TRENDING NOW

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President Muhammadu Buhari has received the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele in Aso Rock, Abuja.


This is coming hours after the Supreme Court ruling of Wednesday stopping the February 10 deadline for the validity of three old naira notes.


A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice John Okoro, in a unanimous ruling, granted the interim injunction after an ex parte filed by Kogi, Kaduna and Zamfara state governments.


The highest court also held that the Federal Government and the apex bank must not continue with the deadline pending the determination of the hearing on February 15.


The outcome of the meeting is yet to be known but the visit by the apex bank chief is in connection to the ruling of the Supreme Court.


Sign Executive Order, Buhari Told

Meanwhile, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) of Nigeria has said that the Supreme Court ruling of Wednesday is designed to enable corrupt politicians to share old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes during the February 25 and March 11 general elections.


“This order is only designed to help politicians in the sharing of old money during elections,” said the group’s National Coordinator, Obed Okwukwe at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday.


Okwukwe rejected the ruling and urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola to vacate the order.


The group further urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign an Executive Order to overthrow the ruling of the apex court as he is empowered by Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution in Nigeria.


“We call on the President to exercise his constitutional power. We may suggest that he should make an urgent Executive Order to set the terminal date for the new currency to remain February 10, 2023 which he has the powers to do under the law as the ex parte order made outside the jurisdiction cannot stop the Executive Order of the President,” Okwukwe said.



Legal Battle


The pandemonium over the February 10 deadline for the validity of three old naira notes assumed another dimension on Monday as five political parties and three state governments begun legal battles.


Whilst the Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara governments dragged the Federal government before the Supreme Court, seeking an extension to the February 10 deadline, five political parties took the matter to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court and secured an order barring the Federal Government and the apex bank from any extension of the deadline.


The CBN had on October 26, 2022, announced its plan to redesign the three banknotes. President Muhammadu Buhari subsequently unveiled the redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes on November 23, 2022, while the apex bank fixed a January 31 deadline for the validity of the old notes.


The CBN also pegged its weekly cash withdrawal limits to N500,000 for individuals and N5m for corporate firms.


With cries by many Nigerians, the apex bank extended the deadline from January 31 to February 10, saying it got the approval of the President.


The National Assembly asked for a six-month extension of the policy, amid scathing criticisms by governors, lawmakers and stalwarts of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) including the flag bearer of the party, Bola Tinubu; former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado Doguwa; Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; amongst others.


Buhari on Friday after a meeting with some APC governors asked for seven days to make a major decision on the policy.


(Channels)

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Kaduna governor Nasiru El-Rufai has urged citizens to disregard the Central Bank’s directive and continue to transact with old denominations of the naira notes which the apex bank is phasing out.


He said the policy will be reversed once APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu becomes president.


“Everyone, especially people in Kaduna should not be disturbed because of the naira swap deadline,” said the Kaduna governor in the Hausa language. “Continue running your businesses and daily activities with whatever notes (old or new) you have.”


He added, “And we will make sure to address this problem as soon as we win the election. That will be the first issue to tackle if we win the election.”


Mr El-Rufai made the assertion while speaking with a political audience in his state, urging them to stop thronging banks to swap their old notes or obtain new ones.


The Godwin Emefiele-led CBN had said old denominations of the N200, N500 and N1000 notes would cease to be Nigerian legal tender from February 10 as a major plank of its new cash policy. The decision has left many Nigerians in quandary as the new notes remain acutely scarce.



“Don’t rush yourself into taking old naira notes to the bank, and wasting your time in the unnecessary queues at the bank. Nobody can stop you (people) from using the notes,” Mr El-Rufai assured.


“When we come to power, (Insha Allah), if Bola Tinubu becomes the president, we’ll give people more time to get rid of the old naira notes.”


On Wednesday, the Supreme Court temporarily stopped the Central Bank from withdrawing old naira notes from circulation. This followed a suit by governors of Kaduna, Zamfara and Kogi.


Peoples Gazette

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointments of three rectors and other principal officers of three federal polytechnics in the country.


The newly appointed rectors and their institutions are Dr. Paul-Darlington Ibemezie Ndubuisi – Federal Polytechnic Isuochi, Abia State, Professor Mohammed Sanusi Magaji – Federal Polytechnic, Kabo, Kano State and Dr. Duke Okoro – Federal Polytechnic, Orogun, Delta State.


Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Ben Bem Goong, in a statement on Wednesday morning, said the appointments of the three rectors are for a single term of five years each, with effect from 17th January, 2023, and in line with the Federal Polytechnic (Amendment) Act 2019.


The statement further indicated, President has approved the appointments of three registrars for the polytechnics.


He listed the new appointees as Umar Shehu Dumbulum – Registrar, Federal Polytechnic, Kabo, Kano State, Mrs. Christine Ejetavwo Aluyi – Registrar, Federal Polytechnic, Orogun, Delta State and Mrs. Ezenuruihe Ifeyinwa Olachi – Registrar, Federal Polytechnic, Isuochi, Abia State.


“The three appointments have a single term of 5 years each, with effect from 17th January, 2023,” the statement said, adding that two new bursars have also been appointed.



”They are: Mr. Atabatele Adepoju Solomon – Bursar, Federal Polytechnic, Kabo, Kano State and Ms. Nkpado Amarachi Pamela – Bursar, Federal Polytechnic, Orogun, Delta State.


“The appointments of Bursars are also with effect from 17th January, 2023.


“Finally, Government has also approved the appointments of Librarians for two Federal Polytechnics, namely:

Dr. Iroroeavwo Edwin Achugbue – Librarian, Federal Polytechnic, Orogun; Alhaji Kabiru Ubale – Librarian, Federal Polytechnic, Kabo, Kano State.”


Tribune



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With about 16 days to the general election, there are strong indications that the new naira notes scarcity may disrupt the exercise.


The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, said this during a meeting with the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele at the CBN headquarters, Abuja, on Tuesday.


He explained that many service providers to INEC had no bank accounts.


He, therefore, solicited the support of the apex bank to address the concern related to the CBN cash withdrawal policy which had caused chaos across the country.


The apex bank had last year pegged weekly cash withdrawal limits set for individuals and corporate organisations to N500,000 and N5 million, respectively.


It also introduced the currency redesign policy which involves the issuance of new N1000, N500 and N200 notes last December.


