CBN Governor Speaks on Mega Radio!

“Hello listeners. This is Mega Man welcoming you to another edition of your ever lively radio program where we interview personalities of high repute on various issues.

“Today, we have here on the program a banker of repute, a Mallam of impeccable profile, an Islamic Scholar of inestimable value, a multi award winner, and someone who made the TIME list of 100 Most Influential People in the world in Year 2011. Our guest is no other person than “Mallam Tsunami” himself, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. You’re most welcome to the studio, Sir.”

“Thank you, Mega Man. And good evening to everyone at home. I’m glad to be here.”

“Mr. Governor, for the benefit of some of our listeners who may not know you very well, could you please say something about yourself.”

Huhhuh, thank you Mega Man. I am Mallam the Governor. I preside over the entire wealth of this nation. In fact, without me, the country’s President is powerless. And all those who call themselves state Governors, Ministers, Commissioners – all of them – cannot survive without my mercy.

“Wow! That’s so captivating! Could you please expatiate a little further, Sir?”

“It is a simple logic, Mega Man. As the only man who holds the green pen, red biro, and yellow pencil that can close down any bank; as the only authentic Governor who governs over unlimited money in this country; I am the true heart of the nation. I can sleep tonight and decide tomorrow morning to shut down the financial system of this country.

“You know that money is a powerful weapon. When you remove money from people, they become powerless. As the CBN Governor, I have the authority to withdraw all the money in everyone’s possession. This includes the monies in your bank accounts; those kept under your pillows at home; and those left in your purse or pockets.

“As a Mallam and an Islamic Scholar, I am particular about delivering justice and believe that I should not be used as a tool for self-seeking political agendas. I also know that Wahhabist rhetoric of fundamentalists is counter to genuine Muslim interests.

“I think I should pause at this stage. But for those who will like to know me further, they can grab a copy of my July 2003 paper titled ‘Democracy, Rights and Islam: Theory, Epistemology and the Quest for Synthesis.’”

“Wow! That’s so impressive, but also scary, Sir.”

“Well, by nature of my profession, religion, upbringing, and royal lineage, I am not permitted to boast. I live a very simple life, and I don’t use my power anyhow.”

“I have my doubts, Mr. Governor. People see you as a heavyweight who uses his sword at will. Who else could have fired the CEOs of four commercial banks in a single day in 2009; right there in their presence, and without any notice?”

“Hahaha, point of correction; they were actually five criminals, not four. But do I look like a heavyweight, Mega Man? I weigh less than 80kg, my dear brother.”

“Anyway, let’s make progress, Sir. I need one or two clarifications from you before I open our telephone lines for listeners to start asking their questions.”

“Yes, please go ahead. That’s why I’m here.”

“Good. How do you feel about the suspension order given by the President on your proposed N5,000 note.”

“Oh, that one? It’s a simple matter. The President gave us the go ahead initially. But now that he has also ordered us to stop, we have no choice than to comply. He’s the President.”

“But one would have thought that you would just ignore the Presidential order because of your enormous power; your acclaimed autonomy; and your strong belief in the new note.”

“Well, you are right. But, as you also know, ‘power pass power.’

“I see. Do you still believe in that N5,000 note proposal as you did from the beginning?”

“Yes, of course. As a banker of high repute, I believe it is one of the best things that could happen to Nigerians at this very moment.”

“But a lot of people think it is an anti-people initiative.”

“That’s where the problem is, Mega Man. You see, many of our people know next to nothing about economics; otherwise, they wouldn’t have resisted our kind gesture as they did.”

“Ha! Thanks for that statement, Mr. Governor. You were quoted as abusing OBJ on this same issue…”

“No, no, no, OBJ is my father. How could I have abused him? Please get your facts right.”

“But it was shown live on TV, Sir.”

“Yes, I agree. But I didn’t abuse him. If you have the tape here you can let us play it again for the whole country to watch right now. Oh, sorry, I forgot I’m actually in a radio station. Anyway, I did not abuse baba.

“OK, Mr. Governor, you said baba knows nothing about economics. In fact, you claimed that he’s a farmer, and a bad economist; which means you were indirectly saying that he doesn’t know anything about fiscal or monetary policies. You seem to have forgotten that the man is a former President.”

“You see, Mega Man, that’s one of the problems I have with you guys in the media. You have a way of twisting stories. Can you see how you have suddenly quoted me out of context? If I said that he’s a farmer, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know anything about economics. He’s just a bad economist. Let’s face facts, baba goofed on that N5,000 note issue.”

“That, to me, still sounds abusive and insulting, Mallam the Governor.”

“OK, you can have your way on that. If you say I abused him, well, that won’t be out of place. Baba himself abuses people anyhow; it then means that I, his beloved son, resemble him … ha ha ha ha ha.”

“So you’re birds of the same feather.”

