As the news of the arrest of Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele filtered in, I smiled and paid tribute to the late currency economist, Henry Moyo who made profound contributions to the public discourse on devaluation, and asserted that “Naira Devaluation Be Like 419!”
I do not covet this Tinubu Regime for the arrests over the $1billion allegedly borrowed from Afrexim after the elections. But I also strongly believe that Emefiele and other CBN governors before him from Soludo to Sanusi should be in jail by now. What they have done in succession to the Naira is to systematically deplete its values. This is what is called “Naira Devaluation” in neo-liberal language. It is quite a simple but hazardous scheme to keep the Naira worthless make the dollarization of the Nigerian economy can be easier and faster.
Sadly, economic terms like “Devaluation”, “deregulation,” “liberalisation” and the rest are used in such sugar-coated manners that Nigerians think they would perform miracles on revamping the economy. Whereas, simple studies show that these terms all flow from the Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP) that the local capitalists, in conjunction with IMF and World Bank have forced on the Nigerian working people from the early eighties.
Simple history also shows that these policies never work for working-class people anywhere, either in developing or developed countries. They are meant to undermine the way an economy could somehow work for the people while making rich people that constitute the ruling class richer. Currency Devaluation was forced on Germany after the loss of the 1st World War by the United States and European giants. The German Mark got to almost a thousand in exchange for a dollar. This outrightly killed the economy and helped to prop up Fascist formations like Hitler’s Nazi party. So, those who are devaluing the Naira are doing same to totally destroy the economy.
Whether it IS Buhari or Tinubu, they all know that the continuous devaluing of the Naira pays only big businesses and monopolists like Dangote and his cohorts. Nigerian rulers all know that there could be radical alternatives to devaluing the naira. an improved. But these would require challenging the current world order and the imperialists at the top of its ladder. However, what matters to the Nigerian ruling and business class is to get more gains, and also accumulate wealth as junior partners to their imperialist masters.
As to those who simply call for fixed rates, the answer to resolving an issue is not to keep swimming in the same. The way to go is to get the state to massively produce and sell locally. Instead of waiting for rogue private profiteers and the ever funny Foreign Direct Investments (FDI,) Nigeria should go back to its state captainship of industries from Cotton to Oil to Steel. This will not only help to skyrocket the Gross Domestic product (GDP) to a spectacular high globally, it will greatly and swiftly resolve the unemployment palaver where Nigeria rates top with 33%. Millions will be lifted from poverty, instead of the rubbish of making a few billionaires and trillionaires who live off the people’s collective patrimony.
The Naira is now about N750 to a dollar in the black market. Arresting Emefiele is great, but it will not change the status of the Naira. So, any serious president who wants to revamp the Nigerian economy and make sure the GDP is proportional to the Human Development Index (HDI) should not just arrest Godwin Emefiele and his accomplices like Buhari and Lucky Irabor, the Chief of Defence Staff, the wicked and poverty weaponizing policy of Naira Devaluation must be arrested and thrown into the dustbin of history!
by Kunle Wizeman AJAYI