Nigerians have now been reduced to informing one another where to pull out their own cash!
“Oh, there aren’t any new notes in so-and-so ATM but it is available in the one at so-and-so location, except that there is one hell of a very long queue over there but a slightly shorter one further down the road!”
Usually in economics, liquidity crises crystalizes at the level of the financial system becoming awash with way too much cash chasing far fewer available goods and services.
Presently in Nigeria, the goods and services are there but no cash in hand to conclude transactions.
Our village headmaster of a Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emiefele, says he wants to take Nigeria cashless and that a month to election is just the right time to do so.
His predecessor, and, former Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, who has been quick to claim credit for being the originator of the idea, concurs.
I wonder whether these gentlemen use entirely different and top secret telecommunications networks different from the ones available to the rest of us for concluding their financial transactions.
Whatever be the case, and, contrary to their highly irritating pretense of knowing what they are talking about when they clearly don’t, the bitter truth of the matter is that there is obviously not enough saturation of infrastructure to support and sustain a true cashless economy in today’s Nigeria.
The requisite telecommunications backbone as well as other requirements for that long desired goal simply do not yet exist.
And, I’m actually referring to cities and urban centers with the very best connectivity available in our country.
Imagine what the majority of our citizenry who still live in the countryside are about to be subjected to in Emiefele’s cashless utopia!
The funny thing about Emiefele is that when you hear him speak, you find yourself wondering “from what very remote backwater did this spectacularly rustic creature even manage to crawl his way up to the Central Bank of all places?”
The man is as palpably pedestrian and intellectually inadequate as a central banker could possibly come!
But then, this is Nigeria where being sawdust-headed is arguably an advantage to getting ahead of your intellectual superiors.
Of course, it is for the purpose of detaining our country in its present status of arrested development that those presently sabotaging our national economy on the eve of elections are doing all they can to stop Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Whatever Emiefele might think he is up to – that is if he is even thinking at all, in the first place – his degenerate dedication to machinating economic sabotage of our national economy vide a policy whose timeframe has been completely rejected by multilateral financial institutions and other central bankers, worldwide, will inexorably lead to his eventual and most catastrophic downfall.
If a supposedly normal human being has, nevertheless, clearly gone mad, we are entitled to the suspicion that it must be the gods who have made him mad just so they can destroy him.
In the case of Emiefele and company, they have become an existential menace to every broad category of the Nigerian.
Indeed, as excruciating as the naira recolouration fiasco has been for the less privileged amongst our citizenry across lower income swathes of Nigerian society, Emiefele’s nauseating incompetence is perhaps actually most nakedly exposed in places you would think wealth and privilege would combine to insulate against its effects.
I recently left the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja to return to Delta after briefly visiting the nation’s capital.
In the course of a conversation later that day, a friend of mine, back in Abuja, informed me that the currency situation was pretty bad at the hotel with only two ATM machines working.
I told him to thank God “a whole” two ATMs are even working.
Unless I’m mistaken, there are presently four ATMs across the general lobby floor of the Trancorp Hilton, and a fifth one in the UBA Experience Center, also attached to the lobby.
I’ve severally experienced situations where absolutely none of these five ATMs are dispensing anything!
Meanwhile, the POS machines in the hotel’s Piano Lounge, or any of its bars or restaurants, might also not be working due to network issues.
So what do you do?
Perhaps, you try to transfer money to a staff that is well-known to you, except that the transaction fails thanks to poor network!
If the staff know you well enough and trust you, they ask you to come back later or charge to your room.
If not, you simply have to wait till you’ve settled!
I’ve witnessed numerous people lose their temper having waited way too long for the digital age to dawn upon a mere over-the-counter transaction at Nigeria’s number one hotel!
If this is the case at an elite location like that, imagine what Iya Basira and the customers at her “buka” are about to be subjected to.
Welcome to Emiefele’s cashless Nigeria!
The man who shouldn’t be playing any kind of politics, at all, much less belong to a political party, yet made a 100 million naira bid for the presidential nomination of the ruling party, clearly wants to upend our national economy in order to make that party look bad in a bid to undermining the electoral prospects of its flagbearer as vengeance for not getting the party’s nomination!
That is how to be a big man in Nigeria – to maniacally pervert the instrumentality of public office unto the mindless prosecution of patently illicit private agenda, however putridly illegitimate and shamefully untenable those goals might be!
A man who should have lost his office by now, should have been put in handcuffs, and, should presently be facing trial for a raft of illegalities, somehow remains squarely in situ, and allowed to run riot, wrecking our economy like some crazed bull in a china shop.
What a country!
In the meantime, the rebranded and supposedly restructured and reengineered NNPC, is adamant to prove its newly acquired mettle as a world class corporation by showcasing its pathetic incompetence and pitiable inability to fuel Nigeria, despite trillions of naira in subsidies it receives and claims it then pays out for that very purpose!
While, the rest of us are running helter skelter in search of fuel, kleptomaniacs at NNPC Towers, Abuja, are lost in an orgy of pure stealing, simply lifting our common patrimony into their vile pockets.
Thus, not only are the citizens of this country constrained to run from pillar to post in search of substandard recoloured naira notes that have actually mostly ended up in the hands of the same bigwigs Emiefele had deceived our President his idiotic policy would undercut for hoarding currency, we also now have to be at our wits end searching for fuel, thanks to our most disgracefully mismanaged but expensively rebranded national oil corporation!
There are clearly those who have apparently come to the utterly imbecilic delusion that conniving with a cutthroat machiavellian like the People’s Democratic Party, PDP’s, Atiku Abubarkar, will bring them rewards.
They are actually only being as idiotic as it is possible to be completely senseless.
The one and only hope in preserving and nurturing the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari, going forward, entirely resides in a Bola Tinubu Presidency.
The only viable chance of their own protection, peace of mind and continued relevance, going forward, is in Tinubu succeeding Buhari.
The Cameroonian indigene of Dubai they are presently perverting themselves to, would have completely digested and excreted them, even before properly chewing them up in that most infernally lying mouth with which he has made sundry diabolical promises to them.
He will surely crucify them if he were to win, egged on by the children of bitterness with whom he always surrounds himself!
And, that is quite apart from the fact that our country would have been completely dislocated and existentially compromised with its entire Southern half becoming, at least, just as crisis plagued as its Northern counterpart in rejection of its denial of its turn to produce the next President of Nigeria.
Funny enough, despite the most extreme sabotages these pathologically misguided conspirators can come up with, Bola Tinubu will still win.
That is why he is the Asiwaju.
It is, therefore, actually in their own best self-interest to be counted on his side!
These godless people who would torment all of their fellow countrymen and women just to score the most disgracefully treacherous of political points had better have a rethink.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will still prevail over them and be their President this very year!
In the meantime, we have a government and a President in place, and, it is the duty of Mr. President to prevent maniacs and demoniacs from subjecting the citizens of this country to pure hell all in a desperate bid to stop his own candidate and flagbearer of his own party.
It is absolutely immaterial who these people are.
They are ultimately his own worst enemies as much as they are those of Asiwaju, the APC and Nigerians at large.
They are actually even more of a threat to his legacy than they are a nuisance to Tinubu’s ambition.
It is therefore as much President Muhammadu Buhari’s constitutional duty to stop them as it is in his best political interests to do so.
Onokpasa, a lawyer and member All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Campaign Council, writes from Warri.
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