Nigeria’s Central Bank Needs To  Get Out Of Politics

The strong political influence on the CBN raises questions around the bank’s identity crisis.

By Tokunbo Afikuyomi, Jr. 

Many of you would have heard the rumour: Nigeria’s central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele (aka Meffy), is considering the 2023 presidential ticket. At first, the news shocked me, and then after a moment of processing, I realised that I shouldn’t be surprised. 

After all, Stears Business has been referring to Emefiele as Nigeria’s “de facto President” or “Nigeria’s most powerful governor” for years now.

From renovating the national theatre to launching the 100 for 100 policy to help Buhari’s plan to create millions of jobs, Emefiele has managed to stretch the limit of a traditional central banker and has gained some popularity along the way. In one of my more recent pieces, I contrasted Emefiele’s economic might with our more tepid finance minister.

Some takeaways:

  • In its bid to help finance different sectors of the economy, Nigeria’s central bank has become susceptible to political influence. 
  •  A lack of central bank independence has forced Nigeria into long periods of attempting to sustain a “strong” naira.
  • An overvalued currency makes it difficult to sustain our peg to the dollar, creating multiple exchange rates and dollar shortages—further worsening macroeconomic conditions.

Think about it, Meffy has even launched the world’s largest rice pyramid. While this rice wasn’t free, the connotations of rice sharing and election season in Nigeria is too tempting for this writer to ignore.

If you still think that Emefiele’s right to the presidential bid is a joke, remember that the Anchor Borrowers’ programme, one of many loan-related schemes under Emefiele, has supported around 5 million farmers. That’s a third of Buhari’s total votes in 2019.

How many people have that

Culled from StearsBusiness 

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