But explaining his concern to the CBN chief, Yakubu said the service providers needed to be paid fully or partly, adding that there were fears about the withdrawal limits.


He said, “The Nigerian election is a huge and complex one. It requires the engagement of critical services and in line with the provisions of the exchange laws and regulations, service providers are generally paid by means of electronic transfer to their accounts.


‘’However, there are crucial areas such as transportation and human support services that have to be immediately enumerated, either partially or in full because services are rendered.


“In addition, emergency situations may arise requiring immediate cash payments. Some of the critical service providers are unbanked. Over the years we have worked with the Central Bank of Nigeria and commercial banks to pay for such services seamlessly during general elections, as well as off-cycle and by-elections.


‘’Over the years, the commission has migrated all its accounts at national and state levels to CBN and this arrangement has worked without hindrances to our activities.


“In view of the recent policy involving the redesigning of some denominations of our currencies and the limit on cash withdrawals and availability, we consider this meeting important in addressing some of our areas of concern with just 17 days to the 2023 general elections.


‘’We are confident that an aspect of this meeting will reduce the anxiety expressed by some of our service providers. We are determined to make the 2023 general election one of the best elections in Nigeria but we cannot do it alone. That is why the commission is mobilising every critical national institution for the success of the election.”


CBN allays fears


The CBN governor assured that cash would be made available for payment of the service providers and added that the apex bank would not allow itself to be used to frustrate the efforts of the electoral body.


Emefiele promised that the apex bank would do everything possible to support the 2023 election, stressing that it has never failed Nigerians.


He stated, “Now, just aside from the issue of storage of election materials and together with transportation of these election materials from CBN locations to your own specific or designated locations; where do you want these materials to be?


‘’I know that just a few months ago, I visited your office and you raised the issue of how foreign exchange can be procured for you to import your BVAS and other election materials that need to be imported. And I give you my word that foreign exchange will be provided for that purpose.


“I stand here or I sit here to confirm that today, not $1 is owed. All the dollars that are needed to import those items have been provided and those items have been imported.


“So, it is all part of our commitment. Now this issue of payment and logistics for people who are going to be transporting election materials, even to visit wards; the assurance I give to you is that because we regarded the INEC project as a topmost or urgent national assignment, it cannot fail and the central bank would not allow itself either to be used or itself to be seen as an agent that frustrated a positive outcome of that election.’’


Emefiele said the CBN would provide the cash support with the electoral body needed to prosecute the poll.


‘’It is not just about cash and you have done electric electronic payments before and if in this case after making your electronic payments, you require some money to pay transporters, in this case, cash; the assurance I give to you is that we will make it available so it is nothing to worry about,’’ he said.


NSA on security


Meanwhile, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, has assured Nigerians of a secured voting atmosphere, saying the security personnel were well prepared ahead of the poll.


Speaking while hosting the INEC chairman on Tuesday, the NSA noted, “We had several meetings with the chairman of INEC, the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, which I co-chair. We know what we have done. We are sure of what we have on the ground.


“All of us here who are the managers of security in the electoral process know what we are doing. We are not in any way in doubt but we need to let the entire country know that agents of bad news are peddling all kinds of stories we see on social media. If these are intended to scare people, I want to dispel such illusions.


“Everybody that is concerned in carrying out his legitimate undertaking, casting his or her vote will do so in a secure atmosphere. It’s very important that Nigerians are not pushed to the limit where they will abandon their number one responsibility as citizens. All security agencies are up to the task.’’


On his part, the INEC chairman said the commission was confident that the recent security actions would further reassure voters, its officials, service providers and stakeholders of their safety during the election.


Yakubu appreciated the security assurances from the NSA and other security chiefs.


“We are aware that additional security has been deployed in our facilities nationwide. We also note the increasing tempo of activities in many troubled spots nationwide.


“We are confident that these actions will further reassure voters, our personnel, service providers, and stakeholders of their safety during elections and a free, fair and peaceful process. We look forward to a comprehensive plan for the deployment of security personnel,” he noted.


Buhari, govs’ meeting


Also, a meeting between the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), state governors, Emefiele and other officials, meant to discuss the disastrous new naira policy of the CBN was cancelled on Tuesday.


The development, it was gathered, followed the two separate lawsuits filed by three governors and five political parties, which have stalled Buhari’s intervention.


Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed to The PUNCH on Tuesday that the meeting was “put down” due to the legal battles surrounding the policy.



Governors Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Yahaya Bello (Kogi) and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) on Monday dragged the Federal Government and the CBN before the Supreme Court, seeking a halt to the full implementation of the naira redesign policy.


The applicants in the suit were the Attorneys-General and Commissioners of Justice of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara three states, while the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, was the sole respondent in the matter.


In furtherance of their support for the currency redesign initiative, four parties obtained an order from the Federal Capital Territory High Court restraining the FG, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, CBN and 27 commercial banks from halting the policy or extending the February 10 deadline handed down by the apex bank.


The order was handed down on Monday by Justice Eleojo Enenche following an application by the five applicants.


Also on Monday, 14 political parties threatened to boycott the February 25 election, should the CBN extend the time limit.


Speaking on behalf of the parties at a news conference in Abuja, the spokesperson for the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties Chairmen, Kenneth Udeze, warned that the parties would pull out of the election if the apex bank bows to pressure and suspend the policy.


But explaining why the planned meeting between the governors and the President was shelved, Shehu said, “According to the programme, he was to meet the Nigeria Governors Forum in attendance with the CBN Governor, the IG of Police, EFCC and so on.


“Because of the legal matters in court over the naira redesign, that meeting was put down and a smaller meeting was convened with the Chairmen of the NGF and the Progressives Governors Forum. So, they were called into a private meeting.”


Despite the cancellation, Buhari met privately with the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State; the CBN governor, Emiefele, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, AbdulRasheed Bawa, Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor.


However, the Presidential spokesman did not disclose the details of the meeting.


Asked whether any policy changes were discussed, the CBN governor declined to answer but instead shielded his face from correspondents.


The PUNCH reports that the scarcity of naira had not eased despite promises by the apex bank that it had taken some measures to address the challenge which had worsened the hardship in the country.


Several banking halls and ATM points were daily besieged by citizens desperate for cash.


After a meeting with APC governors last Friday, Buhari appealed to Nigerians to give him seven days to resolve the crisis.


The seven-day window ends on February 10.


