The MarketPlace

Stella Maris

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Naira-Dollar blues by Reuben Abati

“My brother, e ku exchange rate oh.
“Excuse me?”
“I am greeting you. I am saying how are you and the exchange rate palaver. The dollar wahala”.
“So, that is why you are saying e ku exchange rate. Is something wrong with you Yoruba people?        Must you turn everything into a form of greeting?”
“You are insulting me?”
“I am making a statement”
“Meaning?”

 “Any serious matter at all, you and your people must turn it into something else. E ku exchange rate? What kind of greeting is that? Yoruba will say e ku election, e ku democracy, e ku change, e ku ana, e ku gbogbo e, gbogbo e, e ku democracy. I am tired of answering you people and your cynical greetings.”
“The people don’t mean any harm.”
“That was how somebody came to me the other day and said e ku Mecca, Medina, e ku Qatar. I felt like slapping the guy.”
“Ha.”
“I don’t like hypocrites.”
“Would you have felt better, if he had told you e ku living upside down, e ku idorikodo, e pele change?”
“I would just have been livid, because I know you and your people. Too much cynicism.”
“Can you stop?”
“You know me, I speak my mind.”
“No. You are beginning to sound like Donald Trump. Stop Trump-ing other people, just because you don’t know where they are coming from.”
“But of course I know where you are coming from when you say e ku exchange rate”.  
“Where am I coming from? I just left my house”
“My friend. Sit down. “
You too stop going upanddan”
“Okay, you want to talk about exchange rate. I am listening. The way it is, everybody is now an economist in Nigeria. Even my driver yesterday was telling me about the behaviour of the parallel market. And I overheard the nanny commenting on the 2016 budget and how it may, in the long run affect the housekeeping allowance.”
“That’s a criminal in the making. You should sack that housekeeper. She certainly wants to pad the housekeeping allowance.”
“You know these people also watch television. She must have listened to stories about padding on television and radio may be, and she may think it is perfectly normal in today’s Nigeria to pad figures.”
“These things run deep, I agree. But a crook is a crook. Better keep an eye on that housekeeper and let her know that this is the era of prudence, discipline and you-steal-you-get-caught-you-blame yourself-and-may-be-go-to-wa wi-tenu-e places.“
“Don’t worry, I am the EFCC of my house, nobody can pad anything. I am on top of it. I do more market research and monitoring than Madam.”
“I don’t get it. You now go to the market while Madam stays home?”
“You can say what you like, but I can tell you authoritatively that a bag of rice which used to be N8, 500  is now N12, 500. Pampers was N1, 450, it is now within three weeks, N1, 850.”
“Pampers?”
“Yes”
“What’s your business with pampers?”
“What is not my business with pampers? I am a very active man, upstairs and downstairs. You don’t think I should be interested in all things material and particular and eventual? “
“You have really changed. What happened to you?”
“Are you interested in my findings or you want to discuss something else?”
“Carry on. I am listening.”
“A congo of garri was N250 a few weeks ago, it is now N500”
“Common garri?”
“Garri has changed oh. It is no longer common”
“Really?”
“Stop saying really? Be a man and do your own research before Madam and the housekeeper drive you into bankruptcy by adding something of their own to the real figures and giving you false information. You must be proactive.”
“I am with you”
“See, I like to drink Andre. A carton used to be about N20,000. Can you believe it has jumped up to N24,500?”
“Andre? What is that?”
“It is a kind of wine. Middle class taste. I like it.”
“So cheap? Some other people drink Crystal, Cliquot, didn’t know you are  just  a bush man with all your big mouth. Andre. Please stop disgracing somebody.”
“A carton of Carlo Rossi,  a week ago was N14,000, it is now N17, 500.
“Carlo Rossi? Who is that? A football coach? 
“Even the cost of paraga and alomo, kasaprenko has gone up.”
“You drink all of that too?”
 “A carton of Orijin was N2, 900 the other week, it is now N3, 300”
“You keep talking about drinks. No wonder you have also been monitoring the prices of pampers.  You can’t know the prices of these concoctions and not cause some maternity ward problems.”
“I am giving you real figures. And that is why I greeted you, e ku exhange rate. The Naira has been dancing like a yo-yo, and the dollar is the queen of the foreign exchange market in Nigeria today.”  
“The colour of change.”
“The Naira even exchanged for N390 to the dollar, and N500 to the pound.”
“Nobody is talking about the pound.”
“It is the American age. You’d think the Americans were the ones who colonized Nigeria with the way they have colonized the Nigerian exchange rate. Practically everyone is looking for the dollar, you would think the Naira never existed. We definitely have an economic identity crisis. ”
“My driver told me he has a solution to the problem”
