NLC planned Protest: Emefiele In A Tight Corner, Keyamo Petitions DSS, To Invite LP, Leaders For Questioning  

Share this

By Lateef Adegbite And Elizabeth Chukwuma

With barely  60 days for President Muhammadu Bhari’s Administration to elapse, the Nigerian economy , which had been thrown into a mess by Godwin Emefiele , Governor , of Central  Bank of Nigeria, appear to have realised   that the electronic banking channels has failed.

 Emefiele , who was forced to speak out  after the Tuesday, March 21, 2023,  Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting at the CBN, Headquarters at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT,  had informed informed the MPC , members   that  electronic transactions  through  their mobile bank apps, SSD platforms and debit cards since the implementation  of the naira redesign policy  and subsequent cash shortage has failed’’.

Emefiele Briefing The Press After MPC meeting On Important Decisions Reached

The CBN, governor, who could not hide his feelings had attributed the failure ‘’to the deluge of  the volume  of online  transactions that  that had hit the nation’s banking industry over that last couple of months, stressing that  the problem is being addressed.

He had said that  that on a daily basis  the apex bank  payments  system  management department  monitor  the online  payment platforms ‘’to make sure  that when there is a downturn , they are quickly  resolved  so that transactions  can go on smoothly’’.

Recall that prior to  the implementation of the naira redesign policy, the Delta state born Banker, who has the  ears of the Katsiina state born Nigerian President, who had said  that  there was about  N3.23  trillion  in circulation  out of which  N500 billion  was held  in the banking sector  and N2.73 billion  was outside  the banking system. The Katsina state born Nigerian President had corroborated his words in his nation-wide broadcast last February.

The apex bank may have taken advantage of  the MPC,  meeting at the  FCT,  to give an insight  on the supply of money  in the country, stating that  ‘’the implementation  of  the  naira redesign policy  has resulted  in a reduction in  currency  in circulation  outside  the banking system’’.

He was said to have told the MPC, members  that at present  the currency in circulation  is about a trillion naira , adding that the  apex bank  will continue  to pump  the newly  redesigned currency  into the market to give a breather to Nigerians.

The CBN,  governor   may have given Nigerians the impression  that the bank  is not in a hurry to pump much into the banking system as they  need  to reassess  to know whether  the currency in circulation  has  attained he optimal level  that would help the bank put  in place measures  to ensure  that  the country  do go back  to where  we were before where people  kept money outside the banking system for their own benefits.

This may have informed  why  the bank  has increased  the benchmark  interest rate  to 18% and pegged  the Liquidity  ratio at 30% as a way to curtail  inflation  currently put  at 20% by the Nigerian Bureau of Statics, NBS.

Ajaero: NLC President, Puts Emefiele On High Jump

Notwithstanding  the measures  being put in place by the bank to revive the economy,  the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, under the Leadership of Joe Ajaero,  will not take it  as the Organised Labour   has directed all  workers  to protest  at all  the offices  of the CBN , nationwide  starting on Wednesday,  March 29, 2023,  over the  current  cash crunch  in the country.

The NLC, Central Working Committee, CWC,  , who are doing everything within their powers to ensure that the mass protest succeed in shutting down economic activities  across the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT ,  were said to have started  the mobilization  for the exercise  on Friday, March 24, 2023, were said to have issued a seven-day ultimatum to the government  , calling for immediate action  ‘’to cushion the effect of the cash crunch and fuel scarcity crisis in the country’’ or  face  industrial action by workers.

An aggrieve  Ajaero, the NLC, President , had told those that cares to listen  that the industrial action  became the last  resort of  the congress , having  urged  the Federal government  through different  channels  to take into consideration  the severe hardship workers  and Nigerian citizens  are experiencing  on a daily basis  because of the persistent cash crunch  but nothing concrete was done to  address it , except giving promises that were never kept.

Worried that the NLC, planned industrial action from Wednesday, March 29, 2023, may have forced the CBN, Athorities, at the instance of Buhari to direct the money deposit banks, MDB, across the country to open for operation on Saturdays and Sundays to dispense cash to Customers as a way to resolve the cash crunch problem in the country.

 Isa AbdulMumin, the apex bank , acting Director,  Corporate Communications Department, had said  on Friday, March 24, 2023,  that ‘’substantial  amount  of money,  in various denominations, had been  received  by the MDBs, for onward  circulation  to their respective Customers’’.

The CBN, was said to have also directed the Commercial banks to load their automated Teller Machines, ATMs, as well as conduct physical operations in banking halls through the weekends. The apex bank spokesperson,  has confirmed  the evacuation  of bank Notes  from its vaults  to Commecial banks across the country as part of the Coordinated  effort  to ease the  circulation  of the  bank Notes  of various denominations.

 To ensure that the order was fully carried out to avoid playing into the hands of the Organised Labour, the CBN, he had said that Emefiele, the bank governor would ‘’personally lead teams to monitor the level of compliance by the banks in various locations across the country’’.   

The Nigerian government appear to have been caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, over the NLC, threat to mobolise workers on strike that Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra state and the Presidential Candidate of the Labour party, LP, in the just conclude 2023, Presidential election, Datti Baba-Ahmed, the Vice Presidential Candidate and the party leadership are allegedly being linked to the protest.  

Appearing on a Live Programme on Channels Television,Festus Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and minister of State, Labour and Employment  ,had said  that he had petitioned  the Department of State Security, DSS, under the close watch of  Ysuf Magaji Bichi,  to invite the LP, Leaders  over ‘’their rejection of the declaration  of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and Presidential Candidate of the App Progressive Congress, , APC, for the 2023, general election as President-elect’’ by Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The minister had alluded to the fact that Obi, the LP, flag bearer, had claimed that he was, rigged out of victory, alleging’’ widespread violence,voters intimidation and suppression, during and after the elections’’. The Legal Luminary may have petitioned the DSS, to invite the LP, Leaders for questioning because of what he had perceived as a build up to something that they are doing’’.

Hear him: the buildup they are doing is to rile the people up and turn them against the judiciary’’, if the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT, set up by Justice Olukayode Ariwola, the Chief Justice of the Federation, fail to declare Obi and Baba-Ahmed, the LP, Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidate as the authentic winners of the Saturday, February 25, 2023, Presidential election.

Many believe that before Keyamo, who had served as spokesperson, of Tinubu/Shettima, Campaign Organisation, could come out to say that he had petitioned the DSS, to invite Obi, Baba-Ahmed and other LP Leaders for interrogation, over the alleged build up in the country, the APC, Leadership, including Buhari, and Tinubu, the President elect and their Legal tem, might have discussed and agreed on the line of action.

The fear in both official and unofficial circles  was that Obi,  Baba –Ahmed  and other LP, Leaders  may be arrested and detained by the DSS, and which  will trigger crisis , in the country , that might further  worsen the already battered economy  and even draw the attention of the International Community  to intervene.  Let us hope that the tension in the country will not get to that.            

Leave a Reply

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