But the Federal Government lambasted the opposition political parties that went to court to restrain the President from addressing the new naira debacle.


It also accused the parties of politicising the situation, stressing that they were not mindful of the plights of Nigerians due to the cash crunch.


Speaking at the 23rd edition of the PMB Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023), which featured the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the action of the parties was unscrupulous.


He said, “Recall that after his meeting with progressives’ governors on Friday, President Buhari urged citizens to give him a seven-day window to resolve the currency crunch that has emanated from the implementation of the naira redesign policy.


“Unfortunately, on Monday, some opposition political parties ran to court to obtain an injunction restraining Mr President and the CBN from extending the February 10 deadline for Nigerians to exchange their old notes for new ones.”


Mohammed said the court action came after a number of opposition parties threatened to boycott the 2023 general elections if the deadline was extended.


He added, “These curious actions by the parties concerned is clear evidence that the opposition has turned this whole issue into a political game, preferring to make Nigerians suffer more on the altar of unconscionable political gamesmanship.


“Or how else can one explain the fact that these unscrupulous opposition parties do not want any action that could reduce the pains being experienced by Nigerians?


“How else can one explain the fact that they have decided to legally hamstring Mr President, in particular, from providing any relief for Nigerians suffering from the cash crunch?”


Mohammed argued that it was bad politics to put the interest of desperate political parties over and above that of Nigerians.


He, however, stated that despite the antics of the opposition, the government was willing and able to take decisive steps to bring succour to Nigerians in the shortest possible time.


The minister further said the Federal Government was mindful of the inconveniences being endured by citizens as a result of the fuel supply disruptions and the recent redesigning of some naira notes.


“Government is working assiduously to restore normalcy to these critical enablers of economic activity and to take added measures, where necessary, to alleviate the pains of Nigerians,” the minister assured.


In the meantime, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has again appealed to Nigerians to remain calm and allow the FG to proffer solutions to the naira and fuel issues.


Addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, Tinubu sympathised with Nigerians, especially the downtrodden, whom he said have been made to bear the brunt of the policy.


He commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited for the fuel supply relief being enjoyed in the FCT and urged the company to bring relief to other parts of the country.


He also admonished the CBN not to be dogmatic in the deadline it has fixed for the transition from old notes to the new currency.


He said, “This is a challenging period in the life of our country when our people are made to stay on the line for hours to get fuel and even get their own money from the banks.’’


Punch



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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB)  says it has cancelled the registrations of 817 candidates in the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). 


Registrar of JAMB, Professor Is-haq Oloyede, who made this known on Tuesday after separate  meetings with stakeholders, said the registrations were invalidated over identified infractions bordering on use of strange biometric fingerprints in the registration process.


While saying some registration officers in the affected 178 Computer Based Test (CBT) centres added one of their fingerprints to complete the registration process for the candidates, Oloyede, however, said the 817 students would be given another opportunity to re-register for the exam with the centres bearing the cost.


He said : “For the students who allowed other people to add their fingers to their registration procedure. We found that some of them were only naive, because you will hear them saying my finger was hot,  and the man added his own. And you allowed him to add his own?


“Some of them did it deliberately for impersonation  but we can’t identify those who are genuine from those who are not genuine. We will cancel all of them. All the registrations and we will ask them to re-register.


” The centres involved, we have just met with them, and they all confessed, nobody is disputing it, even  students that were telling lies, they know we have the technology that won’t allow any lie to be accommodated.


” On their own (CBT owners), they suggested the solution. We will cancel the registrations of those people concerned and we will send a message to them to go back to the very centres  where they were registered and the CBT centres will pay to the board the cost of registration of the candidates.”


The JAMB boss revealed that allowing a registration officer or any other person to add his or her finger during capturing of a candidate’s biometric data can bring about impersonation in the exam as well as  give such ‘strange’ persons access to change vital details including exam centre.


“By adding his or her finger to your registration, it means he or her can change all your particulars when you are not there. You know your  finger is what is used to identify you. The person can change your examination centre like say from Lagos to Ibadan, and on the exam day you won’t be able to write the exam.



“That is why we put in place a device that will throw up any strange finger that is not yours and that is why we were able to identify them.


Speaking on the recent suspension of five CBT Centres for selling UTME registration pins above the stipulated price, the JAMB boss said four of the five have been let off the hook.


He however, said the excess payment would be refunded by the affected CBT centres  to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) for necessary action.


“Those who sold our pins to candidates beyond the approved limit, we have decided to lift the ban on four of the five after they have explained, and they have given us an apology and they have explained what happened.


“One didn’t not come so we are not lifting the suspension. The four of them, one of them that came, we are still doing investigation (on the centre)….


” As for those who overcharged, all the candidates who overpaid we are compiling the list. The overpayment will be paid by those vendors and those institutions to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.


” They will pay the money to them and the law will determine what to do because I don’t believe the money should go back to the candidates, because if you can pay N3,000, N5,000, N6,000 above the cost, you do not deserve any sympathy. I believe the money should not go back to them because we told them not to pay but now that they have paid we will recover the money and pay it to the appropriate government agency because if we retain it, they will say JAMB is looking for money, we are not looking for dirty money, we will therefore return the money to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, so as decides by the law,

they can even take it to a charity home and give it to those in need.”


Earlier during a virtual meeting with the candidates who had others donating their fingers (fingerprints) to them during their registration process, many of the students admitted the act while others claimed ignorance.



Statepressng

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has allocated petrol to marketers directly to ease scarcity.


The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) made the disclosure on Tuesday.


The President, Chinedu Okoronkwo said the order was issued after a closed-door meeting of both parties.


It was agreed that IPMAN members should load petrol at NIPCO, MRS and other assigned depots.


The marketers were however encouraged to upgrade their POS to G4 or G5 for payment efficiency.


“Members without POS are also advised to acquire it for efficiency,” Okoronkwo told NAN in Lagos.


Okonkwo urged IPMAN divisions across the nation to open up their stations and start selling.


Lawal Sade, NNPCL Managing Director; Adeyemi Adetunji, VP Downstream; IPMAN BoT Chair, Abdulkardir Aminu, and exco members attended the meeting.


Daily Post

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The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime to find lasting solutions to the fuel and naira scarcity.


In a statement signed by its president, Festus Osifo, and secretary general, Nuhu Toro, on Tuesday, the TUC expressed worry at the scarcity and pleaded that they are resolved in one week.