“I have heard some petrol station attendants also saying they will solve the problem.”
“I am not joking. My own Pastor actually told us on Sunday that the problem with the Naira is spiritual and that with prayers, the Naira will regain its lost strength.”
“Well, the petrol station attendant has a different logic, and his own logic is even different from my driver’s.”
“That is the problem. Everybody in Nigeria today is now an economist. Very soon, the roadside imbecile will issue an opinion on how the Naira can be saved.”
“Are you sure that has not happened yet?”
“I went to a barbing salon last week, and the barber lamented that his prices would have to change”
“Ok?”
“Exchange rate and crude oil prices, he said”
“By the time landlords start blaming the exchange rate and the spot price of crude oil, and they fix prices differently, we would all be in big trouble.”
“But what happened to that campaign?”
“Which one?
The Buy-Naija-To-Grow-the-Naira campaign, promoted by Senator Ben Bruce and others.”
“Ha. You have not heard? The Common Sense Senator published a book on Common Sense, but it was discovered that the man preaching buy Naija, published his own book in the US of A.”
“So?”
“What do you mean so? Should he do one thing and say another?”
“Let the people criticizing the Senator go and sit down, and keep quiet. The man is a thinker. They should know that. When they go to his Silverbird cinemas, do they watch Nigerian films there all the time, or do they eat guguru instead of pop corn?”
“I am listening”
“And have they seen Senator Bruce wearing local attires like a fisherman? This thing is about ideas. And that is why I always argue that what we need is not common sense, but uncommon sense. When you confront Nigerians with common sense, they will start looking for loopholes”.
“I just hope that your common sense Senator is married to a Nigerian woman, because that is the best way to grow the Naira.”
“What is that? Where is that coming from?”
“I don’t think anybody can preach buy Naija to grow the Naira, and then go and marry a foreign wife, that will be hypocrisy of the highest order!” 
“What is the connection between where a man marries from and the Naira?”
“There is. Please, there is; it is the biggest money laundering offence.”
“You have started again. Who are you trying to shade?” 
“Nobody. But if we want to really save the Naira, everybody should buy Naija.”
“That is too simplistic. Except you are trying to suggest that our Governor-friend with Cape Verde connections has also refused to buy Naija and therefore has a hand in the problem with the Naira.”
“He is our friend oh. Please, no comment.”
“Some people say to save the Naira, not even the bedroom should be outsourced, and that the biggest drain on this economy is the obsession of the Nigerian rich with all things beautiful and romantically seductive from foreign countries.”
“I can’t comment on that.”
“You are saying all of this because Ben Murray Bruce printed his common sense book in America?”
“I am saying we all need to rescue the Naira and the economy. The economy first!”
“You are beginning to sound like a vulcanizer. It is not your job, it is not my driver’s job, and the petrol station attendants should just keep quiet. Na only we dey OPEC?
“They won’t. They can’t. This is a democracy and we all have a right to make policy. If we don’t speak up, some people will pad things again and things will get worse.”
“It is Godwin Emefiele’s job”
“Him na your brother?”
“He is the Governor of the Central Bank”
“Really?”
“What do you mean, really?”
“What are his views on monetary policy?”
“Go and ask him”
“And fiscal policy?”  
“Go and ask the Minister of Finance?”
“We have a Minister of Finance?”
“Of course we do”
“And who is that?”
“Wait a moment. What’s that her name again?”
“Hello?”
“Wait. I am trying to remember. Em…em…yes, 16+6= 24!”
“You mean you can’t connect the monetary side with the fiscal side of the Nigerian economy, you are busy just saying… Okay, don’t bother, I get it.”  
“Candidly speaking.”
“Don’t worry, the people who are benefitting from the Naira crisis know her and they know her name and they know the CBN Governor too. In case you don’t know, while you are busy trying to put people down, some other Nigerians have made a fortune from the Naira-Dollar palaver.”
“A fortune?”
“Yes. That is the difference between people who are clever and those who just complain. One of my wife’s friends is almost a billionaire now because the Naira crashed.”
“How did she do it?”
“The God of Olajumoke intervened. The God of Adekunle Gold picked up her call. And the God of Korede Bello said she had won. Her warehouse is profiting from the difference. So when you talk with that your sharp mouth, just know that in every economic situation, there are both happy and sad stories.”
“But there are standards, normative contexts, economic frameworks”
“If you don’t get it, you can’t get it. If you don’t mind, please, I don’t want a lecture on that.” 

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

See What This Man Did To This Young Lady

BONARIO NNAGS said...

