Sunday, 1 November 2015


Barrister Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, CFR
In his multi-billion naira palace, right in the middle of his highly revered historic kingdom, located in one of Nigeria’s most important cities, his Royal Majesty, the Emir of Kano, has added to his busy schedule of traditional duties the duty of ‘big brother and adviser’ to the Nigerian economy and ‘extended supervisor’ to the Central Bank of Nigeria, of which he is former governor. Very kind of him!

He could be speaking after gazing into the crystal ball, as is typical of traditional rulers when they consult the oracle or whatever equivalent of spiritual guide they favour. When they wake up in the morning, they find out from the ‘gods’ what the day will bring. In Emir Sanusi’s case, it makes sense to also find out what the economy will look like, given that he has played such a huge role in the economy in his previous life. As anyone who is familiar with such exercises knows, what the oracle will pronounce depends on how much hot drinks, kolanuts, salt and alligator pepper you offer it. It will make more important pronouncements if you add palm oil and dry fish to the mix. That is when it can get into the realm of whether to devalue the naira or not!

The chief priest will then interpret these pronouncements to His Eminence. As the proceedings progress, the priest consumes the hot drinks on behalf of the oracle. His Eminence also takes little sips now and then to get him into the ‘spirit.’ The dry fish, salt and alligator pepper continue to disappear into these wise mouths and more pronouncements spill out. As the session moves to an end, with all or most of the hot drinks gone, the pronouncements become more profound. “Tell Buhari to devalue the Naira now….”

This is not the first time the oracle of the palace will make vexing pronouncements on very important national matters. I still remember with great affection the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade of blessed memory. He represented the Yoruba race at a meeting with the then President, Ibrahim Babangida. The mandate of the meeting was to attempt to reclaim the mandate of the late MKO Abiola. The late Ooni had consulted Ifa and the whole array of Yoruba gods (all 200 of them!) in preparation for the historic assignment. When he got to Abuja, rather than convey the displeasure of the gods about what became of MKO’s mandate, the revered royal father said Babangida was “talking sense.” My brother, Dele Momodu, will explain the rest!

Another serious problem with these ‘supernatural’ beings is that, these days, they collect a lot of money before they make their pronouncements, unlike in the days of old when you only needed to give them a few cowries to get information from them. Times have really changed.

I am still waiting for the new Ooni of Ife to settle down before I ask him to explain to Nigerians why Ifa, Igba Irunmole and the other sundry gods collected so much money from Jonathan, even in the presence of the no-nonsense Oranmiyan, and told him he would win the elections. Upon this pronouncement, the royal highnesses whipped out their royal horsetails and pronounced profuse royal blessings on Jonathan, only for him to be roundly defeated by Buhari, even though Buhari did not settle Igba Irunmole. There must be a good explanation for this!

Maybe the traditional hot drinks were mixed with Crystal Champagne. The Irunmoles are clear about their preference for Ogogoro (local gin). I am not sure local gods are used to foreign bubbly intoxicants! Maybe they don’t even like Crystal Champagne. The urbane, high-living Ooni Sijuade (God rest his classy soul) should have known better than to replace good old Schnapps and cat fish with Champagne and Caviar when dealing with the gods!

Or maybe the gods were confused by the wads of dollars which were rolled out instead of naira. Ifa and Igba Irunmole are not used to dollars unfortunately. That may have convinced them that there is a scarcity of Naira, and therefore of the need to devalue the Naira. Print more money!

That is probably why the oracle is now speaking from Kano on the urgent need to devalue the Naira. So whoever is saying that His Eminence does not know what he is talking about should please shut up! Only ignorant people who don’t understand the ways of traditional rulers and their oracles would utter such profanity

The Sanusiconometric theory of devaluation is new to the praxis of modern events, except of course the oracle says so. His Eminence must be talking from a back-of-the-envelope scenario; otherwise not even the probability of Monte Carlo simulation will predict devaluation at this time. I don’t know if His Eminence is just coming from holidaying in France. Perhaps he visited Monte Carlo City for the simulation exercises and came back with the conclusion that devaluation of the Naira is the way to go. Otherwise, he must certainly be conferring with beings from ‘the other world’ on behalf of Nigeria and Nigerians. (nationalmirror)

Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim writes from the MBA class of the University of Cambridge. To get a compilation of lectures delivered by Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim at different places on wealth creation, especially how he conquered poverty at became a multibillionaire at a record age of 36, click on the link below: