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Profiling Obanikoro’s son who canvassed closure of domiciliary accounts to fix naira debacle

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SINCE the gradual slip of naira to N570/$ at the parallel market, most Nigerians have continued to express disappointments at the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

In 2015 when the president assumed office, the official dollar exchange rate to naira was N169 but about six years into his administration, the local currency now stands at N410/$ at the official rate and over N570/$ in the parallel market.

But bulk of the blame has gone to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for failing to effectively manage the crisis, being the controller of the nation’s monetary policies.


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Experts have also identified other factors responsible for weakening the naira to include: the declining foreign direct investments, insecurity, rising capital flight and increased borrowing, among others.

It is in this context that Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro, son of the former Minister of State for Defence Musiliu Obanikoro, joined scores of Nigerians to provide likely solutions to reverse the continuous naira depreciation. But, his proposed solution met stiff condemnations from the public.

On Thursday, September 28, he suggested the CBN shut down the domiciliary accounts of Nigerians, at least for a year to stop the trend.

“I am not the CBN Governor but at this moment, I’m of the opinion that CBN should mandate that all domiciliary accounts be closed for the next 12 months.

“Let’s see the effect on the Naira,” he stated.

The tweet, according to him, was to harvest people’s opinions. Nonetheless, Blessed Beyond Measure @Drmuzoic queried the suggestion made by the lawmaker. Other unprintable comments followed the tweets as some argued a simple search would have offered the lawmaker a deeper perspective to the economic situation, hence provide a more rational argument.

“Dear Ibrahim B. Obanikoro, you occupy a federal public office. This means that there are certain expectations of you, including a reasonable degree of knowledge of public matters or at least the dignity to carefully research before sharing. Seriously,” Adekunle @adekunleth tweeted.

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Dr. Babatunde Adeboye @Babateemd humorously opined that the country deserved the kind of representatives it had. “…why don’t we even just print dollar instead of naira.”

Another user identified as Sani @pdauda said such an idea could be a total end to the local currency.

“This sort of thinking is precisely why you are not the CBN governor even though he mostly reasons like you.

“Close domiciliary accounts just to see the effect on the Naira when anyone can tell you for free that’s the death knell preceding the naira’s worthlessness?”

But for Tunji Adeniran @tunjiadeniran, a look at the public debt, political instability, insecurity, inflation, forex speculations, the interest rate, terms of trade and current deficit could help restore the naira to normalcy.

The lawmaker later rescinded his opinion by acknowledging his suggestion was not the best for the county at this time.

Who is Ibrahim Obanikoro?

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Born to Morufat and Musiliu Obanikoro on June 30, 1981, he attended King’s College in Lagos and had his degree at the St. Cloud University, Minnesota, USA. He bagged a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and master’s degree at Pace University, New York, where he studied Public Administration.

The politician also ventured into farming after undergoing internships in both local and international organisations.

According to his profile, as a student in the US, he acquired some experience in criminal justice administration.

He did an internship at the CourtHouse in St Cloud University, Minnesota, USA. He also interned as assistant liaison officer at the Brooklyn Borough Districts under Commissioner Turner. He had a stint at Pace University, New York as a graduate assistant.

In 2019, he was elected as the federal lawmaker representing Eti-Osa Federal Constituency.

He was elected under the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), even though his father contested as state governor through the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2007, but lost out. In 2015, he attempted to contest but later dropped his ambition for a fellow contestant, Jimi Agbaje.

He has sponsored three motions since he was elected into office as a lawmaker.  His profile on the official website of the National Assembly has, however, been kept secret.

While in school in 2003, he was elected treasurer of the African Students Association of St Cloud University, Minnesota. He rose from there to become the president of the association.

He was also the director of Youth Involvement, Koro Youth Campaign Organisation, between 2006 and 2007.

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Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at oadanikin@icirnigeria.org. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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