Lol Reuben is back at his best after selling his soul.
Enjoyed reading this piece.

. ~BONARIO~says so via NOKIA LUMIA

ONYX linda ikeji first son GODWIN said...

His articles are always too Long.... Sigh.

Tundebrown Ademuyiwa said...

I love you Abati wit ishan

Hana said...

Pls who is this Reuben
Always writing epistle
I dont get it

Miss Freeborn!!

junia said...

Haba linda, too long na

Charles Okafor said...

Hmmm
OK oo














Enugu's second shoe designer

Elekwashi said...

"Do they eat guguru instead of popcorn???" Epic

Adenike Bamigboye said...

This man is funny,although it's true talk

Anonymous said...

Lol!!!! I laughed through this whole article! He fired shots at several people lol!! Oshomole, Emifiele,Bruce,Ubah etc. No one was spared. #buynaija #practicewhatyoupreach

NaijaDeltaBabe said...

It's going down na. Hope it's 200 today


... Merited happiness

charmazing chick said...

Different shades for different tales....we get the gist Uncle Reuben.

Anonymous said...

Who get tim to read dis nonsense man whatever....

Jamila Shaibu said...

Ok seen

Chiamy N said...

funny and enlightening piece... Reuben A is a clown that makes uncommon sense. I see his point. But we should sha #BuyNairaToGrowNaija... Innoson cars and Aba Fashion on my mind

Y.F.C. Omrex said...

The sins of past leaders.

Juliet Iwuno said...

Too early in the morning for epistles. Linda take note!

El Fidel said...

Great.
Mad guy

Anonymous said...

i love this...

Anonymous said...

am surprise EFCC never carried this hyprocrite man!! Ole jati jati

Oluwabunmi Oluwaseyi said...

Nice writeup and lovely conclusion

Vivian Reginalds said...

It's in vanguard
-D great anonymous now as Vivian Reginalds

DIDI said...

Nicely put and well articulated....

Yohanna Dachung said...

This is an interesting write up. Can't stop laughing.

edu said...

I love this man write ups... I enjoyed reading them..kudos linda

Our Father said...

We live in strange times, daily the standard of living continues on a downward slope, yet those in charge have no clue on what to do. This can't be the change the people voted for, yes it is true the past was bastardised, but can we not take charge of the present and make it better.

What will make Nigeria great is already in Nigeria, President Buhari should sit down and face the economy. Charity it is said begins at home. How about a Nationwide tour tagged "meeting my people", or do we wait until re-election before the President seeks out the people again?

The simple definition of good governance is : an improved way of life, people live better. If this is wanting, governance is failing.

If it takes another economic summit to figure out "which way Nigeria", then we are in more trouble than originally thought.

If the Federal Government of Nigeria is not sure where we are heading, the unofficial exchange rate will always give us a clear indication of the path of least resistance.

#budgetiskey

Anonymous said...

Brilliant!

opeyemi joshua said...

Hillarious...e ku exchange rate lol. But d truth be told there are people making futune out of dis naira palavar while d ordinary masses are lamenting. Issoryt

Israel Obaja said...

I just love ready Reuben's article, they are full of humor. Good piece

Anonymous said...

Abati you are a failure and would always be reminded of that...piggy backing on Linda Ikeji to write articles since you are no longer revered..no longer a media colossus..d spotlight has passed you ages ago..confirmed hypocrite..pls shut up and wait for your turn..EFCC is coming soon to seal your final chapter of disgrace!!

tendermee said...

Waoh...nice writeup... This man(abati) is sure gifted...

Mary Afolabi said...

Interesting! Reuben Abati really knows how to put a laugh into our SERIOUS national issues. Waiting for your next post sir.

Leonard Omotayo (Hormortaryo #Frosh) said...

Well understood... Its confusing maybe we should just stick with the Pastor's prayers"

BUCHI said...

This man called Reuben Abati is too much!!! You are blessed.

I. C. Ukwuegbu said...

Vintage Reuben Abati. A good satiric writer. The message is clear. But we are aware you were part of the last government. We are in change era and the change is not funny at all. We shall succeed at the end.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha...very interesting and creative. I Cldnt stop reading! Ha! E ku exchange rate o,....and for those who will abuse the writer, e ku abuse o! E ku nakedness ni Saudi o! Lol

A-JAMMY said...

Lmfao!!! A well written article, oga abati

A-JAMMY said...

You just cracked me up.kudos to u Oga reuben

Nifemi... D'gees Event Management.. said...

True talk n very funny, God will help us o..

Joyous babe,Linda ikeji first cousin said...

Lol@ eku exchange rate,that Yoruba for u,they can greet but e no reach their mind.

christiana christiana said...

