Currency Restructuring: The Bitter Honey
Just as he was birthed into national limelight with waters of controversy, Mallam Sanusi LamidoSanusi, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, has continued to attract public criticism in recent timesbecause of his statements, policies and ideas. Formerly adjudged the undisputed hero of the masses
with what many tagged “Hurricane Sanusi” that purportedly cleansed the Nigeria Banking industry of
its rots. In less than 3 months at the helm of affairs at the apex bank, the Dan Majen Kano, had madeNigeria a global focal point for banking revolution. Apart from the array of invitations that greeted
him from international communities to narrate the “Success Story” of Nigeria’s banking industry,
Sanusi was adorned with many global and local awards. In a very short time, he was ranked amongstthe 100 most influential people in the world (by TIME Magazine in 2011).
Unfortunately, his “muddy” role in the
oil subsidy saga that almost crumbled the economy in early
2012 seemed to portray the Mallam as “deceitful” in his earlier crusades that “seemed” to have
protected the masses against gambling aristocrats, monopolistic capitalists and oppressive bankers,w
ho had cornered depositors’ funds in their personal loot
-bags. At that moment, it was the
Governor’s words against the masses’; and his credibility as a trustworthy administrator began to
dwindle . Just as fast as he rose to prominence, he lost his popularity (at least amongst the people).He was, also, quickly adorned with many derogatory remarks:
a northern-agenda crooner, animperialist,
an economic goon, a political stooge, and worse off, a deluded tribalist.
One can saytherefore that Sanusi is one of the most controversial Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria has
had; especially with his latest stint to restructure the Nigerian currencies without “due”
By way of retribution borne of righteous indignation to the sudden pronouncement, the media hasbeen awash with public opinions countering the positions of the Governor. Nigerians from all walksof life, at home and in diaspora, have now decked their economist caps, juxtaposing theories (andhypotheses) against historical events. Everyone is trying to dent the position of Sanusi to prove thatthis journey of currency restructuring will lead to nowhere but further economic declension. While itis a general consensus that the health of the Nigeria economy needs saving, the opinion that theoption chosen by Sanusi is draconian, unskilled, rash, unscrupulously purblind and belies corruptintentions is overarching. In fact, it is to this end that the CDHR has called upon the FederalGovernment to unceremoniously sack the Governor.Although a random sampling of opinions on social networking sites does not suggest any civildisobedience/unrest, it is imperative that this issue be nipped in the bud before it gets out of hand.Nigerians want and truly deserve answers to the worrisome questions raised on inflation, pricestability, corruption, cashless economy, and behavioural disposition towards using coins. And the
CBN as the statutory body in charge of the economy should provide “absolute” explanations on
these issues (with empirical facts). There is, therefore, a need for an educated consensus to bereached between the proponents of Currency Structuring and its antagonists through a nationaldiscourse before this monetary policy bolus is forced down our narrow economic throats. Nauseatedby the unanticipated effects, we might be forced to vomit everything, including other economiclozenges.