I won’t be surprised if the primary driving force behind the CBN’s move to redesign the naira is to carry out a plan to put Muhammadu Buhari’s face on one of the notes, given the unusually incompetent CBN governor Godwin Emefiele and the unprecedently anything-goes climate that the Buhari regime has engendered in the last seven years.
If you find my way of thinking absurd—which it is—remember that this regime’s main currencies are now highly impossible absurdities. Emefiele, for instance, once believed that the value of the naira was inexorably declining because a Nigerian-owned website called AbokiFX, which has its UK headquarters there, was publishing the black-market foreign exchange rates of the naira. Emefiele ought to have the most intimate and rarefied knowledge possible of Nigeria’s monetary policy.
In order to restore the value of the naira, Emefiele even volunteered to fight AbokiFX’s owner, Oniwinde Adedotun, physically! That’s not a typical person whose opinion anyone should trust or who can be protected from absurdist goals.
He also turned overtly politically partisan by unsuccessfully running for president on the platform of the ruling APC while still a governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, in an unheard-of, norm-defying fatuousness. Which semi-normal society does that occur in?
I referred to Emefiele as “infernally incompetent, exceptionally corrupt, mind-blowingly self-serving, incomprehensibly clueless, overweeningly ambitious, and cruelly insensitive” in a May 14, 2022, column titled “Emefiele: A Corrupt, Inept, Heart-Attack-Loving Presidential Wannabe,” and I revealed his embeddedness in partisan political corruption right from when PDP was in power. Only worse has come out of him.
Now take into account the fact that Buhari chose Ahmed Halilu, his wife Aisha’s older brother, as the leader of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting, the company that prints the country’s currency.
In the latter part of 2019, Halilu was secretly appointed as one of just two executive directors at the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting. In a column titled “Buhari’s House of Commotion and Mamman Daura’s “Glass House,” published on October 19, 2019, I brought it up.
As is generally customary with Nigerians’ attitude toward the aberrations of the government, people either didn’t care or were too overwhelmed to respond, so Buhari went ahead and promoted his brother-in-law from an executive director of Nigeria’s currency printing corporation to its head on September 1, 2022. Again, no one raised an eyelid.
Would it be any surprise if Buhari’s image appeared on, say, the 200 naira note, given that Emefiele, the ineffective, ignorant, partisan, obsequious, servile, and CBN governor, is beholden to the Aso Rock cabal and his brother-in-law is the head of the company that will print the redesigned naira notes?
This is especially true given Buhari’s recent monomaniacal obsession with how he will be remembered when
There is also a role model that Emefiele and Halilu can follow. Idi Amin of Uganda made the decision to update the currency and add his portrait to it in January 1973.
This report from Reuters from January 29, 1973 is worth reprinting because it partially corresponds to what can occur in Nigeria in the next days: “Since Uganda’s new currency was introduced, people have been rushing to banks to swap their outdated notes.