The Nigerian Patriotic Quest (NPQ), a group of Nigerian professionals based in the diaspora, has refuted claims in certain quarters that Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele was behind the devaluation of the naira.
A statement by the group’s Co-ordinator Ahmed Ja’ Usman Tijani, said some detractors are out to damage the profile of Emefiele and make him a scapegoat by twisting facts to deceive the public.
He said: “Some self-serving groups have adopted the infantile strategy of overturning the facts, to deceive the people and hopefully damage or curtail the ever rising profile of Godwin Emefiele. Nothing can be further from the truth, as the reasons for the economic challenges facing the nation, with the consequent devaluation of the naira, are very obvious to all objective commentators.”
He explained that the country was affected by the drop in price of crude oil between 2015 and 2020 at an average of $25 per barrel.
According to him, the ‘mutually destructive oil price war’ between Russia and Saudi Arabia dealt a massive blow on the nation’s economy and other oil-producing countries.
This, he said, affected the inflow of dollars into the economy,thus, leading to a decline in the value of the naira.
He added that the nation’s foreign reserves suffered a dip from a high of $47 billion in 2012 to about $33 billion dollars in 2020.
“We should further, bear in mind that this was at the time when Russia and Saudi Arabia were engaged in the mutually destructive oil price war that wreaked havoc on the economy of most oil-producing nations, especially Nigeria.
This situation affected the inflow of dollars into the economy and as can be expected led to the drop in the value of the Naira, due to a surfeit of Naira pursuing very scarce dollars. To put this in stark relief, the nation’s foreign reserves plunged from a high of $47 billion in 2012 to about $33 billion dollars in 2020,” he said.
He, however, hailed Emefiele and his team at the CBN for stabilising the economy.
According to him the CBN Governor had put measures in place to arrest the decline in the economy. He said such measures include innovative intervention programmes cutting across agriculture,industries, energy, infrastructure,among others.
“The CBN under Emefiele has gone out of it’s way in search of solutions to the numerous problems facing the economy. These efforts have manifested in the diverse and very innovative intervention programmes cutting across agriculture, industries, energy, infrastructure, etc.
“We should give credit to Emefiele and his team at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for how they managed the national economy at this very troubling time without it collapsing totally,” he said.
Tijani further stated that without the crucial interventions of the CBN Governor,the country would have been in a more serious economic crisis.