“TUC, like the rest of the Nigerian populace, is bewildered that the country is being dragged through the twin crises of currency and fuel shortages. We are worried and wish to note that smaller denominations of N100 and N50 notes were not affected by the naira redesign but, paradoxically, not in circulation anywhere in the country,” TUC said.


The union added, “President Muhammadu Buhari needs to give a marching order to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the commercial banks to make available the legal tender, unconditionally to Nigerians without further delay.”


It also called for the availability of petrol at filling stations and sale at the official pump price across the country. The TUC said it would monitor the situation closely, urging the government to act promptly to prevent it from getting out of hand.



Mr Buhari had, on Friday, met behind closed doors with governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), urging Nigerians to give him seven days to resolve the crisis associated with the naira and fuel scarcity.


NNPC CEO Mele Kyari also promised that there would be a substantial improvement in fuel supply in the coming week.


NAN

Statepressng

An emergency meeting of the Council of State, convened by President Muhammadu Buhari will hold on Friday to discuss national crises including petrol and naira scarcity, insecurity and others, ahead of the general elections.


The national crises had led to protests in various parts of the country.


Daily Trust gathered that the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is expected to provide an update on the new currency redesign policy scheduled to take place at the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja, at 10 am.


Credible Presidency sources told Daily Trust that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu as well as the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, will brief the council on the preparation for the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections as well as March 11 governorship and state houses of assembly polls.


The meeting will take major decisions to douse tension ahead of elections and avert a potential national crisis given anger over the scarcity of new naira notes. The National Council of State is an organ of the Nigerian government whose functions include advising the executive on policy making.


Membership of the Council comprises President Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, former presidents, former heads of state, former chief justices of Nigeria, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, governors of the 36 states of the federation and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).


Afenifere sets agenda for council


Pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Tuesrday set the agenda for the Council of State ahead of its meeting.


Coming against the backdrop of the naira scarcity and fuel shortage, which has crippled businesses, the group said there must be solutions to the current challenges from the Council of State meeting.


National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Comrade Jare Ajayi in a chat with Daily Trust, said Nigeria is in a critical moment and tasked members of the council to come up with pragmatic solutions to the crises at hand.


He said, “This is a momentous period in Nigeria given the number of lives that have been lost, given the number of businesses that have collapsed and are in danger as a result of the unavailability of naira, people are queuing in the banks to get the cash they don’t get the cash.


“A lot of lives have been lost in the process and of course, a lot of people are queuing in the petrol stations, they are not getting fuel.


“And within the next few weeks, we would be undergoing elections. We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari and all the past presidents and heads of state as well as governors and retired chief justices and all those who are members of the Council of State to realise that this is a crucial moment in the annals of Nigeria.


“We are saying that first, CBN must flood the commercial banks with cash, especially new currencies. Two, the deadline must be extended. February 10 is certainly unrealistic. It must be extended for at least the next three months.


“Afenifere is insisting that February 10 is unrealistic for Nigerians to be able to get the currencies.


“On the issue of fuel scarcity, NNPCL must be geared up. What we are experiencing is not what we should be experiencing given the fact that God endowed us with crude oil. We shouldn’t be suffering and coming at a time when we are facing this election, it is also something terrible about our country. So the petrol scarcity and currency crunch must be addressed.


“Also the need to ensure free, fair and credible elections must attract the attention of the council of state. So that tomorrow we would hear that the president has extended the deadline for the currency swap from February 10 to at least the next three months and then, of course, all necessary machinery must be put in place to ensure free, fair and credible elections.”


Efforts to get the northern elders to set agenda ahead of the council meeting yielded no result.


We need cash to conduct elections – INEC


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has assured the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as Nigerians that the apex bank would not do anything inimical to the success of the 2023 general elections.


The CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, gave the assurance on Tuesday when he hosted the INEC management led by its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at the CBN headquarters in Abuja.


Yakubu who spoke earlier told the CBN governor of the impact of the naira redesign policy on the successful conduct of the elections.


The INEC boss, therefore, requested concessions regarding the naira redesign policy with specific reference to the limitations placed on cash withdrawals and the need to make some cash available for some peculiarities that cannot be met with electronic transfer of monies.


According to him, some of the service providers, especially transporters are required to be paid in cash and aside from that, experience has shown that emergencies do arise on election day, which could demand the use of cash by the commission.


“I am encouraged by the continued willingness of the apex bank to support the commission’s determination to deliver credible elections on February 25 and March 11, 2023. Particularly, the facilitation of activities necessary for the success of the election, in an area where the CBN has exclusive responsibility.


“Nigerian election is a huge and complex undertaking that requires the engagement of critical services and in line with the provisions of the extant laws and regulations, service providers are generally paid by means of electronic transfer to the accounts.


“However, there are equally critical areas, such as transportation and human support services that have to be immediately remunerated, either partially or in full before services are rendered.


“In addition, emergency situations may arise requiring immediate cash payments. Some of the critical service providers are unbanked. Over the years we have worked with the CBN and commercial banks to pay for such services seamlessly during general elections, as well as off-cycle and bye-elections.


“Over the years, the commission has also migrated all its accounts at the national and state level to the CBN. And this arrangement has worked without encumbrances to our activities. In view of the recent policy, involving the redesign of some denominations of our national currency and the limits placed on cash withdrawals and availability. We consider this meeting important in addressing some of the areas of concern with just 17 days to the 2023 general election.


“We are confident that arising from this meeting, we can assuage the anxiety expressed by some of our service providers who are determined to make the 2023 general election one of the best-organised elections in Nigeria, but we cannot do it alone. That is why the commission is mobilising every critical national institution for the success of the election. This meeting is part of this effort,” Yakubu said.


Responding, Emefiele said he would ensure the CBN is not seen as an agent to thwart the forthcoming general election, assuring that the apex bank would provide INEC needed naira notes as required.


“The relationship between the CBN dates back to even before I became the governor and that relationship, I will say, borders purely on trust and confidence.


“We also appreciate and truly do appreciate the fact that the INEC supported by the Nigerian populace has the trust and confidence in the ability of the central bank in playing the roles that we have played for you so far to ensure that our elections hold without any hitches. Before now, we’ve been involved in the storage of INEC election materials and involved using our armoured bullion van in transporting electoral materials.


