Connect with us


Compare and Contrast: Yemi Cardoso and Mele Kyari



Mele Kyari has lied to the nation about the condition of refineries so many times that he now contradicts himself.

On May 29, 2023, the three toughest jobs in Nigeria were the job of the President of Nigeria, the Governor of the Central Bank and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC.

That same day, Muhammadu Buhari was replaced as President by Bola Tinubu and the 8-year administration by the most incompetent head of government in Nigeria’s history terminated.

Barely a week after assuming office President Tinubu removed Godwin Emefiele as CBN Governor and ended his tenure as the worst caretaker of the Central Bank. Emefiele left behind a bartered economy and a backlog of dollar-denominated obligations long overdue for settlement.

six months ago, President Tinubu announced the appointment of Yemi Cardoso as CBN Governor and 6 months later it is clear to all that the appointment was a spectacular masterstroke deserving of applause.

I have been a critic of President Tinubu but for once I am compelled to acknowledge that he has handed our economy to the best man for the job.

The entire country was relieved to hear yesterday that all the foreign exchange obligation backlog of over $7 billion is now cleared. Amazing.

Very quietly and very diligently Yemi Cardoso has been at work grinding out in the CBN Towers. In 6 months of his time at the CBN Yemi Cardoso has granted 2 interviews at the most. He doesn’t talk.

He doesn’t follow the president around on every foreign trip. He is a focused man who understands his mandate and he is  working.

Even when the Naira almost hit 2000 to the dollar no Nigerian could come out to blame Cardoso personally.

Everybody gave him the benefit of the doubt. Right now, the Naira is gaining strength and speculators are now running for cover.  President Tinubu and Yemi Cardoso are almost vindicated.

Beyond clearing the fx backlog he has resolved the mess with Union and Titan Banks. He has helped in cleaning up AMCON and getting a proper management team in place.

He has stabilized the interest rate regime to tame inflation and most importantly has improved the morale of staff in the CBN who understand what it means to work under competent leadership.

So Buhari is gone and Emefiele is gone. Both replaced by more competent individuals. We are now left with chronic incompetence in NNPC which sadly is the main leg of the economy.

Mele Kyari is the opposite of Yemi Cardoso.

A direct example of light contrasted with darkness. As much as we heap praise on Cardoso we must heap condemnation and disdain on Mele Kyari.

Nobody can be happy with what is going on in NNPC. Under his watch for the past 5 years NNPC has been hobbled and degraded to the extent that it barely is able to produce half of the crude oil it produced when Mele Kyari assumed office in 2019.

This is not opinion. This is a fact that is verifiable.

Unlike Yemi Cardoso, Kyari cannot stop talking. He constantly makes grandiose statements with no factual basis and mostly speaks nonsense. He is walking proof that empty vessels make the most noise.

He needs to emulate the CBN Governor and be more circumspect. He needs to stop being the Presidential poodle and lap dog constantly seeking to be on the President’s delegation to every trip.

It is unseemly and embarrassing for him to be singing “On Your Mandate” on television in the President’s room as he did in India when the Supreme Court affirmed the President’s election. It doesn’t show him as a supporter of the President.

It shows him as a desperate man fighting to keep his job by any means no matter how low and unprofessional it may seem. It is hard to imagine Cardoso in a similar situation. 

Mele Kyari has lied to the nation about the condition of refineries so many times that he now contradicts himself.

Now he’s lying to the world about an imminent public sale of NNPC shares to Nigerian citizens all in a desperate bid to buy more time to stay in office. If lying were an Olympic sport, Mele Kyari would have more gold medals than Usain Bolt.

He tells us he wants foreign investors and yet he blocks and obstructs every divestment transaction from the same international oil companies that he wants to invest in Nigeria.

No international oil company has concluded any divestment transaction in the last 5 years. He has been heard openly to say those transactions only benefit people from the southern part of Nigeria. 

From whatever prism he is viewed, Mele Kyari is the last relic of the sordid incompetence of the Buhari era and again we call on President Tinubu to find a Nigerian in the mould of Yemi Cardoso to replace Mele Kyari.

He is now way past his sell-by date and Cardoso’s performance proves to us that competent Nigerians exist who can clean up and rectify broken institutions like the CBN and indeed NNPC.

NNPC is too important a national institution to be left in the care of hapless and incompetent leaders. Change is overdue. 

Buhari is gone. Emefiele is gone. Kyari should go. 

Bello El-Yakub

A Public Analyst based in Kaduna, Nigeria

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *