TOP 10 NEWS MAKING THE ROUNDS IN NIGERIA TODAY, SATURDAY
CBN’s Redesign Of Naira Notes Must Be Masterstroke
Nigerians were taken by storm on October 26, 2022, when the CBN management announced plans to redesign the N200, N500, and N1000 notes. According to the announcement, while the re-designed notes would be released on December 15, the banking public has until January 31, 2023, to deposit the old notes in their banks. This move was said to be in conformity with the provisions of section 2(b), section 18(a), and section 19(a)(b) of the CBN Act 2007, with President Muhammadu Buhari signing off on same. Nigerians were therefore enjoined to take their old notes to the banks so they can withdraw the new banknotes once circulation begins.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who made the announcement at a press conference, stressed that the redesign, production, and imminent replacement of the Naira notes were in response to “several daunting challenges” plaguing the apex bank’s management of the currency and that these hitches “have continued to escalate in scale and sophistication with attendant and unintended consequences for the integrity of both the CBN and the country”. One of these challenges is the disturbing hoarding of banknotes by members of the public, with statistics revealing that over 80 percent of the currency in circulation is outside the banking system.
According to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, available data as of the end of September 2022 indicate that N2.73 trillion out of the N3.23 trillion currency in circulation was outside the vaults of commercial banks across the country; and is supposedly held by the public. Other reasons include the need to curtail the counterfeiting of notes, in addition to curbing terrorism financing by denying kidnappers ready cash as ransoms. This latest move by the CBN took 20 years in coming, whereas the global standard practice is that central banks redesign, produce and circulate new local legal tender after every five to eight years.
Courts Orders Interim Forfeiture Of 40 Landed Properties Belonging To Ekweremadu
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had yesterday ordered an interim forfeiture of 40 landed properties belonging to former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
The High Court’s judgement followed an ex-parte motion filed and moved by Ibrahim Buba on behalf of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Ekweremadu, is currently in custody in the United Kingdom, over allegations of organ harvesting.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, who presided over the suit numbered, FHC/ABJ/CS/1242/2022, ordered the anti-graft agency to publish the interim forfeiture order of the properties in a national daily within seven days from the date the order was given.
Justice Ekwo in a short ruling on the exparte motion advanced that anybody interested in the properties covered by the interim forfeiture order should indicate within 14 days of the publication of the interim forfeiture order of the court.
The order covers ten of Ekweremadu’s properties in Enugu, three in the United States of America (USA), two in the United Kingdom (UK), one in Lagos, nine in Dubai, and 15 in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
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Naira Redesign: We Are Monitoring 3 Governors Over Stashed Cash – EFCC Chair
The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa has confirmed that the commission is monitoring three governors over stashed money.
According to Bawa, the serving governors are planning to launder stashed billions of Naira through table payment of salaries to workers.
The development is coming a few days after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that the country’s currency would be redesigned to address many issues.
The apex bank disclosed that the re-designed notes would be released on December 15, adding that Nigerians have up to January 31, 2023, to deposit the old notes in banks.
Bawa in an interview with Daily Trust said some governors are planning to launder money they stashed in houses.
The EFCC Chair who failed to reveal the identity of the three governors, said two of them are from the North, while the 3rd one is from the southern part of the country.
He said intelligence has it that the three governors have concluded plans to inject the money into the system through table payment of their state workers’ salaries.
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Yahaya Bello Responsible For Kuje Prisonbreak, Owo Massacre – PDP Chieftain
The Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has been linked to the deadly terrorist attack in a Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State months ago.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Governor is also alleged to be responsible for the attack on Kuje prison facility in July 2022.
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former governorship candidate in Kogi State, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, made the accusation on Friday, November 4, 2022.
Akpoti who who was live on Arise Television’s Morning Show on Friday, alleged that Governor Bello went around different prisons in the country releasing hardened criminals, especially those of them from Ebira.
She revealed the identity of one of such prisoners is as Safiyu, who she alleged the governor deployed to carry out the Kuje Prison break and Owo massacre.
Wike To Appoint 100,000 Additional Special Assistants, Say Its Part Of Stomach Infrastructure
The Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, has disclosed plans to appoint additional 100,000 special assistants for political units in the state to make a total of 200,000.
The new appointment comes barely 24 hours after he inaugurated the first set of the previous 100,000 appointees.
