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Lagos 2023: Will Sanwo-Olu Ride This Storm Too? — By Victor Ojelabi

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As the storm gathers in the days leading to the 2023 elections in Lagos State, Freelanews takes on a meteorological lens to view the direction of the storm. One man who has earned the record of being a Storm Rider is the 15th Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, a man now fondly referred to as Mr. Sellable for possessing high street credibility and enjoying the warm political embrace by his party. We went to town with our lens on, it would seem the horizon is clear for Sanwo-Olu’s bird of ambition to fly. Barring any last-minute headwind, Freelanews’ findings suggest the sky looks good.

Lagos State has often been described as lucky by most political analysts from every part of the nation.

Consistent with its slogan “The Centre of Excellence”, the state has enjoyed excellent leadership over the years. From the legendary Baba Jakande to the millennial governors, high performance is a norm, much so that every new administration has been burdened with the need to fit into the big shoes of their predecessors. Whereas few roads, bridges, school, and hospital buildings here and there would cut as exceptional leadership in other states and earn you a godfather status, in Lagos, it may still cost you your seat if quality, continuity, and dream-concierge don’t file along.

This entrenched culture of excellent performance over the years has built the politics of the state. Beyond orientating it towards the people, it has deconstructed every aspect of its make-up into a performance checklist for appraising a leader for future relevance, starting with a second-term ticket. It goes that beyond endearing the people with laudable projects, your performance must align with the interests of robust political structures, often constituted by proven politicians and private sector juggernauts alike. There is also a figurative big picture of Lagos that most Lagosians hold up to sight whenever it comes to judging a governor’s performance. As it turns out, Lagos being the most populated cosmopolitan city in Africa is home to the very best of us – dreamers, hustlers, hard workers, self-achievers, builders, leaders, travelers and inquirers. Therefore, nothing runs aloof without a prying public eye and political participation of majority of the people either through the ballot or through their wallets!

Lagos politics is made up of four players – The Passive Deciders (businessmen with deep pockets who are not active politicians but fund promoters of their interests), The Active Deciders (career politicians with strong grassroots support), Active Promoters (card-carrying members who do the political legwork) and the Passive Promoters (non-partisan citizens who horn support for their candidates within their circles of influence). There is practically no silent inactive resident in Lagos, everyone is involved one way or the other.

The strong political structures (the kingmakers) are made up of The Passive Deciders and the Active Deciders. This set anoints the candidacy of aspiring Lagos governorship aspirants in small group meetings. Their decision is then handed down to Active Promoters, who go on to ensure the candidate’s victory at the polls. The success of the first three categories is still very dependent on how they manage the conviction of the Passive Promoters. The Last Mile Tools for winning the support of the majority of this last group are selective consultation with influencers, branding, political and marketing communications, and a dose of propaganda. In the build-up to elections, you will see these weapons deployed in full capacity.

History has it that after the half-term mark for a sitting Lagos governor, their political future gets a blank canvass and a checklist is drawn up. Since performance is a common decimal, the process and style become the focal considerations; are the Passive Deciders happy? What about the Active Deciders? Once these two groups are game, the system will determine the scheme for aligning the Active and the Passive Promoters. In the case of an ex-governor, his results from this set was overwhelming disapproval, it, therefore, wasn’t shocking that there was a sharp turn of events from support to attacks after an overwhelming acceptance of his declaration on September 11, 2018, by notable party stalwart. The political structures quickly activated the Last Mile Tools against him. For a governor who had recorded a high level of infrastructural development, his message of solicitations was lost among the amplified narrative that he botched the Lagos Master Plan!

Babajide Sanwo-Olu is past the half-mark with 2023 just around the corner and Lagosians are watching with keen interest for what his political fate holds. Are we headed for a repeat of 2019 or has the astute banker deposited enough into the expectation accounts of the Lagos Political Four? So, before the Last Mile Tools are activated, either for or against his possible bid for a second term ticket, Freelanews takes a look at his administration’s efforts at realizing his dream for Lagos while sailing the stormy waters of Lagos politics.

Empathy, communications, and association with the people

Until he became governor and the people got the chance of experiencing the person of Sanwo-Olu, he was only defined by the words of the political class, mostly his party chieftains. And that reputation was purely ambiguous. A set extolled his virtues and capabilities, but the other painted the picture of a junky, gutless errand boy that the cabal wanted to force on the people. Many Lagosians were apprehensive of him and what would become the experience of Lagos for the next four years. If there is any litmus test Sanwo-Olu has passed, it is the sanity check! In fact, the governor, through his frequent association with the masses, has demonstrated high-level emotional intelligence, power of articulation, and depth of understanding. Give it to Sanwo-Olu, he has never been struck as clueless or classless. Even though he has exposed himself to a lot of public inquisition, Sanwo-Olu always provided robust responses, demonstrating a deep understanding of the economy, governance, the people’s expectations, and desires.

This is something Lagosians would want to continue to enjoy.

The public has come to relate with a man they fondly call Mr. Sellable, as a listening leader. His quarterly briefings, active use of the social media for both feedback and orientation, the several town halls and live-streamed Lagos events, prompt responses to concerns and requests of random citizens have taken away the elitist image the people have of the office of the governor of Lagos state.

The EndSARS protest was a major show of the stuff Sanwo-Olu is made of.

Despite the political turmoil, he went all out to associate with the youth, managed the fallouts, and followed through with his promise to offer his shoulders, through prompt visits to victims on their hospital beds, settling bills, constituting the first and perhaps the only genuine panel of inquiry, etc.

It was a tough call for those who understand the inner workings of federal and state politics, but the conscientious governor never faltered nor fail.

Planning and strategy

When Sanwo-Olu filtered into the polity in the build-up to the Lagos Gubernatorial Election of 2019, Tayo Ayinde and a few other party stalwarts were the first to speak about him emphasized his excellent planning and strategic thinking abilities. He was accredited for a lot of excellent policies that boosted the state’s IGR and the brilliant Lagos Security Trust Fund that solved the funding problem and elevated the security operations and apparatus of the state. It was also noted that he led the publication of the Lagos State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (LASEEDS). Well, over two years down the line, he has proven his prowess.

Take, for instance, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund. Within the last two years of this administration, this organization had greatly impacted the economy and social security of the state. It is a strategic way of addressing unemployment, women and youth empowerment, and insecurity. Over 11,000 businesses have been funded to the tune of 7billion, over 5,400 have been trained and placed in jobs, workspaces insured for startup businesses in tech created 97,000 jobs, and added 47,000 new taxpayers.

Administration and continuity

Babajide Sanwo-Olu has no doubt fulfilled one of his campaign promises by fully filling his cabinet and setting up the structure to immediately run this progressive agenda within the first few weeks in office. He quickly restored the Lagos waste management system and the mounting trash vanished across the state. He resuscitated the Lagos State Public Works Corporation, invested in equipment, and allocated required funds. Within the last two years, thousands of Lagos roads have been restored, upgraded, and under construction by this state-owned company at the expense of greedy contractors.

Despite the corrosive campaign experience with his predecessor, Sanwo-Olu spent the first two years of his term completing his numerous projects, according to him full credit and not minding the public backlash that would follow. To him, every good Lagos dream deserves to be realized regardless of the name tag on it. That is the character of the man Lagosians would want to keep.

COVID-19

The biggest problem any government around the world has faced in the last 100 years is the COVID-19 pandemic. How it was handled has caused several world leaders to lose their seats. From presidents to governors, to even city mayors, COVID-19 pandemic management was all the people needed to judge them. If that is what the administration of Babajide Sanwo-Olu would be evaluated by, he will eternally remain relevant in the Nigerian political sphere; he did excellently well!

Recently, the World Health Organization rated Nigeria 4th in the world in the handling of the pandemic. Without equivocation, that credit almost completely goes to Babajide Sanwo-Olu. We all know Lagos is the heart of the nation as over 12% of the nation resides in Lagos. More so, it is Nigeria’s number one gateway to the world and its inhabitants are the most traveled and tightly settled. If Lagos had gotten it wrong, the entire country would have been in a total mess.

The initial projections for Lagos by world health authorities was several million of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths. But it came at the wrong time when an astute strategic planner who understands crisis management is at the helms of affairs.

First, Governor Sanwo-Olu was the Incident Commander who put himself at the frontline of the fight against the pandemic. He also practically commanded the implementation of a well-articulated stemming plan. His government was the first to swing into action and locked down the state. He activated all the state apparatus – media, security, public health, emergency management, etc. He worked with the private sector to pull together resources and encourage the acceptance of the lockdown protocol. His years of experience in the private sector came in handy and he quickly worked with major players to set up isolation centers. The government within few weeks upgraded facilities to create Infectious Disease Centres helped with logistical problems of health workers and enforced movement restrictions across the state. He quickly mobilized the equipping of all government buildings, including thousands of Lagos schools with prevention and testing facilities.

The education ministry partnered with state media companies to air educational materials, to make up for educational losses caused by the lockdown and all primary and secondary students benefited.

Most importantly, his perspicacity in the formation of his cabinet came to positive light in the face of the pandemic, when his choice of the commissioner for health became pivotal to the fight; a professor who intelligently and actively managed the pandemic and turned down the hand of the curve. Prof. Akin Abayomi, who recently got an award as the most responsive COVID-19 State Government of the Year at the Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award 2021, was just a timely round peg in a round hole. The perfection of this administration at this time saved thousands of lives and possible economic collapse that shocked even the developed nations of the world and global public health experts.

Conclusion

Sanwo-Olu has impacted all major areas of development that will be too voluminous to list – built and upgraded over 1,071 schools, launched the Lagos Health Insurance Scheme (costs only N40,000 a year for a family to get from primary to tertiary health care), completed several housing projects, fixed traffic bottlenecks, added hundreds of public buses, etc. How Sanwo-Olu raised the finances for the Lagos Redline Rail project in the midst of a pandemic and economic slow down has been a wonder to the bookmakers and economists. Again, he is forging ahead with gusto to commence work on the 4th Mainland Bridge. These are some of the projects Sanwo-Olu fittingly described in his State of the State Address titled, “Glimpse of a Greater Lagos” in the month of May.

But when it comes to taking another shot at the Lagos House, the political blocks will commence the anointing process per their own judgement.

To polity watchers like Freelanews, we do not expect any shocking upturn on his path to securing four more years for him to implement some of the plans that COVID-19 and the other disruptions might have hindered. Some recent media reports and analysts are predicting that Dr. Obafemi Hamzat may be stringing up key political ropes to snatch the party’s ticket come 2023, but students of history know that if Asiwaju is good at reading anything, he is good at reading the direction of the tides. Today, the tides are in favour of Sanwo-Olu by all parameters. Besides, the relationship between Sanwo-Olu and his deputy is an exemplary working example for other state governors to study.

According to a chieftain of the APC, who would rather remain anonymous, the deputy governor is always a party to all critical decisions in government. He enjoys the governor’s absolute confidence. He described any insinuation of a division between them as a beer parlour conversation that does not mirror the reality on the ground by an inch.

Even the suggestion that Tayo Ayinde may be plotting to unseat his boss has also been dismissed as untrue by forces within the APC. But we also understand that the former security aide to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a man of profound intelligence having spent many years with the State Security Services, and would store away any ambition that can further destabilize the state’s party structure in a build-up to an all-important 2023 presidential election that is expected to reward the party’s national leader, after about 20 years of building and investing into what is now the ruling party.

“Take it from me, Asiwaju needs stability in his home base to realize his own presidential ambition. He is too smart a politician to instigate a political insurrection at home and go to a national war to win the presidential crown”, a chieftain of the party stated confidently.

Freelanews believes that as Asiwaju battles his presidential ambition, he has placed his political machinery in the able hands of Babajide Sanwo-Olu who is oiling it well.

While trying not to give life to a ridiculous story being circulated in the media against the governor, a dig revealed that it was actually planted by a prominent member of the National Assembly, who recently lost out in the just conducted local government council elections in the state. He was said to have sponsored the story for two reasons; to create an atmosphere of distrust within Sanwo-Olu’s cabinet and Asiwaju’s political enclave. Secondly, the said member of the National Assembly is said to have been complaining that he does not have the desired access to the governor and the needful business patronage he needs to raise funds for the governorship ambition in his home state.

A source in the know hinted that the governor’s disposition towards him may not be unconnected with the way he turned against former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the last minute despite taking contracts running into millions of naira.

The wise, they say, count the cost before building. For 2023, the wisdom that remains energy conserved in-house is critical for lift-off to Aso Rock, given that the North is ever united.

If Babajide Sanwo-Olu shows interest in a second term, maybe he should be allowed based on his current performance rating and popularity with the people while the party pulls out all its arsenal in the battle for a Tinubu presidency.

Time, they say, will tell!

BIG STORY

MUST READ: How MC Oluomo Hijacked Lagos NURTW From Me, Snatched My Second Wife – Adeshina, Lagos Caretaker Chairman

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Fatai Adeshina, aka Akeweje, the newly appointed Caretaker Committee Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in Lagos State, talks about his grouse with his predecessor and now Chairman of the Parks Management Committee in Lagos, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly called MC Oluomo, and the lingering crisis in the state branch of the union.

Read excerpts of the interview with Punch Newspaper below:

Can you give an insight into your background as a transport unionist?