“Call it whatever you like.”

“Anyway, Mr. Governor, can Nigerians conclude that the President, your boss, also goofed by suspending your N5,000 proposal?”

“Please stop calling it my proposal. You give it a negative connotation that way. It is our proposal; the President gave me the approval since November 2011.”

“No problem. So you agree with me that he goofed.”

“He did not. He actually took the suspension decision in the best interest of the nation.”

“Ha! That sounds like a contradiction, Mallam the Governor. If the President has suspended the N5,000 in the best interest of the nation, what it means is that those who were pushing for it were actually working against the people.”

“Sorry, sorry, sorry; are you inferring that I am anti people or what?”

“Not at all, Sir. I’m just trying to analyze your statements properly, Mr. Governor.”

“Anyway, can you please open your telephone lines and let me answer questions from the good people of Nigeria. We have to drop this issue of N5,000 note. It is now a dead issue so let’s move on.”

“Alright. My dear listeners, you’re still tuned to your favourite program on radio – Mega Live; and our special guest, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, popularly known as Mallam the Banker, is still very much here with us.  All our lines are now open and you can call to ask any question that you may have for the Governor.”

“Hello!”

“Yes, hello, good evening. What’s your name and where are you calling from?”

“My name is Donald; I’m calling from third mainland bridge.”

“Ha! Welcome to the program, Donald. How is the traffic on third mainland bridge at this time?”

“Ah, Mega Man, it is so tick ooo. But it’s moving small, small sha. The LASTMA guys are really trying.

“Good. Please go ahead and ask Mallam the Governor your question.”

“Thank you. Good evening, Governor.”

“Yes, Donald, good evening and how are you?”

“I’m fine, Sir. Please, Mr. Governor, it is still on this issue of N5,000 note that Mega Man asked you earlier…”

“No, no, no, Donald, I’m sorry to cut you. As I said earlier on, the matter is closed. Let’s talk about another thing.”

“Sorry, Governor, I just want a reassurance that the issue will not resurface between next year and 2015, because the word ‘suspension’ has been used. Something suspended may still resurrect, Sir.”

“Why is that a big deal to you, Donald?”

“It’s because many of us are afraid that you will still go ahead to produce the N5,000 note to help politicians prepare fully for the 2015 elections.”

“Well, Donald, I don’t think that should be an issue. Every Nigerian knows that I am not a politician and I’m not even a friend to politicians so I will never allow myself to be used to achieve any unholy purpose. Mind you, I did not apply for this job. I did not beg for it. And I’m not desperate about it so nobody can ever manipulate me.”

“OK, Sir. Can I take it that the issue will not resurface before 2015?”

“Well, I so much believe that the N5,000 note will be in the interest of the masses. But now that the President has suspended it, let’s move on for now…we’re both working in the interest of the country.”

“OK, Donald. I think we have to leave the lines open for others to call in.”

“Alright, Mega Man. Thanks again, Mr. Governor.”

“Thanks Donald.”

“So, from what Donald said, Mr. Governor, it seems people are still skeptical.”

“There is nothing to fear.”

“But I thought you would assure Donald that the issue of N5,000 note will never resurface.”

“Well, I need to watch my words. If the suspension is lifted tomorrow, I have no choice than to go back to the drawing board with my team.”

“Which is quite likely to happen, Mr. Governor.”

“Why do you think so, Mega Man?”

“It’s a simple analogy. You said you weren’t a politician but, as we all know, the President is a politician.”

“Yes, and he’s also the Commander-In-Chief”

“Ah, let’s take this call, Sir. Hello, who’s on the line?”

“Hello! This is Debby calling from Ikeja.”

“Oh, Debby, good evening.”

“Good evening, Mega Man. I’ve been trying all your three lines for the past 30 minutes without luck. What happened?”

“Well, maybe it’s the network”

“No, Mega Man. I think you people in that station give some callers a special privilege. That Donald of a man is always the first to get through to you on this program, why?”

“Anyway, thank God you finally got through. So what’s your question for the Governor?”

“Ah! OK. Thank you Mega Man. Please what topic are we discussing today?”

“It’s an open floor. You can ask our guest any question you like.”

“I see. Who is the guest on the program today, please?”

“I thought you’ve been listening to us since. Anyway, we have the Governor with us here in the studio.”

“Ah, Your Excellency, good evening, Sir. Eko o ni baje ooo. O baje ti!”

“No, Debby, it’s the CBN Governor, not BRF…”

“You say?”

“Ooops! What a shame…The line has cut off.”

“Haha! The caller thought it was Lagos state Governor speaking, right?”

“Yes, Mallam. But another caller is on the line now. Hello! Who is calling?”

“Hello!”

“Could you turn down the volume of your radio, please?”

“OK, Mega Man. Please hold on…is it alright now?”

