By G9ija

The National Youth Council of Nigeria has blamed the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele’s poor economic management policies for the recent free-fall of the Naira.

The Naira within the week depreciated to an all-time low of N730 to a U.S dollar at the parallel market.

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission raided the Wuse Zone 4 Bureau De Change hub of Abuja over the falling naira.

The EFCC operatives are investigating claims that some individuals are mopping up and hoarding foreign currency thereby causing a scarcity that is driving up the value of the dollar.

But the NYCN in a statement on Sunday by its President, Comrade Solomon Adodo, faulted statements credited to the CBN governor alleging that the current free-fall of the Naira against other major currencies was as a result of the non-remittances of dollars to the foreign reserve by the NNPC Ltd.

He said the claims, “without highlighting the reality of the causative oil and non-oil related factors, including a drop in Nigeria’s crude oil production, growing petrol subsidy, an unsustainable dual exchange rate system, reduction in foreign direct investments and growing dependence on importation across many sectors of the economy as disingenuous and unpatriotic”.

Adodo knocked Emefiele for “completely failing to concentrate on his core mandate of price stability as the apex bank’s governor”.

He pointed out that with inflation at about 19 percent and the exchange rate nearing N800 to a dollar, the CBN governor should be held responsible for “deepening poverty in the country as he continues to work at cross-purposes” at President Muhammadu Buhari’s objective of reducing poverty and growing the economy.

The statement read, “The NYCN is therefore shocked by the comment of the Governor associating the free-fall of the parallel market rates to NNPC, even though it is purely a monetary policy issue and outside the purview of the NNPC.

“As a youth group, we have noted that the inability of the CBN to promptly release Joint Venture (JV) cash call funding from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) even when the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd had adequate cash cover, leading to the loss of JV Partners’ confidence to restore production and reap the benefits of today’s improved oil prices.

“We are in the know that for over three months now, dollar-denominated cash call payments amounting to over $400 million, properly processed, are yet to be paid by the CBN under Mr. Emefiele.

“The combined impact of CBN’s inability to promptly release JV cash call to restore production, the increasing losses due to crude oil theft, and production deferments has culminated in significant crude oil output losses of over 600, 000 barrels per day.

“We are taken aback that Mr. Governor is feigning ignorance that the country’s rising petrol subsidy cost, as well as the rising cost of external debt servicing, are all obligations affecting the economy. These affect NNPC’s remittances to the Federation Account.”

It added, “History shows that Mr. Emefiele is at sea on addressing monetary policy issues. We recall that in 2021, the CBN governor blamed Aboki FX for the depreciation of the Naira. He would later blame members of the Association Bureau De Change, which led to the stoppage of dollar sales to the group. At another time, he blamed the Naira’s depreciation on activities of money laundering, terrorism financing as well as politicians.

“Furthermore, Nigerians are bearing the brunt of the inaction of the CBN Governor as the Emirates Airlines, the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has reduced its flight operations to Nigeria over the inability of the CBN to repatriate about $85 million in revenue. Was the failure to repatriate Emirates funds also caused by the NNPC?

“From all indications since his failed presidential bid as well as his rejection by the All Progressives Congress, a partisan Emefiele has been doing all to rubbish the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari and this should no longer be permitted.

“As Nigerians concerned about the future of this country and before Mr. President heeds our clarion call to send Mr. Eemefiele packing from the CBN, we advise that the CBN considers among other options the World Bank’s recommendation of adopting a single market-responsive sustainable exchange rate, improving access to forex through well-defined periodic forex auctions, and signaling a renewed commitment to price stability as a primary goal of the apex bank.

“The NYCN further expresses the optimism that the NNPC’s transitioning into a limited liability entity in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), and its regulation now in line with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) would help resolve cash call payments delays as the company is now exempted from TSA, among others.”