Wike, at the inauguration of the second batch of the 100,000 appointees at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area today, said he decided to increase the number to accommodate more people, who had shown a willingness to work for him.
The governor noted that the move was part of the stomach infrastructure he promised the state.
He tasked local government chairmen to go back to their domains and identify more people for appointments.
COVID-19, Economic Recession Affected Buhari’s Performance – Aide
The senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on public affairs, Ajuri Ngelale has rated the performance of his principal in office highly.
The presidential aide said an honest rating of Buhari’s performance over the last seven years must factor in the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the global economic recession.
Despite these factors, Ngelale submitted that the Buhari government has performed creditably well.
He made the submission on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television.
In his view, the performance of the Buhari administration has been limited in some instances due to the earlier-mentioned circumstances that affected resources accruing to the government, while despite the challenges, the current government has done beyond expectation in other areas.
FG May Borrow Loans From China, Turkey, Portugal To Complete Railway Projects
The Federal Government may borrow loans from China, Portugal and Turkey to complete ongoing rail projects across the country.
The Minister of Transport, Mu’azu Sambo, made this known on Thursday to the Joint National Assembly Committee on Land and Marine Transport.
Sambo expressed hope that the Ministry of Finance concludes negotiation of the loans with infrastructure development finance institutions of Chinese, Portuguese and Turkish origin to implement the projects.
He disclosed that the implementation of the Kaduna-Kano, Port Harcourt to Maiduguri and Kano-Maradi Segments of the Railway Modernization is ongoing which is being counterpart funded by the Federal Government in the 2022 appropriation.
He also said that the Lagos – Ibadan segment of the Lagos – Kano and Itakpe to Warri railway projects were fully operational and enjoying patronage from the general public.
2023: FG May Submit Supplementary Budget Over Naira Devaluation
There are indications the Federal Government plans to submit a supplementary budget due to a further weakening of the naira and soaring inflation, which have rendered the 2023 budget unrealistic.
The 2023 budget sets the foreign exchange rate at N435 per dollar and the inflation rate at 17.10%. However, due to the acute dollar shortage, the local currency may reach N500 per dollar on the NAFEX market and up to N1000 per dollar on the parallel market in 2023.
The dollar which recently ended at the rate of N895/$ on the parallel market may shoot to 1000/dollar by December.
Despite the significant disparity in currency rates, the National Assembly is expected to proceed with considering and passing the budget outlined in the Appropriations Bill presented to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.
2023: Five APC Governors Are In Talks With Atiku – Ologbondiyan
The spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation, Kola Ologbondiyan, has claimed that five governors of All Progressives Congress (APC) are in talks with the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
In an interview with Leadership newspaper, Ologbondiyan said the five APC governors are friends with Atiku and have been discussing how to support the former Vice President.
According to Ologbondiyan, the five APC governors believe that Atiku has a more believable manifesto and better experience to manage Nigeria than their party’s presidential flagbearer, Bola Tinubu.
He said, “As we speak there are no less than five governors of the APC, who are friends with our candidate, who have been talking to our candidate with regard to the 2023 presidential election.
“They (APC governors) are convinced about Atiku’s relevant experience, not just any kind of experience as being bandied about by other candidates. They are also convinced about Atiku’s manifesto. They have looked at his manifesto and they are convinced about its believability and the capacity of Atiku to realize them.”
When asked to reveal the identities of the governors, Ologbondiyan said that the governors will be revealed at the appropriate time.
He said: “At the right time, Nigerians will know them. We don’t want to mention their names now. But I assure you at the appropriate time, Nigerians will see them.”
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Binani Resigns From Leading Tinubu’s Campaign Council In Adamawa
Senator Aishatu Ahmed Dahiru Binani has resigned as the Adamawa State coordinator of the Ahmed Tinubu/Kashim Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.
Binani announced her resignation on Thursday based on claims of attacks against herself and others by some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State who are not comfortable with their appointment.
The APC leadership in Adamawa State had after a meeting on Wednesday, accused Binani of singlehandedly picking members of the Council.
Following the development, the Director-General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Council Committee (PCC), Simon Lalong has appointed a former deputy governor of Adamawa State, Hon Martins Babale as the State interim campaign coordinator.
Lalong in the letter of appointment expressed confidence that Babale would perform excellently in the new role.