“I know that just a few months ago, I visited your office and you raised the issue of how foreign exchange can be procured for you to import Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and other forms of election material that need to be imported and I gave you my word that foreign exchange will be provided for that purpose. I stand here to confirm that as of today, all dollars that are needed to import those items have been provided and those items have been imported.


“So, it’s all part of our commitment. Now this issue of pain and logistics for people who are going to be transporting election materials, certainly, the assurance I give to you is that because we regard the INEC project as a topmost or an urgent national assignment, and therefore, it cannot fail and the central bank would not allow itself either to be used or to be seen as an agent that frustrated a positive outcome of that election.”


President meets Tambuwal, Bagudu, CBN gov, others at Aso Rock


Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday held a closed-door meeting with the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State as well as the Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Governor Atiku Bagudu Abubakar of Kebbi State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.


The meeting was attended by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa.


Last Friday, the president had implored citizens to give him a seven-day window, which lapsed on February 10 to resolve the currency crunch that had emanated from the implementation of the Central Bank policy to change high-value naira notes with newly designed ones after a meeting with the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors.


Buhari had equally assured that he would be meeting with both the CBN and the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company and a decision would be taken based on current realities in the best interest of the people.


The governors of the ruling party had asked that the president direct an adequate injection of the new notes and the continued utilisation of the old ones until the end of the year.


The governments of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states have sued the federal government and the CBN before the Supreme Court over the currency redesigning and “de-monetisation” policy.


However, an FCT High Court had on Monday restrained the CBN, President Buhari and 27 commercial banks from extending or sabotaging the currency redesigning and cash withdrawal limit policy in the country.


(Daily Trust)

Statepressng

No fewer than fifteen (15) suspects have been arrested and paraded by the Police for committing various crimes in Katsina State and its environs.


The first category of the suspects comprised three (3) suspected thieves led by one Mohamed Abdurrahman of Saulawa Quarters, Katsina State.


The suspects according to the Katsina Police Spokesman, SP Gambo Isah, specialized in breaking into houses to commit armed robbery and car snatching in the state capital.


Two Corolla motor vehicles, two brand-new motorcycles, and a locally-made gun were recovered from them.


Other suspects arrested and paraded before the command headquarters on Tuesday include; two suspected informants led by one, Suleiman Dahiru of Yau-Yau village in Batsari LGA of the State who specialized in inviting terrorists to attack people at Rahamawa Quarters in the Katsina metropolitan area.


The remaining ten suspects are Aminu Lawal Alias “Entertainment”, a notorious car thief of Kofar Marusa low-cost, Katsina, Salisu Hassan, 33 years old of Rijiyar Lemu, Kano State as well as three young armed robbers namely: Amir Abdullahi, 19-year-old of Funtua Local Government Area, Katsina State who specialize in blocking highways to steal people’s property mostly phones.


The rest are Abubakar Sufiyanu, a notorious thief of Kofar Kaura layout, Katsina who attacked a church in Dandume LGA, Katsina State and tied the church security guard, and eventually took away a motor vehicle parked within the church premises.


Similarly, 23-year-old Abdul Salisu of Sardauna Estate in Katsina State was also part of the suspects who were arrested by the police for specializing in buying stolen motor vehicles from car thieves.



Salisu was arrested after he bought a stolen Corolla motor vehicle valued at three million Naira for the sum of two hundred thousand Naira only.


“On 05/01/2023, based on credible intelligence, the command succeeded in arresting the trio of one (1) Muhammed Abdulrahman alias Lalo ‘m’ aged 27 years old of Saulawa quarters Katsina, the ring leader who has been on the command’s wanted list for armed robbery (2) Ibrahim Haruna alias Muti ‘m’ aged 22 years old of Kofar Kaura quarters, katsina and (3) Naziru Lawal ‘m’ 23 years old of the same address, the notorious syndicate that specializes in arm robbery and car snatching terrorizing katsina metropolis,” the police said.


“In the course of the investigation, suspects confessed to the commission of the offence and stated that between September to December 2022, they attacked more than nine (9) houses in different parts of the Katsina metropolitan area robbing residents of their motor vehicles, cash amounting to three million, nine hundred and eighty-three naira (N3, 983,000:00K).


“They further confessed to belonging to several other armed robbery gangs. Furthermore, mentioned one Nasiru Muhammed, ‘M’ aged 45yrs of Sabuwar Gayan village, Chukun LGA, Kaduna state, as the receiver and disposer of their stolen motor vehicles.


“The following exhibits were recovered from the suspects during police search: (1) Toyota corolla LE (2) Toyota corolla CE (3) The operational vehicle of the syndicate, a Peugeot 406 with registration number KUJ 368 FU (4) Two brand new motorcycles bought by the suspects from the proceed of the crime (5) A double barrel gun, machetes, sticks, and criminal charms. An investigation is ongoing.”


Channels

Statepressng

 

As the federal government continued to borrow from local investors to bridge budget deficit, the government’s exposure to savings bonds alone grew to N28.62 trillion between 2020 and 2022, THISDAY investigation has revealed.


THISDAY analysis bond auction numbers during the period showed a sharp increase in investors’ patronage for FGN Savings Bond in 2022.


The 2022 patronage is the highest since the FGN Savings Bond was launched in 2017 and it was driven by higher interest rate compared to the interest rate on Treasury bills (TBs) amid 21.34 per cent inflation rate.


The Debt Management Office (DMO) in 2017 launched FGN Saving Bond for retail investors that guaranteed interest payment and repayment of the principal.


Furthermore, the FGN Saving Bond was introduced to deepen the national savings culture and diversify funding sources for the government.


The FGN Savings Bonds are issued monthly in tenors of 2 and 3 years.


A breakdown revealed that local investors investment in the FGN Savings Bonds rose by 97.6 per cent Year-on-Year, (YoY) to N16.59 trillion in 2022, from N8.4 trillion in the corresponding period of 2021.


The DMO in 2020 had raised a sum of N3.67 trrillion and the amount raised was truncated by COVID-19 pandemic as the FGN savings was offered only 8 times.


Meanwhile, the coupon rate on 2-year and 3-year FGN Savings Bond rise to 12.255 per cent and 13.255 per cent in December 2022 above the 7.322 per cent and 8.322 per cent interest rate offered in 2021.


In 2020, the coupon rate on 2-year and 3-year FGN Savings Bond closed December at 1.320 per cent and 1.820 per cent from 7.144 per cent and 8.144per cent the DMO offered in January 2020.


