Discontent over the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cash withdrawal policy is growing, with the Human Rights Writers Association calling on the National Assembly to use its legislative powers to kick out the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.
The group made the call in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, on Sunday.
Onwubiko said the governor had shown signs of irredeemable arrogance and flagrant disregard for constitutional provisions, urging the National Assembly not to let Emefiele “destroy the economy with his draconian and anti-people fiscal and monetary policies.”
Citing the recent withdrawal limit policy of the apex bank, which the group described as ‘obnoxious,’ the group argued that if the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), could be impeached by the legislative arm, Emefiele should not be allowed to continue to grandstand and ride roughshod on the National Assembly.
“HURIWA demand that National Assembly uses its powers to compel Emefiele to suspend the policy, besides, he is not bigger than all of Nigeria and if his monetary policy has the potential of destroying Nigeria and leading to job losses and other unintended consequences, he must be called to order as he is not more powerful than all of Nigerians.
“Rather than let Emefiele destroy the economy, the National Assembly should insist on him suspending the withdrawal limits that are draconian and anti-people. The National Assembly must act decisively and save PoS operators from going extinct, and creating opportunities for sophisticated crimes to escalate in an already charged and security threatened country.”
HURIWA also faulted the President for refusing to sack Emefiele despite the failure of the latter.
“Is Emefiele the sacred cow of Buhari? What business do both of them have together so much so that Emefiele has been left in office even after he has failed woefully and even ventured into partisan politics by wanting to run for President as a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress, reportedly purchasing campaign buses and even approaching the court to stop his removal for going into partisan politics even whilst holding his position as CBN governor? Emefiele can’t be allowed to get away with this arrogance of power.”
The CBN, in a memo last Tuesday, had directed that individuals would only be able to withdraw N100,000 per week (from over the counter, point of sale machines or the automated teller machines), while organisations could only access N500,000 per week.
The memo signed by the CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, had directed banks to load only N200 and lower denominations into their ATMs.
Based on these, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Yusuf Ali, threw his weight behind the decision of the CBN Governor, saying that the decision would revive Nigeria’s economy.
Ali, while speaking with newsmen in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on the sideline of turbaning ceremony of her mother, Taibat Ali as Iya Adini Musulumi of Carew Central Mosque, said any policy that would revive Nigerian economy and put a stop to corruption and fraud should be applauded and supported.
He said, “Any policy that will help us to revive our economy, address inflation, corruption and fraud should be supported.”