state must be excused from failure of individuals so that, persons, privileged of the office can bear full responsibility.

In the lamentation of the Board Chairman of NDIC, Abdulhakeem Abdulateef, he wailed; “there is corruption, there is corruption, let’s cry! Let us cry for Nigeria!”

Indeed there is corruption, and his name is not Emefiele, so removing Emefiele isn’t removing corruption. Yes, he must answer for his alleged financial crimes to serve as a deterrent to others.

We must not ignore the institution check of the CBN as an institution. The assented bill by Buhari that gave so much power to CBN Governor against the institution must be revisited by the 10th National Assembly. The strength of CBN resides in its independence. The right of the Ministry of Finance to supervise the CBN must not be denied. The man at the helm of affairs must not be subservient to office but to the institutional lay down of the CBN.  Representation of Regions must be back at NDIC. NDIC must be removed from the pocket of CBN to earn trust of depositors and guarantee insurance of funds. A CBN allowed to do as it wishes can only produce another Emefiele.

It is more about replacing the whole Board of Directors who are all culpable including all the 23 Departmental Directors who kept quiet on their watch while Emefiele was running riot of all morals and integrity.

Axing Emefiele alone and leaving 34 other people who kept quiet while he was behaving like an Emperor is nothing but injustice*. *The President must not just be interested in a new Governor but a new CBN*.

PBAT, should put his broom to work through the new Governor to be appointed at CBN as he did at the Ministry of Defence.

Can we ignore the culpability of former President Buhari and the institution of the Presidency under whose watch Emefiele thrived in “thievery” without any check?

There are 34 Officers of the CBN who should by now be sitting in the investigating room of EFCC. This again emphasizes the need for an efficient EFCC, which can only be attained if a round peg the President will find to put in the round hole of EFCC.

The CBN like EFCC should be made to work in the best interest of Nigeria.

Without cowing to partisan spirit or tribe and religion, people of impeccable integrity with sincerity of purpose and truly proven leadership skills that are required to fill these important gaps do not have to know the President to be fished out and appointed.

CBN must witness a restructuring and not dismemberment as being proposed by the current administration. What is needed at CBN is not their men out and our people in, but a holistic approach to get CBN up and running.

A muted financial system where people see things but say nothing is catastrophic! That is what our experience was with Emefiele led CBN. CBN must now become an institution that discovered its voice by enabling all her people to discover their voices and bring their best into performing the job they have been employed to do.

LCI, Leadership Collaboration and Intervention should be the direction of the new CBN, this should be driven by best practices for our financial system health.

ear in mind that I had queried where the Deputy Governors and the department Heads (Directors) were when Emefiele took his driving of the CBN bus through the ignoble route that brought us to this quagmire of an economy. I did say no magic should be expected if we concluded that Emefiele is all that is the problem of CBN. There has to be an holistic approach to reinventing the CBN.

Moreover the CBN has a policy that exits departmental heads after 8 years of service as directors. So the question is whether those concerned had spent 8 years or not on their desks as Directors.

Furthermore, the system operation at CBN bestows imperialism on the office of the Directors, so much so that management dances to their tune. Easing them out I don’t think is a punitive measure but simply a system rejigging initiative backed by policy.

Don’t forget that before the naira swapping came to public knowledge, certain Clerics from the North were out in the open cautioning the CBN not to remove the Arabic inscriptions on the naira notes. How did they get to know about the project?

Another question is; how did the recommendation of the Management for movement of certain Departments to Lagos and the support of the President for that decision get leaked and was made a big issue by the Oligarchy?

Finally, the directorate and consequently the Directors are the prime decision makers of the CBN. It’s impossible to move out the controversial $6.2 million for which former President Buhari is denying signing the approval. So what is the level of internal involvement of external efforts sabotaging the CBN? At this point we just have to follow Cadoso blindly to do what he is hired to do; fix CBN!

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