THISDAY analysis showed that investment in 2-year FGN Saving Bond rose by 96.3 per cent YoY to N5.04 trillion in 2022 from N2.57 trillion in 2021.


Similarly, investment in the 3-year FSB rose by 98.17 per cent YoY, to N11.54 trillion in 2022 from N5.83 trillion in 2021.


The appetite for FGN bonds indicates that Pension Funds Administrators (PFAs), and Nigerian investors prefer investment instruments with less volatility that assures them of their capital returns albeit with low yield on investment.


Responding to THISDAY enquiry on the matter, the Head, Equity Research, FBNQuest , Tunde Abidoye stated that bonds by federal government are oversubscribed over current liquidity surplus in the financial system, stressing that institutional investors continue to look for new avenues to invest funds from maturing securities, coupons and dividend receipts, and new AUMs generated.


According to him, “This is in addition to the fact that FG bonds are essentially risk-free. Notably, Nigerian pension funds are willing takers of FGN debt.



“Nigerian pension funds have historically favored government debt as an asset class due to the paucity of good quality investible securities available to them. Other related reasons include the relative lack of depth of the equities market, portfolio safety considerations, and strict investment guidelines by the industry regulator.”


The federal government’s rapid borrowing raises concerns about the growing stock of public debt, which presently stands at N44.06 trillion or $101.91 billion in third quarter 2022 from N42.84 trillion or $103.31 billion in second quarter of 2022.


Speaking on the development, an economist and Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr Muda Yusuf, said the FG had notified the general public of borrowing more in 2022.


According to him, “Since we have a deficit of N6.3trillion and you also have an additional subsidiary budget of N4 trillion, naturally it has soar up the deficit and it is easier to raise money locally than raising it at the international market. Domestic borrowing is a low- hanging fruit.


“With all the volatility and foreign exchange issues, it makes sense to borrow at the domestic market rather than borrowing from the international market. It is all a reflection of our macro economy environment challenges and weak fiscal policy of the government. All this borrowing also is a reflection of the weak financial position of the government and it will continue like that.”


He noted that the oversubscription to FBN Saving bond is a lucrative investment, stressing that the low risk involved attracted investors.


He added that, “Anything sovereign has the lowest risk and nothing will go wrong with it except the country is collapsing completely. All over the world, sovereign bonds have the lowest risk and secondly it is an investment outlet for investors to invest their money.”


Meanwhile, the DMO on Monday said the 2-year note due February 15, 2025, at a coupon rate of 10.0 4 per cent, and the 3-year note maturing on February 15, 2026, is selling at a coupon rate of 11.04 per cent.


The interest would be paid to subscribers every quarter, according to the statement issued by DMO on Monday, stating that the bond can be purchased from any of the stockbroking firms it appointed as distribution agents.


The opening date for the offer is February 6, closing date February 10, settlement date is February 15, and coupon payment dates are May 15, August 15, November 15 and February 15.


According to the guidelines, retail investors looking to invest in the FGN Saving Bond only need a minimum of N5,000 to invest. Subsequent investment over N5,000 will be in multiples of N1,000. Meaning that investors cannot invest N5,500 or N12,700. It’s either N6,000 or N13,000 or N30,000. The maximum amount a single retail investor can invest in the FGN Saving Bond is N50 million.


The bonds have a tenor of 2 and 3-year respectively. Meaning that investors can either invest in an FGN Savings Bond with a duration of 2-year or one with a duration of 3-year and the interest rates are determined by the DMO.


ThisDAY



Statepressng

A middle-aged man, Aso Orji, of Amosu Eddah, Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, slumped and died on Sunday during church service.


He was confirmed dead at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.


Orji, who is the choir director of Presbyterian Church, Kpirikpiri, Abakaliki, was said to have slumped while conducting the choir song during the second service.


A source in the Church, simply identified as Mr. Egwu, said the deceased had been battling with High Blood Pressure for some time.


Egwu, who described the late Orji as a dedicated member and worker, added: “We were all in the church when the unfortunate incident happened. He came to church without any sign of ill-health. He conducted the choir ministration of in the first service, though he wasn’t at his best. During the second service ministration, while he was conducting the choir, it was observed that he couldn’t lift his hands at a point, but before we realised what was happening, he slumped and was immediately rushed to the hospital.



“Church members waited earnestly for him to be revived but to no avail. The prayer team prayed believing that God will restore him but, at the end, the doctors confirmed him dead.”


Egwu said the body had been deposited at the hospital mortuary.


(Nations)

Statepressng

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Professional Forum has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to review the timing of the implementation of the naira re-design policy.


Chairman Board of Trustees (BoT) of the forum, Malam Isa Yuguda said this at a news conference Tuesday in Abuja.


“We call on Buhari to consider all options, including, but not limited to a further extension of the time for the old currency to cease to be legal tender.


“So as not to further overheat the economy with the likelihood of unintended consequences.


“We also believe that the position of governors elected on the platform of our party on the need to allow both old and new naira notes to co-exist for some time is a strong point.


“This should not be brushed aside in national interest,” Yuguda, also a former governor of Bauchi State said.


Yuguda said the forum was compelled to address the media on the tensed socio-economic environment in the country caused by fuel and new naira notes scarcity.


He faulted the persistent scarcity of petrol at filing stations nationwide and the exorbitant cost of the product above the regulated pump price where it was available.


He also decried the widespread discontent and difficulties arising from the implementation of the well intended currency re-design policy of the Federal Government.


Yuguda, however, commended Buhari for setting up a 14-member committee to resolve the lingering fuel shortage, expressing hope that the situation would be addressed within the shortest possible time.


“This is especially as this administration has during its lifetime had a very good track record with respect to stability of fuel supply across the country with only occasional disruptions that are usually addressed with commendable efficiency.



“Rightly or wrongly,the disruption is being viewed in many quarters as sabotage and we are eagerly looking forward to a return to normalcy across the country and not only in Abuja.


“This is especially as the situation is being milked for political mileage which is clearly not good for the ruling party in the run up to the forthcoming general elections,” he said.


Yuguda added that the forum however, saw nothing entirely wrong with government’s decision to embark on naira re-design to address distortions in the economy.


He said that the forum’s concerned was on the mode of implementation, which had caused untold hardship on Nigerians in virtually every part of the country.


“At this point, let us commend President Buhari for heeding the call for an adjustment in the deadline for the old currency to cease to be legal tender till February 10.