Lol

E ku linda
E ku laura
E ku change


#spritual

zainab Adamu said...

Too long jare

Anonymous Personified said...

Yes I read from start to finish because his write-ups are always interesting.
Go Abati! What is needed is UNCOMMON SENSE & not common sense.

SongsOfSUSSAN said...

This article is a comic relief to all the nonsense happening lately in the country.

Anonymous said...

Lmao at 16 + 6 = 24 Hahahaha Madam Kemi over to you o

Micorazon Global said...

This is hilariously good. Good work sir.

Oge Okafor said...

Una weldone o

Oluwasegun Akinbamowo said...

he wants to make sense by force but he aint making it. This is junk, no head or tail, he better finds a job

Kodak Emerson said...

Abati my good friend! Abati my good friend!! U won't kill me. Em…em…yes, 16+6= 24!
Okojo-Iweala remains the best naija can produce as finance minister.

Anonymous said...


Beautiful write-up. i was into every word in this piece, like I was the one writing.

øℓûwД¢øℓℓî₪§ said...

Once again scholars aren't hard to pick out.

Saphire Muna said...

Hahahahhahahaha am begining to love this guy.... Eku mecca oooooo my brother... Eku xchange rate jooooor





..... Liber maniac.....
...... Long live LIB.....
....... long live LIBERS.....
........ God bless Nigeria.....

Emmy Igwe said...

So funny...

Anonymous said...

This government has done nothing to address our current economic woes! However, Oga Reuben Abati should bury his head in shame for being part of the team that got us here in the first place!

Barry9ice said...

I haven't started reading before I knew who the writer was. afi eku exchange rate na

Anonymous said...

This is awesome!!!! I love 😀😀😀😀

chime murphy said...

Save The NAIRA! Save NIGERIANS!(Dollar Certificates Our Antidote) HENRY BOYO Inspired

chime murphy said...

Save The NAIRA! Save NIGERIANS!(Dollar Certificates Our Antidote) HENRY BOYO Inspired

Ifechukwu Chioke said...

Too long joor.. More Instagram followers for you

Anonymous said...

Sick cow with transparent skull

chime murphy said...

Save The NAIRA! Save NIGERIANS!(Dollar Certificates Our Antidote) HENRY BOYO Inspired

chime murphy said...

Save The NAIRA! Save NIGERIANS!(Dollar Certificates Our Antidote) HENRY BOYO Inspired

Anonymous said...

Indeed! Something needs to be done and fast! All man wake up from your slumber!

Anonymous said...

Hahahahahahaha...eku nakedness indeed...lol.

KATETWOTWENTYTWO said...

Yeye Reuben, after you failed yourself and the rest of us. Abeg comot here make I see road. YOU ARE A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT.

Anonymous said...

Great piece Reuben, making uncommon sense.

Until we bury our penchant for all things imported, our problems will continue.

Replacing Kellogs with Nasco and Almonds with peanuts are the first steps in strengthening the Naira. Dollar isn't our local currency and its value should not concern us. #BuyNIgeriatoGrowNigeria

Valentine Edikpa said...

What a wonderful article just for Lunch times, would love to read more like this on monday lunch time after that boring monday meeting.

Eric Nesty aka LIB'S FINEST said...

Okay...


#FINEST

eka said...

Reuben is truly a witty writer
Comically narrating d woes of d nation in this present time
And subtly shading persons like Finance Minister, Ben Bruce & Oshiomole
Chai....d man is really mouthed

Hausa Koboko said...

I beg this man should go and rest or rather he should bury his head in shame. Who ask or seek his opinion about Naira and Dollar exchange rate? He better hide or remain silent wherever he is, before Dasuki Gate remember am. Aproko people!

Anonymous said...

Nice article... Nigerians better start reading. How is dis interesting writeup too long? How did u guys ever graduated? It is well wit our nation ooo....

VIVACIOUS TRACY said...

Nice Write up

Ify Chude said...

He didn't sell his soul my brother he up graded his profile, made himself popular, more people read from him now. wise and sharp......

Ify Chude said...

Do you mean Ubah as petrol attendant?...,lol

Ify Chude said...

I disagreed with you bro, he is a genius

Ify Chude said...

Lol

Ify Chude said...

By the way eku abuse o!!

Ify Chude said...

Eku change o

Ify Chude said...

Ha!! Eku crack o

Ify Chude said...

Eku insult o!!!

Ify Chude said...

Eku abuse o!!!!

Anonymous said...

who is the petrol station attendant.......CHAIRMAN CAPITAL OIL ?

lol

udeh martha said...

Lol

3