Protesters demand for Emefiele’s sack

Protesters in their hundreds besieged the headquarters of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday, demanding for the immediate sack of Godwin Emefiele, governor of the apex bank.

The protesters who were later dispersed by the Police and some soldiers complained of the rising inflation in the country as well as the deteriorating value of the naira.

In front of the bank’s main entrance, they held up placards saying “Emefiele must go” and “Where is your conscience, Emefiele?” until policemen and soldiers scattered them.

It was the first sign of public unrest targeting the central bank during the current economic crunch.

Nigeria is in recession as a slump in vital oil revenues has hammered public finances and the currency, driving up the prices of imported goods and basic food such as milk. The West African nation needs to buy abroad to meet most of its food needs.

Annual inflation accelerated to 17.5 percent in August, compared with 9.3 percent in the same month last year.

In June the central bank dropped its peg of the naira to the dollar, prompting the currency to depreciate by 40 percent in a step meant to attract more investors. But bankers say the move has only sped up the decline of the naira on the parallel black market, which has become the benchmark.

On Tuesday, the naira traded at 310 against the dollar on the official interbank market and 470 on the black market, according to dealers.