- President Muhammadu Buhari has been commended for his roles in rebooting Nigeria's economy
- Senator Uba Sani, who hailed the president also saluted the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, for his outstanding roles in the nation's current economic status
- According to him, Emefiele has guided Nigeria out of about three circles of economic recession
The lawmaker representing Kaduna Central at the upper legislative chamber, Mallam Uba Sani, has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, over their exceptional roles in rebooting the nation's economy following the hardship occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
Legit.ng's regional reporter in Kaduna, Nasir Dambatta, reports that the senator, who is the chairman of the Senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions, said Nigeria would have been contending with major crises on practically all fronts but for the level-headedness of President Buhari.
“No nation was prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic and even the so-called advanced countries of the world that we thought were infallible were totally humbled by the virus. Even as at today, the United States of America seems bereft of ideas on how to contend with the pandemic and its aftermath.
"However, in Nigeria, we are lucky to have a president who is calm, level headed and continues to listen and take advice from experts. That, for me, is the saving grace,” Senator Uba Sani said.
The senator said the phased easing of the lockdown across the country was a masterstroke by the president, adding that like most other good leaders, the president was worried that the lockdowns were taking a dangerous toll on Nigeria's economy.
According to him, the president at the same time was being careful not to endanger the lives of Nigeria just to save the economy hence the very delicate balancing that was achieved eventually with the phased ease of the series of lockdowns.
"It is working, the economy is gradually rebounding and people are becoming more conscious of the virus and the need to abide by the safety protocols as spelt out by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation,” he said.
Senator Sani also said that the nation owes the governor of the CBN a debt of gratitude for the role he has been playing to help the nation stem the COVID- 19 pandemic.
He extolled Emefiele for leading the bankers' committee to form the Nigerian private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).
“I must confess that I am very impressed with the frontline and very proactive role the CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele has been playing in Nigeria’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. But for his foresight, the private sector, though willing to help, would have been uncoordinated in their involvement.
"The CBN governor simply brought his leadership skills and business acumen to bear and professionally guided the private sector involvement in the fight against the pandemic. I commend him for this,” Senator Uba Sani said.
The lawmaker said he does not nurse much fear for the nation’s economy post-COVID-19 given the good work the CBN has been doing with the approval and encouragement of President Buhari.
“Facts before the Senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions that I chair, indicate that in the bid to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy, the CBN has so far disbursed about of N107.45 billion to beneficiaries from the N1.15 trillion COVID-19 pandemic intervention funds. I am also aware that several beneficiaries have been paid some money under the CBN’s N50 billion targeted credit facility for households and SMEs.
"I must confess that I have total confidence in the ability of the CBN under Mr Emefiele to carefully guide our economy back to relative sanity after the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the senator enthused.
He also contends that another reason the nation’s economy would recover quickly from the effects of the pandemic is the solid footing the CBN had placed the nation’s economy prior to COVID-19.
“You know that in life tough times toughen you. In the last six years also, since Emefiele became the CBN governor, the global economy has been through series of turbulence and Nigeria was not exempted. By my calculation, the CBN governor, Mr Emefiele has guided Nigeria out of about three circles of economic recession. It is true, many people may not know this.
“For example, uncertainties and shocks in the global market led to the plummeting of Nigeria’s reserves as the crude oil price fell to a point where it dropped by February 2016, to as low as $28 per barrel. The fall was expected to totally ruin our economy which depended almost 90 per cent on oil revenue.
Now, compare this price with the previous years when it averaged $100 per barrel for five straight years from 2009 to the middle of 2014. By January 2016, inflation was just nine per cent, but by January 2017, prices went up and inflation skyrocketed to 18 per cent and we all thought the Nigerian economy was going to sink! But we survived,” he added.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that a bill sponsored by Senator Sani which seeks to amend the banking and other financial institutions act (2004) passed through the first reading in the Senate on Tuesday, May 12.
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