And Emefiele’s Blame Game Goes On

By Kelvin Adegbenga

Godwin Emefiele on Friday, July 29th, 2022 shifted the blame for the scarcity of dollars and depreciation of the naira to the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.

The tenure of Godwin Emefiele as CBN governor has witnessed colossal failures in monetary and fiscal policies.

Under the leadership of Emefiele, the CBN has failed in its core mandate of managing the economy and has dived propaganda with claims that do not reflect the harsh economic reality on the ground.

He is well known for blaming institutions or individuals for the depreciation of the naira, and now that the naira is seriously challenged, he has shifted the blame to NNPC Limited.

How can Emefiele blame the NNPC Limited when we know the inability of the CBN to promptly release Joint Venture (JV) cash call funding from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) even when the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd had adequate cash cover, leading to the loss of JV Partners’ confidence to restore production and reap the benefits of today’s improved oil prices.

I am aware that for over three months now, dollar-denominated cash call payments amounting to over $400 million, properly processed, are yet to be paid by the CBN under Godwin Emefiele.

Why can’t the CBN look into the education and health sectors that gulp billions of dollars every year?

The forex demand for these two items puts significant and avoidable pressure on our forex reserves and humiliates the naira.

It wouldn’t matter if the exchange rate was N1000/$1 if we were productive. The real issue is the quality of life that the currency can provide for Nigerians, which relates to deeper structural issues as well as the size of the economy of our population.

Let me enumerate some of the blame games of Godwin Emefiele from 2016 to date:

On Tuesday, January 19, 2016, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, blamed the United States and Nigeria’s overreliance on foreign goods for the unrelenting depreciation in the value of the naira against other major foreign currencies.


The CBN made this excuse during a closed-door meeting with National Assembly leadership, where he was asked to explain why the naira was depreciating.

Emefiele was also said to have blamed other factors such as the declining commodity prices and the geo-political tensions along important trading routes for the dwindling naira value.

On June 24, 2015, the Central Bank issued a new circular informing the public to ban a list of 41 imported goods and services from accessing the official Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market. This is another hard-line position taken by the CBN to keep control of the demand for the dollar as low as it possibly can.


Godwin Emefiele met with dealers over the state of the forex market and the meeting did not go well. Dealers want more flexibility in the market, whilst the CBN wants assurances that dealers will not, in their quest for profits, commence another round of speculation that will drive up the price of the Naira.

Godwin Emefiele has been under pressure from foreign investors who want further devaluation before they can import money into Nigeria. The stock market has been adversely affected by the currency debacle as trading has remained largely bearish in the last few months.

On July 27, 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria hit the Bureau De Change (BDC), accusing them of illegal forex trading and discontinuing the sale of forex to the Bureau operators in Nigeria.


The governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, made this known while addressing the press during the MPC briefing on Tuesday, July 27th, 2021.

The Central Bank also confirmed that they will no longer license new BDC operations in the country and have also halted all current processes for new licenses.

The Governor, while making these announcements, promised to deal “ruthlessly” with Nigerian banks caught in these illegal acts.

On September 17th, 2021, the owner of the online foreign exchange rate website, AbokiFX, is being investigated for possible sabotage against the Nigerian state.


The CBN accused the owner of the website, Mr. Olusegun Adedotun Oniwinde, of running a scheme tantamount to “economic sabotage” by using his website to set exchange rates.

According to the source, Mr. Oniwinde might be profiting from the speculative activities of the naira by setting exchange rates while living outside the country.

On October 25th, 2021, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, blamed former military dictator Ibrahim Babangida for the downward trend in the value of the naira.


President Muhammadu Buhari made his comments at the State House, Abuja, during the official launch of Nigeria’s digital currency, the eNaira.

“Please recall that since the advent of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in 1986 and the introduction of the Second Tier Foreign Exchange (SFEM) market, the Naira has been on a one-way free fall from parity with the US Dollar in 1984 to over N410/USD today,” Emefiele said.

According to the governor of Nigeria’s apex bank, “Some 35 years later, we have not been able to achieve the many promises and objectives of that programme.”

On March 23, 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) halted the sale of dollars to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by oil companies, including international oil companies (IOCs) that operate within the shores of the country.


Breaking the news during an emergency meeting with bank chief executive officers in Lagos at the weekend, Emefiele spoke of the urgent need to improve dollar supply to the apex bank, which has vowed to meet all dollar obligations to correspondent banks from importers.

The same Godwin Emefiele, on Friday, July 29th, 2022, is blaming Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited for the scarcity of dollars and depreciation of the naira in recent weeks.


The CBN made the statement on Friday after the exchange rate of the dollar crossed the N700 mark in the black market of the foreign exchange segment.

The CBN revealed that the NNPC remittance from crude oil accounts for over 80 percent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange (forex) earnings.

Not done with accusing the NNPC Limited, CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, accused the BDC operators of operating against their mandate and aiding money laundering by providing their services to illegal businesses. Since the ban on sales of forex to the Bureau de Change, the naira has been in a free fall in the parallel market.

Emefiele also blamed the two recessions, driven by the global economic slowdown and the COVID-19 pandemic in the last six years.

It is high time President Buhari and the National Assembly stop tolerating Godwin Emefiele’s inefficiencies because Nigerians can’t tolerate him again. Emefiele must go now!

Kelvin Adegbenga is a Public Affairs Analyst based in Abuja and can be reached via Twitter: @kelvinadegbenga

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