“Yes, but you need to speak a little bit louder so that we can hear you very well.”

“OK. Can you hear me now, Mega Man.

“Yes, go on. The Governor is listening.”

“Thanks. Sir, my name is Abu and I want to thank you for all the good work you’re doing for this country. In fact, Nigeria needs people like you. We are all proud of you.”

“Thank you, Abu.”

“Sir, let those who don’t know anything continue to talk out of ignorance. Just be focused and forge ahead; I know that Allah Subhana Wa Tala will never leave you.”

“Thank you, Abu. Please go ahead with your question.”

“I don’t have a question per se. I just thought I should call to wish you well.”

“Oh, thank you for that.”

“Phew! That was one of your admirers, Sir.”

“Oh yes. I’m sure there are millions like Abu out there who value what the CBN is doing and…”

“Sorry, let’s take this next call, Sir. Hello good evening.”

“Hello, it’s me again… Abu.”

“Abu, you just called a few minutes ago; why are you calling again?”

“Yes, Mega Man. I forgot to ask for the name of the Mallam that is there with you on the program.”

“Whaaaaat! You mean you didn’t know the person you were speaking to earlier?”

“I’m sorry, Mega Man, I’m not sure whether he’s the Sokoto or Kano state Governor, that’s why I called back.”

“Well, our guest today is the CBN Governor…, Oh, the line is gone again.”

“It’s so amusing, Mega Man. So Abu didn’t know he was speaking to me all along?”

“I’m surprised, Mr. Governor. Ah! We have another caller on the line. Hello!”

“Helloooooooo, Mega Mannnnnnn!”

“Hey, helloooooo! Who is on the line?”

“Haaaaa, Mega Man! You mean you can’t recognize my voice?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. You know I get so many calls on this program so it’s hard to recognize every voice.”

“OK ooooo. This is Jacklyne; the only Jacklyne that calls you regularly. How now?”

“I’m fine, and you?”

“Fine ooo. I saw you in the traffic this morning.”

“Really?”

“Yes now. I was waiving at you but you didn’t respond. Maybe you didn’t know it was me. I always call you on the program, you know.”

“OK, so sorry about that, Jacklyne. The CBN Governor is ready to answer your question.”

“Ah, good evening Governor.”

“Good evening, madam. And how are you?”

“I’m fineeee. Can you still remember my voice, Mr. Governor? I came to your former bank some seven years ago when I was looking for employment. You were the Chairman of the panel that interviewed me.”

“Oh, no! That was a long time ago. There’s no way I can remember.”

“Alright. Thank God I’m now a businesswoman. When I didn’t get that job in your bank at that time, I had to beg my uncle for some money with which I started a small business.”

“Oh, I’m so happy for you, Jacklyne. And how is your business doing?”

“Governor, it’s tough ooo. In fact, I called you to confirm something.”

“Please go ahead, Jacklyne.”

“Sir, I want to take a N500,000 loan from a bank but they are making life so difficult for me. They said you have asked them to stop giving out loans.”

“Jacklyne, whoever said that to you is my enemy. I didn’t give that kind of order.”

“They also said you have instructed them to always ask for various documents, including the birth certificate of borrower’s grandmother or grandfather; whether dead or alive.”

“Haaa, me? Never! Please Jacklyne, give me the name of the bank. Insha Allah, I will fire its MD tomorrow morning.”

“One more thing, Sir. Is it true that you just published some names?”

“Yes, those are mega borrowers who must not be given any loan again, Jacklyne. They are bad debtors.”

“But how would their businesses survive without loans, Sir? And what would be the fate of their staff who may eventually be fired?”

“Well, that would be their funeral; not mine. I don’t give a damn.”

“You don’t do what, Sir?’

“I said ‘I don’t give a damn’.”

“Oh, Mr. Governor, I thought that phrase is reserved for the President.”

“No! The CBN Governor is also entitled to use it when necessary.”

 “Well, well, well, Jacklyne, I’m afraid you need to leave the line for another call to come in. Thanks for calling.”

“OK, thank you Mega Man.”

“While waiting for the next call, Mallam the Governor, what’s your assessment of the ongoing cashless policy?”

“Wonderful! It’s been so wonderful, Mega Man.”

“So, people don’t carry cash around any longer?”

“Well, some stubborn people still do so. But very soon, we may have to come up with a policy that will sanction anyone that flouts our cashlite rules. We may also need to reduce the cash limits drastically.”

“But sanctions are already in place since banks charge people for depositing their money and also for withdrawing the same money.”

“Yes, the charges apply when you go above the set cash limits. But we may need to do more than that.”

“What’s on your mind, Sir?”

“Some people may have to go to jail for withdrawing too much cash or depositing too much money in their accounts. That’s the language people understand in this country.”

“It seems you enjoy throwing people into jail, Mr. Governor. Anyway, we have another caller on the line. Hello!”

