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Free fall of Naira: Group calls for sack of CBN governor

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has strongly condemned the actions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, in response to the ongoing Naira crisis, urging President Tinubu to take swift action by dismissing him from office.

In a press release, HURIWA stressed that Cardoso has failed to uphold the fundamental duties of the CBN, particularly its mandate to safeguard the Naira, Nigeria’s national currency. Instead, the organization pointed out that under Cardoso’s leadership, the Naira has sharply depreciated to nearly 2000 Naira per dollar, a situation deemed as economic sabotage requiring immediate intervention.

HURIWA further highlighted Cardoso’s alleged incompetence, particularly during a recent session with a Senate committee where he reportedly struggled to explain the country’s economic challenges coherently. The organization criticized Cardoso’s reliance on prepared scripts and inability to articulate clear economic policies, suggesting his unsuitability for the role of CBN Governor.

“A US-based Professor of journalism and emerging media, Farooq Kperogi, has strongly criticized the lackluster performance of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, during an interactive session with a Senate committee.

“According to media reports, Cardoso appeared before the Senate Committee on Friday to elucidate the reasons behind the Naira’s depreciation and other economic challenges causing significant hardship in Nigeria. Kperogi, who serves as a Professor at Kennesaw State University, characterized Cardoso’s explanation as inadequate, expressing concern over what he perceives as the Governor’s lack of intellectual preparedness for his role”.

Furthermore, HURIWA expressed concerns over Cardoso’s purported prioritization of political pursuits over his duties as CBN Governor, notably his decision to relocate CBN departments from Abuja to Lagos, which the organization deemed a violation of constitutional provisions.

The organization also questioned the effectiveness of the National Assembly’s oversight function in controlling Cardoso, urging Nigerians to unite against what it perceives as the Governor’s arrogance and uphold the rule of law in holding public officials accountable.

In calling for Cardoso’s immediate dismissal, HURIWA cited various functions of the CBN, including its duty to defend the Naira and serve as the Banker to the Government of the Federation. The organization argued that Cardoso’s actions have violated these functions and constitutional provisions regarding the seat of government.

“The current Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has failed in the institution’s primary duty of defending the Naira, allowing it to plummet to nearly 2000 Naira per dollar. This has been described as economic sabotage requiring urgent attention.

Additionally, concerns have been raised about the Governor’s inconsistent policies, causing confusion in the banking sector and suggesting unchecked power. We are urging Nigerians to speak out against what we perceive as the Governor’s arrogance and emphasize the importance of upholding laws governing the CBN.

“Besides, the Governor’s decision to relocate over 1500 CBN staff to Lagos is unconstitutional, violating the institution’s role as the Banker to the Government of the Federation, and thus a direct contravention of constitutional provisions designating the Federal Capital Territory as the seat of Government”, HURIWA highlighted.

Additionally, HURIWA referenced international examples of currency defense strategies employed by countries like the UK, USA, China, and Russia, highlighting measures such as monetary policy adjustments, foreign exchange interventions, and economic diversification to maintain currency stability.

Moreover, HURIWA outlined the economic disadvantages of floating the Naira, citing increased inflation, volatility in import prices, and reduced investor confidence as potential consequences. The organization emphasized the need for a concerted effort to uphold the value of the Naira and restore confidence in Nigeria’s economy.

In conclusion, HURIWA reiterated its call for President Tinubu to take decisive action by relieving Cardoso of his duties as CBN Governor, pledging to continue advocating for transparency, accountability, and the protection of Nigeria’s economic interests.

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