Data Confirms Tinubu’s Claim That Under Suspended CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, Nigerians Got Poorer

Data Confirms Tinubu’s Claim That Under Suspended CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, Nigerians Got Poorer

June 26, 2023 at 2:30

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu recently suspended Godwin Emefiele, accusing him of enriching a few individuals while Nigerians became poorer

Tinubu also described the financial system under Emefiele as rotten and unorthodox, despite breaking the record as the longest-serving CBN governor since 1999

The direct nature of Tinubu’s comments raised eyebrows, but data obtained from multiple sources indicate that the president is correct

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has explained why he suspended former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Godwin Emefiele a few days after resuming office.

Speaking with Nigerians in Paris, France, on Friday, June 24, 2023, Tinubu noted that Emefiele made a few connected people wealthy while Nigerians became poorer.

Tinubu strongly criticised Godwin Emefiele’s tenure as the CBN governor without holding back.

He further described Nigeria’s financial system under Emefiele’s tenure as CBN governor as rotten, controversial, and unorthodox.

“The financial system was rotten. Few people were making away with our money…that is gone now; the man (Emefiele) is in the hands of the authorities.”
Tinubu’s comments come precisely 14 days after a viral video showed Emefiele getting arrested by state security service officers.

What data says about Emefiele’s tenure
According to data from multiple sources, Tinubu’s comments that more Nigerians became poorer under Emefiele seem spot on.

Inflation, one of the key metrics used to determine the value of what money is in the hands of Nigerians, rose 67 times under Emefiele, Punch reports.

Inflation measures how much more expensive goods and services have become over a certain period.

When inflation increases the prices of goods and services, but wage stays the same, people buy fewer things with the same amount of money.

Based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics during Emefiele’s tenure, Nigeria’s inflation rate increased from 8% when he first assumed office as governor in 2014 to as high as 22.41% as of May 2023 when he was suspended.

The rise in inflation and the recurrent theme of the naira losing its value is reflected in the number of Nigerians dragged into poverty.

Data from World Data Lab shows that as of 2016, there were 60 million poor Nigerians; the latest figures from NBS put the poverty figure at 133 million.

Tinubu on few Nigerians getting richer
Tinubu’s comment refers to the vast gap between the black market exchange rates and the official foreign exchange rates.

The disparity allowed a few individuals that could easily access foreign currencies at a lower rate to get richer.

During Emefiele’s tenure, the disparity between the black market and official market foreign exchange rates grew from N12 when Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was leaving office to N301.

When Emefiele assumed office, the official exchange rate was N155 to the dollar, but by the time he left, it had depreciated to N463.

While in the black market, where the rate was initially N167 to the dollar, it increased to N765 when Emefiele left office.

Conclusively, despite the numbers pointing at Emefiele, it is essential to note that the policies of the CBN do not solely determine what happens in the economy.

The monetary policies of the CBN, along with the fiscal policies of the finance ministry, are two key tools that influence economic performance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *