Ever since the introduction of the #5,000 note denomination became a dart such that everybody wants to take a throw at albeit in faith with how it is supposed to be treated in a participatory democracy to buttress the truism that we are not in some kind of a militocracy where every single policy that is deemed fit by the government or its agency comes to stay irrespective of the effects however negative or adverse on the people upon whom government is formulated in order to regulate and direct their actions, I have refused to let my stance known on this protracted issue worthy of mention and national interest………..a bid which I prefer to call sanusi lamido sanusi’s myopic economic thought that one needs not a degree in economics or spiritual revealing to know that it will only succeed in achieving one lame goal which is obviously driving this already broke nation or a nation euphemized into having cash-flow problems by the Ngozi Okonjo Iweala led economic management team, into a mud.
Many a friend and readers of my column have continued to say: “Raymond, you have not given us anything to read on lamido’s temporary madness” but I will always say the time isn’t ripe for me to react from the comforts of my desk. They must have wondered why I was taking all the time before i returned to my writing desk in order to address this issue that has consistently robbed me of the pleasures of my nights. Wonder no more, I have lately abandoned my battle with my law of tort and criminal law text books and have since then gone fastidiously into research across every singular economics textbook, journals and articles that borders on the troubles of the subject of this piece of writing. Not in a bid to garner points to score my writing more credits but rather to douse every single fad of doubt within me over this denomination and how it will thrive.
It was also in a bid to see the justification for the C.B.N chief’s submission that promises to set us on the path towards becoming a Zimbabwean kind of economy in terms of the denomination of their currency notes. After all my stride and efforts committed towards that bid, I couldn’t in any way find a justification for such and even if I found any, not one that could thrive in this economy of ours where corruption and everything that comes with it has gotten a better part of us.
I have continued to wonder where such revelations metamorphosed into this idea may have come from. Certainly not from the heavens high, because God almighty cannot and would never reveal what would translate into egregious hardship for his people and I hope I am not alone in this line of thought.
No doubt, mallam sanusi lamido sanusi recently turbaned as the Dan Majen Kano by the royal father of Kano state Alhaji Dr. Ado Bayero, is a rare gem, a doyen of modern day banking and an economist par excellence. At the time he was given the highly placed job by the Umaru Yar’ adua administration, there is no gainsaying the fact that had the best C.V for the job but then, just like absolute power corrupts absolutely as jean Bowden did said, his strength has become his weakness; he has seen himself flying on eagles wings a belief that has succeeded in earning him the most controversial apex bank governor this nation ever produced.
His continuous dancing and playing to the gallery forced me into asking the one singular question that set the pace of putting my ball pen to paper on my plane sheet amidst my tight schedules to this effect: who made Mallam Sanusi Lamido this ‘lord’ and king over us? Why has every of his single stride in office ended into a controversy? What is this music that he dances to, that we all have failed to catch up with the beats? Since the job was thrown at him, he has seen himself as a demi god and continues to carry himself about with the swagger of an aristocrat and the spirit of a superior breed and in the process has done a lot of incalculable damage to the economy through his whimsical actions whose results we are already paying for and which we shall be paying more, if he gets away with it this time around. I hope his talisman fails this time.
His thoughts on other nationalities in Nigeria are/were either rude, condescending and when at his best, patronizing. When it comes to economic matters, his thinking and philosophy shows a narrow sighted man whose lenses do not see beyond the prism of his own agenda the; fate of the common man on the streets not by any margin considered. Anyone who doubts the above, should take the trouble of reading most of his self centered views and commentaries before and after he became the helmsman at the C.B.N towers. The number one banker for the country should not be a man with such bias political views as they negate the liberal sagacity sine qua non to handle the apex bank of a nation. But In lamido sanusi, lays the prototype of this kind of a personality unfortunately enough.
“Ever since he became the central bank chief three years ago, he has struggled to dismantle the legacies of his predecessor Dr. chukwuma soludo and there is no indication he intends to erect a monument, he will all the same” as my columnist friend Dele Sobowale of the Vanguard newspaper clearly stated in his article dated the 7th of May, 2012. To mallam lamido, Nigerians are a people who poverty has eaten deep into the fabrics of their soul and as such can be easily maneuvered. None of sanusi’s strides in office has translated into benefiting the most ordinary of men save his co-elite class who are always quick to siphon public looted funds into foreign accounts, seek medical services abroad, send their wards to school overseas and will always catch the next flight outside the shores of this country in the name of vacation. So let there be a #10,000 note denomination, it only makes their trade easier.
Recall that it was the same mallam lamido that spearheaded the removal of the subsidy on petrol on the 1st day of this year which he and his so-called economic team claimed will allow the government the leverage to execute more of its capital projects, but here we are already nine months into the subsidy regime, the storm in our economic teacup has refused to stop. It was the same man who tried to betray the secularity upon which Nigeria is anchored by trying to establish the Islamic system of banking across the federation in order to lend more weight to one religion against another. Thank God he didn’t get away with it. After the January attacks in Kano, he had the nerves to take out a whopping one hundred million naira from the coffers of the C.B.N as compensation for the families of the victims of the attacks not from his personal purse but rather from the federation account. It’s not as though I am against works of charity but courtesy demands that consultation be made where possible. But the Dan Majen, being a child of pride felt he has got all it takes after all he is never to be confronted therefore he does anything he likes whenever he wants. What is more, fools we are and our opinions should never be consulted. As if that wasn’t enough, sometime ago, he gained interview to a foreign media outlet where he had the tenacity to say in a foreign media that the reason why the fundamentalists would not lay down their arms is as a result of the ‘unskewed’ derivation policy and nothing more. In other words, that the 13% derivation formula to oil producing states should not hold and yet another reason why I will never stop seeing him as an egocentric embodiment of nature who doesn’t look ahead of the scene but only on the facial value of anything. Had he considered the rate of environmental degradation these regions suffers as a result of exploration of crude, he would never have stated such but amnesia pitiable enough betrayed him.
And yet again, most recently, he has dished out another food too hot to swallow not without our throats burning. He has set the polity heated with his bid to introduce the #5,000 note denomination and the rebranding of the last three notes into coins which he would never carry. All the stakeholders involved in the business of governance have continued to shout to the peak of their voices against this idea by a butterfly who thinks himself a bird. All what sanusi has said thus far with regards to the benefits of this new denomination are in no way different from what we were told when the #1,000 note was introduced way back in time, but today we are not only overwhelmed we are also miffed because with my one thousand naira note, I cannot go to the market and come back smiling. But sanusi would never bulge not even an eyelid will he bat. He claims he has studied economics and sees himself as a reincarnated Adam Smith amongst us and therefore cannot err on economic matters. Not even the mantra of calls by the generality of Nigerians, civil society Organization and the labor unions will bring back lucidity in sanusi’s lunacy.
If mallam sanusi has not realized at this moment that the effects of his currency policy would be very harsh on the citizens and will serve as a fertile ground for inflation to crescend to its highest acme, then he should go back to his advanced economics textbooks and do some more learning because we cannot allow people who hold dangerous economic policies in mind to be the ones who will lead us least they set our national economy on the edge of a precipice. The introduction of high denominations may thrive in an economic setting where the modalities for such have already been instituted and not in ours where we do not accurately know our current inflationary digits. In a nation where the average Nigerian lives below $1 a day and the apex bank wants to introduce a #5,000 denomination, one is lost in thought over what the outcome would look like. Dearest Lamido! Who made you this lord and king over us I must ask again.
At this juncture, I cannot say more but one thing I would advise is that sanusi should not be allowed to single handedly outsmart or out maneuver us this time again by introducing his new denominations irrespective of where his views about it may have been influenced and birthed. Goodluck ebele Jonathan should desist from honoring invitations to other nations for one occasion or the other when the economic matters of the nation he is saddled with is wobbling in a pitiable bisma pisma as the deficits would always be credited to him and made synonymous to his administration.
Nigerians have had enough and the survival of the common man is one thing this harsh policy cannot guarantee. A success in sanusi’s bid will not only be wicked but something close to suicidal but God forbid it happens else, we shall occupy the towers of the C.B.N and put the Dan Majen of Kano where he belongs.
Ambition is a great man’s madness john Webster, the Duchess of maulfi once said and sanusi seems to be toeing this line. He should not allow the reputation it took him so hard to build to be destroyed over night. It is one thing to make economic policies and a lot more to make workable ones. The C.B.N chief should choose between the path to take, in this economic cross road he has found himself in. the ball is fully in his court. He should decide how to play it and how well he does, determines our reaction. God bless Nigeria.
Yungsilky is a law student in one of Nigeria’s federal universities. He blogs for information Nigeria and runs his personal blog. Follow him on twitter @yung_silky