“Hello, Mega Man. Can I speak to the Governor, please?”

“Yes, what’s your name and where are you calling from.”

“I’m Charles, calling from Ikorodu.”

“OK, go ahead with your question, Charles.”

“Mr. Governor, what efforts are you making for the thousands of bank employees who became jobless due to your banking reform; your so called tsunami?”

“Well, Charles, I’m afraid that’s their destiny. They are what I will call ‘collateral damage.’ Let them move on with their lives.”

“But a lot of them have not got other jobs since that time. They are suffering.”

“Charles, let them intensify their fasting and prayers. They will get other jobs someday.”

“Thank you, Charles. We have to take another call now.”

“OK, Mega Man. But sha, Mr. Governor, God dey ooo.

“Iwo lo mo – Na you sabi”

“So you understand Yoruba, Mr. Governor? I’m shocked!”

“Why won’t I, Mega Man? Do you know for how long I stayed in Lagos? I’m an original Lagos boy.”

“Eeee eeeeh?”

Yes ke! Do you know ‘Sheraton Restaurant’ in Lagos?”

“No, Sir. I only know Sheraton Hotel in Ikeja.”

“See you…JJC; go and find out, ‘Sheraton Restaurant’ used to be under Marina Bridge. That’s where we bankers, insurance people, and others used to have lunch in those days.”

“Is that so, Mr. Governor?”

“Gba beee! We also had a spot in Obalende for Suya and Fura de Nunu. Go and ask about me at Campos Square in Isale Eko; that’s where we used to jive.”

“Are you serious?”

“Haha, I’m sure you don’t know ‘Agbo Ile’ in Broad Street.”

“Where is that, Sir?”

“When you get to the spot where Bank of Industry used to be…I mean the demolished BoI building, just ask anyone to point ‘Agbo Ile’ to you. They will direct you.”

“What takes place there, Sir?”

“Well, that’s a test for you. Go and find out yourself.”

“We have another call…Hello, who is this please?”

“I beg make I talk to Governor.”

“Yes, you will talk to him. But what’s your name and where are you…”

“My name na Chimezie Adoke. I wan ask the Governor wetin him dey do for this NEPA issue for Nigeria. The thing dey affect everybody. No light for home, no light for shop, no….”

“Sorry, Chimezie, that’s not within my purview.”

“Which kind curfew? I dey talk of light you dey talk curfew; I beg curfew no dey for my area o!”

“Don’t get me wrong, Chimezie. I mean that I am not a NEPA officer.”

“But no be you dey hold our money for hand? No be you dem say e no buy transformers? No be you dey give them big, big men money to dey import generators from China? I beg, Governor make you…”

“Thank you, Chimezie. The Governor has heard you.”

“Yes, I heard him, Mega Man. But I can’t help him in anyway, and I disagree with what he said.”

“You don’t have to fight him, Mallam Governor. Chimezie is just a concerned young man.”

“But he spoke without any respect for me!”

“I guess you’re upset, Sir…Please calm down and let’s deal with the last question I have here. What would you say about corruption in this country?”

“It’s quite straightforward and I’ve said it times without number: All corrupt people should be jailed, and if possible, they should all be shot dead.”

“How about those identified oil barons that keep stealing our money. They seem to be the ones controlling our economy under our nose.”

“For those ones, eh; there is hardly what anyone can do. You need them in the society as business people to drive your economy.”

“But they are so corrupt, Mr. Governor. They are the same cabals who steal our oil, bribe government officials, and run down our banks.”

“Yes, yes, you’re right. But even in the UK, business moguls play important roles that’s why the British Government finds ways of accommodating them.”

“Is it not then contradictory for you to have suggested that corrupt people should be jailed or shot dead?”

“Well, yes, I said so. But, as they say, even ‘angels are not equal in heaven’.”

“Is it true, Sir, that you have James Ibori’s US$15 million bribe money with you?”

“Sorry, I don’t want to comment on that, Mega Man.

“OK, what do you have to say about Otedola/Lawan dollar bribery issue?”

“Again, I reserve my comments.”

“Would you want to say one or two words about the fuel subsidy removal?”

“I’m sorry; I don’t want to talk about it again.”

“Alright, Mr. Governor. I won’t push any further. It’s been so nice having you on the program today. Hope you will honour our invitation when next we call on you.”

“Sure, sure, sure. I’m a man of the people so I will always want to communicate with them through a platform of this nature at any time.

“Thank you, Sir. Dear listeners, I’m afraid this is where we have to draw the curtain for today. I thank you all for listening. Catch ya some other time. Byeeeee!”

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1 comment on “CBN Governor Speaks on Mega Radio!”

  1. Wao! The Mallam Governor need to hear (sorry read) this! Jokes aside, this is highly mind blowing and uniquely creative writing. Kudos sir!

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