By Suleiman Umaru
Those who think that President Muhammadu Buhari, would query Godwin Emefiele, governor, of Central Bank of Nigeria,CBN, and who could have the audacity to pay N100million to pick the ruling All Progressie Congress, APC, Presidential nomination form for the 2023, general elections for not consulting Hajia Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning , in the redesigning of some of the Nigerian currency notes may have to do a rethink.
The Katsia born Nigerian President may have made Nigerians and the minister to understand that he is the beating the drums for Emefiele which had given him the boldness to do anything the concern’s the nation’s monetary policy without consulting the supervising ministry before presenting any proposal to him for approval. Take for the proposal for the redesigning some of the country’s naira denominations. He may sent a message to those criticizing the CBN for by-passing the supervising ministry to present the currency redesigning proposal notes , including the minister to keep their anger to themselves.
The Nigeria President, who has been upbeat about the North American countries of the United States, US and Canada, United Kingdom, UK, and the Asian country of Australia, security alarm in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and has summoned for the umpteenth time the security chiefs for an emergency meeting, had said that he’’ is fully in support of the CBN’s move to redesign the N200, N500 and N1000 notes’’.
Recall that in presenting the CBN Management’s proposal to the President to redesign the naira at a time the country is facing serious economic and security challenges as well as preparing to hold the 2023, general elections that would gulp billions of naira, was enough to discourage Emefiele and his Management from doing so. But they may have read the mind of the mind of the President that giving an insight of the gains it would in the country’s economy and addressing the problem of terrorism, banditry and other formso f criminal activities across the country would make him to sign the currency redesign proposal may have made the apex bank Authorities to seek his approval.
Indeed, he has made the Nigerian President who is open to suggestions on how to tackle the country’s rising inflation and insecurity there is too much money in circulation that are outside the vault of the Commercial Banks but in the hands of the public , particular, the politicians, terrorists, bandits. He had revealed that the amount in circulation in September,2022, alone, based on available data to the bank was N2.7 trillion, more than the N3 trillion of the nation’s currency in circulation.
The CBN, governor who may not have found this funny may have won the heart of the President when he described it as ‘‘worrisome and must not be allowed to continue to avoid killing the economy. Shehu Garba, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, had said that the apex bank governor was able to convince the President by stating that ‘‘the nation’s economy stood to benefit from the reduction in inflation, currency counterfeiting and the excess cash in circulation by redesigning the currency notes.
Garba, who was said to have spoken to BBC. Housa service, to be aired in Tambari Television on Nilesat, on Wednesday, November 2, 2022, had said that the Nigerian President did not g consider the period of ‘’the three months for ‘‘the change from the old notes to the new notes as the country’s legal tender as being short’’.
The Media aide, may have spoken the mind of President, when he said ‘’people with illicit money buried under the soil will have a big challenge but workers, businesses with legitimate incomes will not face any difficulties’’.
In a related development, Temipre Sylva, a former governor of Bayelsa state and now minister of state, ministry of Petroleum Resources, may have dampened the enthusiasm of Nigerians of improved crude oil export and more revenue accruing into the country’s coffers despite the impressive performance of the Delta security services limited, comprising of other security groups, chaired by Government Ekpemudolo, popular, Tompolo, a well- known repentant militant in the Niger Delta , which has won a N48 billion, one year pipeline contract from the government last August.
The minister had said at the Petroleum Training Institute, PTI, Effurun, Warri, Delta state, on Saturday, October 28, 2022, during the graduation of the 2022, students of the Institute is losing 700mb/d, which translates to revenue loss of about$700 million , going by the Crude oil price, particular, Bonny Light, which is Nigeria Oil, in the International Oil mrket, because of the high demand.
. The former Bayelsa state was said to have been represented by Gabriel Aduda, the ministry Permanent Secretary at the PTI, g2022, Graduation ceremony. He had said that the dire consequence of the oil theft to the economy is the drop in the export of the country’s oil and decline in the national income’’, despite ‘’the concerted efforts being made by the government to curtail the menace by engaging the services of pipeline contractors’’.
Many believe that the ministerial claim is contrary to what Mele Kolo Kyari, Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, now baptized, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, with the passage of the Nigerian Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, y the National Assembly in 2019, had sad, that the country which loses about 470,000b/d, to the oil thieves before the engagement of Tompolo and his group, will benefit from the oil pipeline contract.
He had said that going by the impressive performance of Tompolo and his group in Delta state and Bayelsa, former President Goodluck Jonathan, home state, even when the other groups in Rivers and Imo states, have not started their own operations bear eloquent testimony to the gains that would be achieved in the long run.
Note that in less than two months of Tompolo group operations, in the Creeks in Delta and Bayelsa states, they have discovered 58 illegal oil points and two platforms, around the Forcados axis , used in siphoning the stolen crude oil overseas for sales to their customers who are always waiting for such cheap crude from the illegal Nigeria sources.
Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, who many believe knows little or nothing about ports management but more interested in licensing jetties where much illegal activities are said to be going in the country, may have added another dimension to the activities of the oil thieves n the Niger Delta Delta region.
The NPA, Chief Executive officer, CEO, had said that the ‘’oil thieves bring their vessels to the country’s oil terminals, around the Forcados, Escravos ,Bonny and Qua Iboe, in Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states respectively, legally but they go the other side to commit the illegal activities after ‘’switching off their Automatic Identification System, AIS, of the vessel that ‘displays the position in a vicinity for the Nigerian Navy and Nigeria Poice Force, NPF, maritime police and other security operatives , including the Authority security personnel to effectively monitor the vessels entering the Nigerian maritime domain for any transactions. He had said that they may have been encouraged to do commit the illegal activities I Nigeria waters and escape arrest because most of the buoys in the ship routes in the Niger Delta creeks have been stolen by them and their collaborators.
He had said that the Authority had made efforts to acquire the AIS technology some 10 years ago but that was how far it could go. There may be hope for the Authority to procure the AIS, as the Nigeria President, who is determined to crush the oil thieves, was said to have given his words to help the agency acquire the AIS, technology, help to curtail the activities of the oil thieves in Nigerian waters by effectively monitoring the vessels and entering and leaving Nigerian waters on a daily basis.