Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has sued for peace in the financial sector urging the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Economic Summit Group (NESG) to focus and salvage the economy.
The CBN and NESG had recently engaged in a public spat over the latter’s press release entitled “Matters of Urgent Attention” which x-rayed the state of the economy and raised concerns over the performance of key indicators.
The NESG had also published a letter of appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari calling for his intervention over certain provisions in the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) before it is re-enacted.
The CBN had in a reply defended its economic and financial policies for the past five years and hit NESG hard over its press release.
However, the NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje, in a press statement entitled “CBN v NESG: Waving the White Flag for the benefit of Nigerians”, stated that it shares the view that the NESG as an economy and policy advocacy body is qualified to comment on matters of the economy and ‘express contrasting opinion about the policies and interventions of the Federal Government and, or its agencies, including the CBN.’
Owoaje while pointing out that dialogue on important and crucial issues affecting Nigerians is at the risk of being supplanted by a ‘collision of intellectual egos’ called for reality check on the performance of Nigeria economic policies as being implemented by the CBN.
The statement reads: ‘Like all very anxious and concerned Nigerians, we are entitled to – and expect – constructive engagements that will lead to the enactment of economic policies that create production-based jobs so the national economy can grow sustainably. As Nigerians face up to what is likely a fresh round of recession, all stakeholders in the economy must come together to ensure that our economic recovery plans are well thought through, backed by empirical data. The CBN should muster the humility to admit the fact that some of its policies have failed to deliver the expected outcomes and rather than create more jobs, have made the economy more atrophied; impoverishing more Nigerians than it has lifted out of poverty.
‘We hereby call on the Federal Government, CBN, NESG, and other well-meaning institutions and stakeholders in the country to focus their energies on activities and commentary that galvanize the immense intellectual capacities that are available to the country to enact policies and intervention that provides very desperately needed socio-economic relief and support to long suffering Nigerians. Nigerians need jobs, not invectives!’