Some stakeholders in the Nigerian economy have said that monetary policy managers must avoid partisan politics at all costs.
They said this in exclusive chats with The PUNCH following the suspension of the former governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, by President Bola Tinubu on Friday.
In the build-up to the 2023 presidential elections, the All Progressives Congress Presidential Expression of Interest and Nomination forms were reportedly obtained for him by farmers and friends. Campaign posters indicating Emefiele might run for Nigeria’s presidency were also spotted in several cities across the country. The move had been criticised even as former president, Muhammadu Buhari, was called on to remove him from office.
Speaking on Emefiele’s suspension, Professor of capital market at the Nasarawa State University, Uche Uwaleke, said that it marked the end of a turbulent era.
While pointing out that Emefelie, to a large extent, succeeded in ensuring financial sector stability going by the prudential ratios. His forex demand management policies, especially the 41 items not qualified for forex, promoted import substitution, conserved external reserves and ensured relative stability in exchange rates, “he will also be remembered for the currency redesign exercise which didn’t go down well with Nigerians and the CBN Ways and Means which grew astronomically during his tenure.
“His greatest misstep was his attempt to join the list of Presidential candidates.”
Stating expectations of the next CBN governor, the former President of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Tunde Amolegbe said, “It’s clear the man has to redefine the role and not be a micromanager like the previous governor.
“He will also need to move away from partisan politics. He will need to return to an era of using monetary policies as a tool for achieving macroeconomic stability and growth. This will need to be done within the ambit of the market. Meaning all the ineffective intervention programs needs to be shuttered.
“He has to realise that working with other economic management agents is sacrosanct for him to be able to achieve his objectives so increased cooperation will be desirable. He also needs to bring more transparency and accountability to the activities of the institution to regain public trust and confidence.”
A consumer expert and faculty director at Lagos Business School, Uchenna Uzo, in his submission said, “We would expect policy innovation, initiatives targeted at boosting consumer confidence and local production.”
The Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), CBN, Folashodun Shonubi, has been directed by President Tinubu to take charge of the central bank.