CACOL Lauds CBN Initiative, ‘Turning The COVID-19 Tragedy Into An Opportunity’

…Applauds Lagos Govt House To House Effort

The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its management headed by the CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele for the patriotic and revolutionary proposition for turning the country’s economy around and thereby lend it the desired bite and functionality.

In a release, issued by CACOL on behalf of its Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran and signed by its Coordinator, Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga, he reflected, “Barely 24 hours ago, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, in a position paper he titled, ‘Turning the COVID-19 Tragedy into an Opportunity for a New Nigeria,” and made available to the public opined that Nigeria can take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and turn it to an opportunity and disclosed that the bank has plans to establish a N15 trillion InfraCo, an infrastructure vehicle, to build infrastructure facilities across the nation, adding that in the medium term, the apex bank would massively fund clean energy, in recognition of the critical role of electricity in the development of an economy. He noted how global food exporters are beginning to place restrictions on export; chances are that food insecurity will become a global crisis if the situation was sustained. To this effect, Emefiele said, rather than seek cooperative and global solutions several countries have resorted to imposing restrictions on the export of critical agricultural produce.

“Also, he recalled how Vietnam, the world largest exporter of rice suspended granting rice export certificates until the country ‘reviews domestic inventories and how Russia, the world largest wheat exporter, announced a 10-day ban on the export of bulk wheat and rice due to concerns over panic buying in local supermarkets.

“Even as he admitted how these developments are troubling, he observed much that they present clear opportunity to re-echo a persistent message the CBN has been sending for a long time and at this time, even more urgently so: we must look inwards as a nation and guarantee food security, high quality and affordable healthcare and cutting-edge education for our people. He agreed that building a self-dependent and stable polity is contingent on building a well-diversified and inclusive productive economy and recalled how only a few decades ago, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of palm oil, cocoa and groundnuts but today, we import nearly 600,000 metric tons of palm oil, while Indonesia and Malaysia, two countries that were far behind us in this crop, now combine to export over 90 per cent of global demand. In 2017, Indonesia earned US$12.6 billion from its oil and gas sector but US$18.4 billion from palm oil.

“The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL,  has always been in the forefront of organizations and institutions, clamouring for the diversification and repositioning of the economy is such a way that we are able to produce what we primarily consume for survival and export the excess for subsistence and reserves for importing what we are unable to locally produce while we continue to search for technology and breakthroughs in our capacity for inroad in such areas rather than continuation of illicit tradition of unscrupulous looting of scarce resources. This is why we agree with the CBN Governor, that, ‘this pandemic and the immediate response of many of our trading partners suggest it is now more critical than ever that we take back control, not just control over our economy, but also of our destiny and our future.’ It is noteworthy that Vietnam as an East Asia country of 97million people were battered by United States of America (USA) in the American-Vietnamese War leaving its economy in total ruins and the entire nation completely in ruins. It is however, to the credit of its gallant and resilient leadership and the people that today, the country is not only a large producer and exporter of rice, one of major staple foods in Africa and the world, it is also a leading manufacturer of telephones (Android), etc., with an economy that is more robust and vast than Nigeria’s economy. This is also the story of ‘Waste to Wealth’ that characterizes more viable global economies in the world today, i.e. Singapore, Malaysia and many others. The only requirement is a leadership that is genuinely ready and committed to change the decadent trajectory and chart a new path and a people, ready and willing to channel their inner spirit to positivity and innovations for the good of all. The aftermath of this coronavirus pandemic like every calamity that has befallen humanity and nations, offer us the unique and very rare occasion for such revolutionary and patriotic reflections for the sake of generations yet unborn.”

The CACOL Boss added, “We also commend the new initiative of the Lagos state government under governor Sanwo-Olu in tackling the coronavirus pandemic in the state. The effort of an House to House search for people that are likely afflicted with the coronavirus symptoms has led to discovery of about 114 (One Hundred and Fourteen) people with the symptoms of the pandemic out of whom many may belong to similar ailments like flu, malaria, etc. We have  of the opinion that tracking the cycle and traffic of this virus would require more than sheer lockdown as many of the index cases must have spread the virus unknowingly due to its rate of contagiousness and the initial skepticism that attended information about its spread. We therefore call for the sustenance of this approach in a way that nooks and crannies of the entire state is covered while we appeal to other states to take note as a collective resolve for actually flattening the curve of the pandemic in our country, once and for all.”

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