CURRENCY SWAP/ SCARCITY AND IT PARTICIPANT IMPACT ON THE NIGERIAN POLITICAL CULTURE

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By NAYO, Jude Babatunde

The currency swap and Naira notes scarcity has no doubt posed threat to our ease of livelihood recently, but has done nothing compared to the mayhem and increased poverty that corruption and extreme economic sabotage and money laundry has caused us as a people, especially the almost complete compromise of our electoral system by the big wig corrupt politicians who has perpetually housed over 65% of the total money in circulation for unhealthy political purposes, hence politically demoralizing the electorate and altering our political culture. These are best linked to the electoral new normal of “Vote for money” which has ever since been the ultimate threat to the development of our democracy and a loose end to our electoral institutions.

Our democracy and electoral processes has been long commercialized, by our corrupt politicians and at the detriment of the poor electorate making them more vulnerable, helpless and hopeless making “vote buying” to thrive.

The constant alteration of our political culture by our corrupt politicians by the vote buying system, is only a means to an end, which is “Making elective public offices exclusively for the super rich and governance exclusively for the elite class”

To our corrupt politicians, the common man or the middle class should only be onlookers with little or no significant political stake.

  • It is worthy and sacrosanct that this piece of thoughts also give comprehensive insight into the concept of “Political culture”

According to Britanica “political culture, in political science, a set of shared views and normative judgments held by a population regarding its political system.

The notion of political culture does not refer to attitudes toward specific actors, such as a president, governors, representatives or minister, but rather denotes how people view the political system as a whole and their belief in its legitimacy.

American political scientist Lucian Pye defined political culture as the composite of basic values, feelings, and knowledge that underlie the political process. Hence, the building blocks of political culture are the beliefs, opinions, and emotions of the citizens toward their form of government and the processes of its emergence”

Now looking into the current and ongoing currency swap and the Naira notes scarcity, the economic implications are evident and tangible in several ways on the Nigerian citizen, however we should also consider critically the brighter side of the new monetary policies.

Just before the new CBN policy, as of October 2022, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion; out of which only N500 billion was within the banking system and N2.7 trillion held permanently in people’s homes. (90% of which are with politicians and not in business domains or flows)

According to a premium time chat with the CBN governor;
“To be more specific, as at the end of September 2022, available data at the CBN indicate that N2.73 Trillion out of the N3.23 trillion currency in circulation, was outside the vaults of commercial banks across the country; and supposedly held by the public,” Mr Emefiele said at the time.
“Evidently, currency in circulation has more than doubled since 2015; rising from N1.46 trillion in December 2015 to N3.23 trillion in September 2022. This is a worrisome trend that cannot be allowed to continue” he said at the time.” Over a trillion has since been retrieved into the bank.

This means the money economy is almost no longer under the control of the apex bank, hence a critical action such as the currency swap and new monetary policies has to be implemented.

We’ve read in several publications about how some highly profiled and super corrupt politicians has single handedly hauled over 200 Billion Naira (cash) in a personal safe (so to say) just for the purpose of vote buying in the 2023 general elections, it is not totally wrong that over 65% of the total cash in circulation from November to February 2023 has been coverted by these politicians for vote buying.

it’s unbelievable the rate at which these politicians has been rolling out the Naira notes in ambiguous amounts from different ridiculous places they’ve hid them, ever since the currency swap and new monetary policies of the Central bank of Nigeria.

It is a bitter pill for everyone to swallow, however it is a must to swallow. For the common man it with only be interpreted as economic instability and scarcity of the Naira cash.

But for our politicians, it is a had knock, it is a system sabotage, it is a threat to the slave master’s trade, it is detrimental to success of their planned political demoralization of the electorate at polls.

For our financial institutions, democracy, electoral college and processes, for the people and the interest of our dear Nation, it is a win win!

If this new monetary policies can be sustained and managed adequately, it will definitely have a lot of reform effect on our economy, democracy and electoral processes especially at a time like this considering the feburary 25th general elections.

With the current monetary trends, vote buying will be difficult and can be controlled to the barest minimal. The electorates wouldn’t be under undue pressure to compromise their conscience, our political culture will be remodeled toward morality and good conscience, credibility among other positive factors that can be considered in governance and leadership.

Our democracy will be strengthened, power will be given back to the people.

Money politics will be subdued by value and interest. True democracy will thrive.

As pleasant and appealing this democratic and electoral developments stated might be to well meaning citizens, there is a prices to pay for them. And this prices are the hardship and economic unease that has been the major challenge facing the country in recent times, though they won’t last longer.

As a Nation, our fate, our future and prosperity is in our hands. The Feburary 25th general elections has given us another opportunity to make a difference, by voting with a clear conscience with all forms of undue influence and pressure brought to the barest minimal.

To change all that is bad in our governance and leadership system today, it has to begin with a change of attitude toward governance and leadership by every individual, it begins by voting for our conscience and healthy interest, it’s begins by not selling our votes and standing against all forms of vote buying and electorates demoralization.

It’s begins with changing our political culture and moving toward morals and values.

It begins at the polls comes February 25th

It begins with you and I doing what is right and just even when no one is watching.

Our dear Nation will thrive again !

We will rise !

We will get it right with governance and leadership !

Stay safe and #VoteNotFight

NAYO Jude Babatunde,
Writes from the confluence state (Kogi)
nayojb2612@gmail.com




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