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…threatens mass action if Cardoso fails to vacate office within 72hrs

 

As many as 100 non-governmental organizations, under the aegis of Economic Freedom Fighters, Nigeria (EFFN), have demanded that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu immediately sack the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Olayemi Cardoso for his ineptitude and lack of direction and to also declare a state of emergency on the economy.

At a press conference held in Lagos at the weekend, the CSOs cited the current economic crisis in the country, which they claim has proven that the CBN under Cardoso’s leadership has no answers to the crushing economic crisis that has brought the naira to a lifetime low with resulting hardship on citizens.

They said President Tinubu no longer has the luxury of assuming or pretending that Cardoso is doing a sterling job at the CBN when the Governor himself is aware that he is a failure when it comes to the management of the naira.

The naira lost value to N1,360.00 to the dollar on Friday, and the falling value of the naira has had a significant impact on the quality of life of Nigerians. The rise in the cost of living, the decrease in purchasing power, and the decrease in foreign investment have all contributed to the economic crisis in the country, which has also resulted in existential upsurge in crimes especially kidnap for ransom.

“The Nigerian economy is in a dire state, and the CBN has failed to take the necessary steps to address the situation, instead the apex banker is mired in internal politics that do nothing to halt the suffering of Nigerians. Cardoso ought not to have accepted the appointment as the Governor of CBN when he knew he was clueless about what has to be done to save the naira,” said Dr Amodu Ben, Convener of EFFA.

“We call on President Tinubu to take immediate action and remove Mr Cardoso from his position as Governor of the CBN. We also urge the president to declare a state of emergency on the economy and take bold steps to address the root causes of the crisis now that it is apparent that Cardoso has no answers to this problem.

“It will be injustice for Nigerians to endure more days of Cardoso in office knowing full well that things have only gotten worse since he assumed office with no end in sight. Instead of the firm directions that Nigerians expected the CBN to come on board with, currency racketeering has taken over the operations of the CBN, including the foreign exchange market. The stories filtering out of the regulator is that friends, family, and associates of the Governor are getting forex allocations that are making them nouveau rich while the rest of Nigerians are sinking into poverty,” Dr Ben stated.

EFFN has threatened mass action if President Tinubu fails to remove Cardoso or if the CBN Governor fails to remove himself from office, saying that such mass action will take place within 72 hours from when it held its briefing.

The CSOs also criticized the CBN’s recent decision to relocate some of its departments to Lagos State, which they claim will further exacerbate the economic crisis in the country because the apex bank is focusing on petty internal politics to the detriment of the national economy. They called on the CBN to reverse its decision and focus on implementing policies that will help to stabilize the economy.

The Governor of the CBN has not yet responded to the CSOs’ demands, and it remains to be seen what action President Tinubu will take in response to the call for the removal of Mr Cardoso and the declaration of a state of emergency on the economy.

With the Nigerian economy being in a state of decline for the past few years and with the naira’s value plummeting and inflation rates skyrocketing, Cardoso’s arrival at the CBN was anticipated to at the least halt the economic slide.

Cardoso was appointed as CBN Governor when the naira was hovering below N1000 in September 2023 to the dollar threshold and the currency has since lost more than N400 since he resumed, prompting widespread anger and criticism about his ability to correctly diagnose what ails the Nigerian economy and proffer solutions.

Nigeria’s GDP growth rate fell to 1.9% in 2023, down from 2.2% in 2022 while the inflation rate, which has also been on the rise, hit 18.3% in December 2023, up from 16.5% in November 2023.

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