“But in view of the chaos and near anarchy in some parts of the country, we are of the view that the situation may require more efforts and steps.


“This is necessary in order to address the possibility of major social upheavals as the elasticity of the average citizen is stretched to a breaking point.


“It is our considered view that the timing of the implementation of this laudable policy should be urgently reviewed,” the forum’s BoT chairman said.


The Eagle

Statepressng

 

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, Mele Kyari, on Tuesday assured Nigerians that the fuel scarcity being experienced in some parts of the country will reduce by next week.


He said this during an interview shown on Channels Television on Tuesday evening.


He assured that the queues at the fuel stations would disappear, adding that there would be significant improvement in the next one week.


Kyari said, “Now within the next one week, I’m not saying that you’re going to have zero queues within the next one week, no, because a number of things are out of our control, and of course the market forces will determine some of these issues.


“But I believe that we’re going to see substantial and relative ease compared to today in the next one week.


“I apologise for the situation on behalf of all of us in the oil and gas industry.”


The NNPC Boss blamed the fuel scarcity being experienced in some parts of the country on logistics challenge.


According to him, the scarcity began with a glitch in road failure resulting from the floods that swept 31 states of the country last year.


He stated further that a three-day glitch in the transport of fuel would take about three weeks to resolve.


He said, “We have a huge logistics challenge and this has been persistent in the last four to five months. But how did it start? It is important to know what happened.


“First, there was a glitch in terms of road failure around certain axis because of the flood which nobody has control over. We were unable to move product to another efficiently.



“Once we have a glitch of three days, it would require at least three weeks to resolve the challenge.


“Once, we have this situation, a number of things come into play. One is that arbitrage will come, people would like to take advantage of the situation, and they will move product from where it is sold cheaply to where it is expensive.


“Greed will push people to hoard the products in their tanks until they are able to sell them at the maximum price.


“There were also unplanned changes. For instance, once products land in this country, we have to take them by small vessels to the depots.


“The cost of hiring those vessels shifted from $21 January last year to $80 today and our compensation template under the current pricing regime didn’t see that coming.”


Kyari also stated that managing trucks and depots across the country posed a secondary challenge to the distribution of fuel across the country.


He apologised to Nigerians for the difficulties the situation had caused while stating that there would be improvements in the situation in the coming week.


“I apologise for the situation on behalf of all of us in the oil and gas industry. Now within the next one week, I’m not saying that you’re going to have zero queues within the next week, no, because a number of things are out of our control, and of course, the market forces will determine some of these issues.


“But I believe that we’re going to see substantial and relative ease compared to today in the next one week.”


(The Whistler)

Statepressng

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, last week Friday, discovered the sum of N258 million stashed in the vault at the head office of Sterling Bank in Abuja, The PUNCH reports.


This is a part of ongoing efforts at ensuring that commercial banks comply with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive on the distribution of the redesigned naira notes.


This discovery followed one of the commission’s operations at ensuring that commercial banks and other interest groups do not flout the apex bank’s directive.


The spokesperson for the anti-graft agency, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, revealed this in a statement obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday night.


Ogugua noted that when the ICPC monitoring team visited the bank and discovered the stashed new naira notes in the bank’s vault, it was informed that the cash was the remnant of what the CBN had given the bank for onward distribution to its branches.


“The team however found out that only the sum of N5 million each was distributed to their various branches.


“Both the Regional and Service managers were arrested and later granted administrative bail while investigation continues,” she said.


In a similar vein, the commission has effected the arrest of the Head of Operations, Keystone Bank, Mararaba in Nasarawa State for frustrating its customers at getting the new naira notes.


The ICPC team, while on its routine operation, found out that the Automated Teller Machines at the branch were not dispensing to its customers, while other bank customers were accessing only N1000 notes.



Ogugua added that it was only after the arrest was made and clarification received from the CBN that the position of the officers of the bank was not correct that the ATMs started dispensing N5,000 to non-customers and N10,000 to its customers.


The team also arrested one Abdulkareem Shaibu, a security guard with Zenith Bank, 3rd Avenue Gwarimpa, as well as Ali Adam and Shafiu Umar.


While Shaibu, the security guard was arrested for being in possession of five ATM cards which he was using to collect money for different unknown persons who were not within the bank premises at that time, Adam and Umar were arrested in front of Zenith Bank, 1st Avenue Gwarimpa, for selling the new Naira notes.


In another development, two officials of the FCMB Ogo-Oluwa, Osogbo have been taken into custody for assault of officers of the ICPC and CBN Cash Swap Monitoring Team.


It was reported last week that the said branch was caught twice for loading wrapped bank notes inside its ATMs.


Ogugua added, “The team, on a follow-up visit to ascertain the bank’s compliance level, was assaulted right inside the Branch Manager’s office by the bank officials who vehemently refused to allow ICPC carry out its lawful duty, and then held hostage for about two hours.


“By the time the reinforcement of police and NSCDC officers arrived the scene of the incident, the masterminds of the assaults had gone into hiding, leading to the arrest of two bank officers who were also complicit.”


Punch



Statepressng

 

Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, has become Serie A’s jump-king after setting a new record during Napoli’s brilliant 3-0 win away to Spezia on Sunday.


The Nigerian International achieved the feat when netting his first goal – Napoli’s second of the day – against the Little Eagles at the Stadio Alberto Picco.


After a goalless first half, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia handed Napoli the advantage from the penalty spot before Osimhen added the game’s second in the 68th minute with a stunning effort.


Osimhen, with that jump, according to Corriere dello Sport, climbed to a height of 2.58 metres – a mark typical of elite NBA stars.


In doing that, Osimhen set a new Italian Serie A record, rubbing off the previous 2.56 metres mark set by Cristiano Ronaldo for Juventus against Sampdoria in 2019.



It is also a new personal career high for Osimhen whose previous mark was at 2.52m set against Torino at the Diego Maradona Stadium last season.


The world record of 2.62m set by Ugandan defender Bevis Mugabi in the Scottish Championship in January 2021, however, remains intact.


Osimhen currently leads the Serie A goal chart with 16 goals.


Daily Trust

Statepressng

Kano-based elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take urgent action to the problems of fuel scarcity and naira crisis rocking the country.


Yakasai, in a statement issued on Tuesday and obtained by PlatinumPost, appealed to Buhari to immediately sack the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, over the poor handling of the naira crisis.


