From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Intense pressure is mounting on Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, ahead of the 2023 presidential poll, as the Mass Interest Project (MIP) and the Youth for Transparency Initiative (YTI) have charged him to contest.
MIP, in a statement, entitled “The Charge 2023’’ argued that the country’s next president should be an experienced entrepreneur and or a business leader, adding that the person the cap best fits to take over the mantle of leadership in the country was no other than the CBN governor.
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Although the CBN governor has not openly declared interest to contest, several groups have in the past few weeks been clamouring for his declaration of interest in the race, saying the country was at a point technocrats needed to take over the reins of power and steer it out of its present doldrum.
The Mass Interest Project cited the interventions Emefiele had made to get the economy going through fiscal and monetary policies that had helped to get Nigeria out of two recessions within the past five years as one of his a strong credentials.
“As expected, there is already tension across the country. From East to West, North to South, Nigerians are beginning to feel the heat as the political gladiators go on the hustings, perfecting their art to play the game to know how tom play with ruthless efficiency.
“These are men and some women who are well versed in political deception, intimidation, blackmail and are also experts in the arts of violence which they readily deploy to exact vengeance or force compliance to their will and desire.
“They are also adept at making promises they cannot keep or are not capable of supporting. They have been there from the beginning – from the First Republic, Second Republic, Third Republic, Fourth Republic – and continued to rule the coast, even up to the present political dispensation.
“We, the people, work to manifest the Nigeria of our hope on our way to greatness. We march, fiercely guarding the vision and liberty to build a Nigeria we believe in, not a career politicians but as citizens with an equal stake in this Republic.
“Yes, we are on the march, in search of the next leader of our country. Behold we have found a man with a proven track record of loyalty, patriotism and understanding for sustainable development. A man, whose name connotes a date with destiny. Godwin Ifeanyichukwu Emefiele, would you lead our people on this march for a better Nigeria? Would you lead The Charge 2023?”
In a related development, YTI cited Emefiele’s achievements since he became the CBN governor in 2014 as qualification for the job.
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President of the group, Kobo Halilu Umar, in a statement, said: “Mr. Emefiele’s significant support for the Nigerian economy through the use of intervention funds to boost growth is laudable. He has proven himself to be a diligent and determined public servant whose track records will remain indelible in history.
“It is for this that the Youth for Transparency Initiative (YTI), wish to passionately appeal to Emefiele to contest for the 2023 presidency. The APC must go for nothing but the very best. We believe that Emefiele is the best because he has demonstrated competence and capacity that qualifies him to be the president of Nigeria. Nigeria needs a technocrat who is versed in global economic issues.
“One of the great Nigerians who have contributed to the development of country is Godwin Emefiele. Since his appointment as CBN governor in 2014, he has been relentless in building a strong financial system that can strengthen the nation’s economy. His unrelenting efforts at the apex bank has helped to navigate the Nigerian economy through turbulent economic challenges to growth and inclusiveness in policy development and implementation.
“Under Emefiele, the CBN is more people focused, as its policies and programmes are tailored towards supporting small businesses and job creation. Under his leadership, the CBN introduced various interventions, which aimed at growing the economy, job creation and lifting people out of poverty. Under him, the CBN introduced 37 intervention funds targeted at stimulating the economy and addressing the issue of unemployment.
“Through the development finance initiatives, the bank granted N756.51 billion to 3,734,938 small holder farmers of which N120.24 billion was extended for the 2021 wet season to 627,051 farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
“The rice pyramid recently showcased in Abuja is a proof that we have broken the chains of rice importation. Similarly, under Emefiele, the National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF), the CBN released N3.0 billion to 7,057 beneficiaries, of which 4,411 were individuals and 2,646 SMEs.
“In the creative industry, N3.22 billion was disbursed to 356 beneficiaries across movie production, movie distribution, software development, fashion, and IT verticals, under the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI).
“Also the CBN under the N1.0 trillion Real Sector Facility, released N923.41 billion to 251 real sector projects, of which 87 were in light manufacturing, 40 in agro based industry, 32 in services and 11 in mining.
“In the health sector the CBN disbursed N98.41 billion for 103 healt projects under the bank’s Healthcare Sector Intervention Facility (HSIF). These are just a few of the many achievements recorded by Emefiele the past six years at the apex bank,” Umar said justifying the call for an Emefiele’s presidency.”