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Mr. Godwin Emefiale

KADUNA/Nigeria: The Arewa Youth Consultative  Forum(AYCF) has lampooned a new group known as Arewa Youth Assembly, which on Monday asked the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele to “resign his position” over his  alleged failure to manage the country’s economy sustainably”

A media release  signed  by the group’s National President,  Yerima Shettima, noted that the Arewa Assembly leadership “is blind to the reality of not just the Nigerian economy but that of the entire world, ravaged by the Covid-19 epidemic, notably the United States, where millions lost their jobs and big investments are still folding up”.

It would be recalled that the Arewa Assembly, which spoke through its Speaker, Mohammed Salihu Danlami, alleged that the apex bank boss’ presidential ambition was the reason behind Emefiele’s bid to “destroy the Nigerian  economy”, a position the AYCF described as “meaningless  and childish”

Alhaji Yerima, in the AYCF’s swift response to what it described as the Arewa Assembly’s  “misplaced attack, wrong transfer of aggression and desperation  to attract public attention”, said the youth group “has got it all twisted” on Nigeria’s struggling economy under the covid-19 pandemic and unprecedented banditry and kidnapping  that threatened trades and incomes.

“The Arewa Assembly obviously didn’t  do their homework  well, did no research of current facts and figures. Covid19 led to a 60% decline in crude oil prices in the first half of 2020 led to a decline in revenue, foreign exchange earnings; output of key sectors like manufacturing  and service industries and the economy  fell into recession in the 3rd quarter of 2020 after two consecutive quarters of negative growth of 5.1% in the second quarter  of 2020 and 3.6% in the 3rd quarter of same year” AYCF recalled.

“The AYCF therefore takes exception to this unjustified attack on the CBN led by Emefiele, devoid of any sound economic arguments but built around mere lamentations.

We also donot think it is fair to single out only one official of government for castigation in the media by self-styled youth groups such as the Arewa Assembly, without adequately persuasive or convincing reasons. Take it or leave it, Emefiele has done his best to help poor Northerners with start-up capital for small-scale agric businesses, introduced special grants  to cushion the effects of the covid19 pandemic on households income and pumped N23billion providing  isolation  centres and some billions more into efforts towards stabilizing the national economy in more ways than one; including BDCs, to try to boost the exchange rate, and this is right now a work in progress.

“The CBN Governor is capable of defending the apex bank anyday, but we  would not like a group claiming to be speaking on behalf of the North to raise questions that would make Northerners look like learners of elementary  economics. It is also not about regional sentiment because economic experts have taken time to explain some of the circumstances leading to the current  challenges and we dare say we don’t care where where the CBN Governor  hails from, when discussing current  economic challenges affecting the whole world”, the AYCF emphasized.

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