As Lagos headline kicks off today, let's give kudos to Emefiele 

Fri, Mar 1, 2024
By editor


By Steve Osuji

HOW TO KILL A GOOD MAN: This afternoon,  President Bola Tinubu kick-started the Redline  Lagos metro railway project. It was all pomp and pageantry as he and the Lagos governor, Babajide Sanwo-olu soaked up all the encomium.

But no one would mention the critical roles played by a certain Mr. Godwin Emefiele. 

In fact, that name has become a taboo to the current administration.  No one would dare to mention it before the president. But it remains on record that without Emefiele, the Blue and Red line metro rail may never have been completed. At least not today.

But the wise say that one of the surest ways to kill a good man is by deliberately denying him credit for his great works. 

HOW EMEFIELE’S INTERVENTION HELPED COMPLETE THE LAGOS BLUE AND RED LINES: According to CBN’s Annual Reports for 2023, Godwin Emefiele, the immediate past governor of the CBN and his team afforded the Lagos State government specialised tranches of loans totalling about N196 billion to ensure that last minute variations in contract as well as forex differentials were cleared for the ultimate completion of the Blue and Redlines rail projects. 

The development finance intervention facility introduced by Emefiele is known as Differentiated Cash Reserve Requirement (DCRR). 

A first tranche of N93 billion was disbursed by Emefiele’s CBN for the 37 kilometres Redline Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT.

A second tranche of N60 billion loan was released for the Blueline from Okokomaiko to Marina, Lagos. These were for outstanding contractor obligations and to ensure take-off of the Blueline a few months ago.

Lastly, a last tranche of N43 billion loan was released for the completion of the Redline which is being launched today. This is as contained in the CBN annual reports.

OVER 50 DEVELOPMENT FINANCE INITIATIVES TO BOOST PRODUCTIVITY: This DCRR specialised funding that rescued the LASG metro rail is part of over 50 such development  schemes introduced and choreographed by Mr. Emefiele and his team during his nearly nine-year tenure as CBN governor. Cutting across sectors like manufacturing/industry, Agriculture,   energy/infrastructure, Health care, Export stimulation, SME, ICT, Entertainment, etc.

A cumulative disbursement amounting to over N10 trillion was disbursed across these sectors between 2015 and  2023.

ECONOMY DIVERSIFIED AND FAIRLY STABLE: The result is a ramp up of productivity in all these sectors,  diversification of the economy and creation of millions of direct and indirect jobs and stabilisation indices like prices, inflation and exchange rates over a period of time. This is against the economic instability experienced today.

Apart from the Blue and Red lines which have been delivered,  other outcomes of Emefiele’s fund mobilization to the productive sectors include expansion loans to Dangote, BUA,  Oyo, Ogun and Imo States.

Rice milling increased from less than 10 in 2015 to more than 70 in 2O22;  about 13 million direct and indirect jobs were created in agriculture alone.

The interventions by Emefiele and his team at the CBN are multifarious and are carefully documented as evident in the Annual Reports. 

They are transformational and much worthy to be continued and in deed, ramped up in order to restore Nigeria’s withering economy. 

ADAPTING THE EMEFIELE TEMPLATE: It is common knowledge that Emefiele’s transcendental work at the CBN has been overcast by a dark incubus of politics but this column avers that the time has come to put politics aside for the sake of Nigeria and her people.

The former CBN head has been under interrogation and indeed prosecution since June 2O23. While nothing incriminating has been found against him, especially as concerns dusbursing about N10 trillion, his image has been tarred and tarnished by the present administration, overshadowing his good deeds.

His main offence is that he executed President Muhammadu Buhari’s harebrained naira redesign policy. The policy made it difficult for Tinubu and other candidates to buy votes massively.  They will not forgive him for this “infraction”.  They are minded to jail Emefiele by all means and to discount all his good works over the last nine months. 

Dispassionate analysts will however, agree that Emefiele is probably the best CBN governor in modern times and his legacies will come to light in due time. He will be vindicated. 

The BLUELINE and REDLINE (which kicked off today) are just two of the numerous projects that will speak in his favour.

1st March, 2024.