The statement read in full : “The President reportedly requested a delegation of some governors to give him one week to consider options for addressing the current suffering in Nigeria caused by a scarcity of fuel and currency exchange. In my opinion, this is not the appropriate decision for the President to make at this crucial moment.


“I think in the current situation, regarding the currency exchange issue, the President should dismiss the Governor of the Central Bank immediately and appoint a competent and experienced person to handle the situation effectively.


” The current situation regarding the currency exchange and fuel scarcity is rapidly deteriorating, and some individuals who lack patriotism and have greed are taking advantage of it in collaboration with some officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria to make the situation even worse. It has been widely reported in the media that these individuals are hoarding the new currency, exchanging it for the old currency at exorbitant prices and causing additional hardship for the entire population of Nigeria.


“I urge President Muhammadu Buhari to take immediate action to replace Central Bank Governor Emefele and set up a high-powered inquiry to investigate the circumstances and proprietary surrounding the currency exchange at this critical time in our history.



“It is irresponsible to undertake a currency exchange during this critical time when the country is preparing for general elections that will result in the replacement of key government officials at all levels. This situation appears to be intended to sabotage not only the current government but also poses a threat to our democracy and national stability.


“The current situation calls for decisive action by the President to prevent this dangerous trend, which could lead to chaos and unrest in the country, and is not in the best interest of the nation.”

Statepressng

Mr. Dozy Mmobuosi has long held ambitions to make investments in the aviation sector driven by his belief that the aviation sector in Africa requires investment to develop and meet the demand of a rapidly expanding population.

In 2019, he established Tingo Airlines Ltd (UK) with the goal of acquiring a license and operating flights between Europe and Africa. However, due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020, Mr. Mmobuosi redirected resources towards Tingo Mobile to develop Nwassa and Tingo Pay. Tingo Airlines Ltd (UK) is in the process of being dissolved.

Following the disruption to the global aviation sector Mr. Mmobuosi and Omni-Blu Aviation Limited, a fast-growing airline incorporated in Nigeria to provide regular, customised, and specialised air transportation services, entered into a Joint Venture and Mutual Cooperation Agreement (JVMC) in 2020. They incorporated in Nigeria, a Joint Venture Company (JVCo) called Omni-Tingo Aviation Services Limited as the commercial vehicle through which their mutual aspirations would be administered.

The JVMC flights are to be operated under Omni-Blu Aviation licences [the technical partners under the JVCo] with Mr. Mmobuosi's Family Office providing the requisite funding resources for aircraft leasing and acquisitions towards their common objective.

Whilst the Coronavirus (Covid 19) years of 2020 and 2021 slowed down the pace for their full launch, the Omni-Tingo JVCo have made significant progress since it resumed its project implementation plan; having completed the purchase of a Sirkosky S-76C++ Helicopter in November 2022: and currently completing a transaction for the purchase of a Challenger 605 Business Jet in the USA. The JVCo is also currently in active negotiations for the lease of several regional jets to commence domestic and regional flight operations in Nigeria and across the region.

Mr. Mmobuosi, and Omni-Blu Aviation Limited (RC: 1098715) through its appointed representative, own fifty percent (50%) shareholding of Omni-Tingo JVCo respectively.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Ebuwa Martins, [email protected]

Statepressng

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emiefele has said that the apex will not allow itself to be used to frustrate the forthcoming general elections.


Emiefele, who spoke when the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Comission(INEC) Prof Mahmood Yakubu led 11 National Commissioners on a visit to the Bank, said the CBN will make available every cash needed to pay logistics for the success of the elections.


He was responding to a request from Yakubu that the CBN should find a way of addressing scarcity of currency across the country 17 days to the Presidential and National Assembly elections since some service providers to the commission were “unbanned”.


He said: “The CBN will no allow itself to be used as agents to frustrate tye forth cing election which is a positive assignment.


“If you require cash to pay some of your service providers, we will make it available to you. We will not allow ourselves to be seen as agents that frustrate a genuine assignment”.


The INEC chairman had told the CBN Governor the 2023 polls will be the best in Nigeria’s history, adding that concerns have however been raised about the processes leading to the elections.



He said while the Commission has transfered all its accounts at the state and national level to the apex bank, some of the services being rendered to the Commission need to be paid for in cash.


More details shortly…


 


(Nations)

Statepressng

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike says the state government has re-issued the approval for the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to use the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in the state to host its presidential campaign rally.


The Rivers State Government had on January 31 withdrawn the initial approval of January 11 on the grounds that credible intelligence and recent development show that the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation is working in collaboration with the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers.


The government said it understood that the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation was intending to share the approved facility with the APC whose activities are characterised by violence and destruction.


However, the state PDP Campaign rally in the Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area on Tuesday, Wike said the government reapproved the use of the venue after pleas by many personalities.


The governor also spoke on the crisis in the PDP, even as he faulted the comment by the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu that a member of the G5 visited him (Ayu).


Wike said the claim was false as no member of the group of five PDP governors advocating for the Southern Chairmanship of the party will visit Ayu.


He said nobody can blackmail the G5 governors to drop the political advocacy, because it is a fight they must surely win.


Wike insisted that no man can chase them away from the party they built.


The Rivers governor and for others have consistently demanded the resignation of Ayu as a preoccupation to support PDP flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar.


(NewsPoint)

Statepressng

Socio economic activities in Bauchi State have peaked as the PDP Presidential candidate Allhaji Atiku Abubakar visited the state capital to flag off his campaign in the North East.


The Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium was full to capacity while outside the stadium were thousands of excited supporters who came out to welcome the former Vice President.


Atiku’s plane landed at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport Bauchi at about 11:55 am in company with the National Chairman of the PDP Senator Iyorchia Ayu, his running mate Governor Ifesnyi Okowa, several PDP governors including Emmanuel Udom and Aminu Tambuwal.of Akwa Ibom and Sokoto States and dignitaries to flag off 2023 campaign exercise of all PDP candidates from top to bottom.


He was received by Bauchi State Governemnt officials led by Governor Mohammed of Bauchi State, equally, the PDP Gubernatorial candidate along side party executive other critical stake holders of the state.



The Wazirin Adamawa and his host paid homage to the Emir if Bauchi , Dr Rilwanu Adamu before moving to the stadium were thousands of PDP supporters were already waiting.


More details shortly…