I am from Osun State and a core member of the NURTW. I am about 62 years old. When I started as a commercial driver in Lagos, MC Oluomo was a motor boy. I started in Lagos as early as 1979. I was a mole driver with one man called Baba Ise Oluwa. I plied the Agege to Idumota route. I have many of MC Oluomo’s photos as a lad. I have known him for close to 40 years. There was a man called Alhaji Basiru Daniel. He was the one who helped MC Oluomo. The man took notice of him because of his hustling spirit despite having some physical challenges. The man brought him into his house and trained him to become a transport unionist. He was a letter delivery person for the man.

MC Oluomo’s struggles started with the union in the days of (Saka) Saula. Saula was gruesomely murdered. After his assassination, a man called Rafiu Akanni Olorunwa was brought to become the chairman, but MC Oluomo also picked a fight with Olorunwa. Olorunwa acted as the chairman for three years. MC Oluomo was involved in a brawl with Olorunwa and there was a shootout at Bourdillon such that (Asiwaju Bola) Tinubu sternly rebuked both of them for shooting at his house as though it was the garage of a union.

The union was dissolved thereafter and (Tajudeen) Agbede became the Lagos chairman of the NURTW. He was there for eight years and after his tenure, a vacancy was advertised for the post of the state chairman of the union. They said anyone was free to obtain the form for the chairmanship seat and I purchased one and I contested the seat. I contested the seat of the Lagos State chairman of the NURTW.

When was that precisely?

That was in 2019.

What happened next?

Some days to the D-day when they were supposed to announce me as the NURTW chairman for Lagos, the chief of staff to the governor called me and told me that he and the governor had endorsed my candidacy, but Tinubu said they should give it to MC Oluomo. I told him there was no problem. He asked me what I wanted to do next and I told him that I was okay with anything the government wanted. He asked whether I wanted the deputy or treasurer position, and I said any of both was fine. He drafted a list of the state executive members to be announced and showed me that I was penned for the deputy chairman position. I agreed with the plan. However, on the day we were to be sworn in, my name was canceled with a pen, not that they drafted a fresh list. I was not offered any position. MC Oluomo took away my job and hijacked my branch and my unit despite meeting me on this job.

What is the name of your park?

Odo Olowo Branch ‘C’ in Oshodi.

When did MC Oluomo take away your job as you allege?

When he took over as the NURTW chairman in Lagos. The worst thing he did to me that made me part ways with him was that after his inauguration, I bought a foreign used car for N13m and took it to him as a gift. I added N10m to the car gift, but he rejected them. I begged him but he refused to make peace. I am not MC Oluomo’s peer and he knows this, but I prostrated before him to make peace. He told me he would look at what he would do, but the more I begged him, the more his mind was made up. I left his house that day and returned to him around 8 pm the following day, but he warned me not to come to his residence at night. He said anything could happen to me if I did. I stopped going to his house after that incident.

Did your paths cross afterward?

Yes, there was a lady called Ronke Oshodi Oke, a popular actress. She was a friend to my second wife. Though they met outside my residence, Ronke started visiting my home at one point. So, I challenged her and warned her not to ever step into my house again.

Is there any reason for your action?

Yes, Ronke was an associate of MC Oluomo and I know what Oluomo is capable of doing. When I challenged Ronke, she told me that she came to see her boss, adding that my second wife was her boss. I told her not to come to my house anymore because MC Oluomo and I did not belong to the same camp. My second wife and Ronke knelt and apologized, but after five days, I met Ronke in my house again. I was furious and I accused her of trying to carry out a mission in my house. I sent the two of them out of my house that day. To my surprise, Ronke took my second wife, who I sent packing, to MC Oluomo.

How did you know this?

Some concerned close allies at MC’s hotel in Oshodi phoned me that they saw my second wife at MC’s place. They asked whether MC and I had settled our issues, but I said we were yet to resolve our differences. They told me that MC had asked them to give my second wife a room in his hotel. She was there for one month and seven days in his hotel.

Do you mean your wife?

Yes, my second wife, Queen B. She stayed in his hotel for one month and seven days before he bought her a house. Unionists in the state know this story very well.

When exactly did this happen?

It happened about a year after MC Oluomo became the NURTW chairman in Lagos.

Did you finally reconcile with your second wife?

No, they are still in love and she is still with him to date. I was not worried that she left because I considered her as the death that wanted to kill me. If I was blind or had any health challenge, I wouldn’t be concerned about what they did. What if I was poisoned? She was my second wife and we ate together, slept together, and woke up together. I thank God that something more dangerous did not happen.

MC Oluomo has since been threatening to kill me. I have been booed and assaulted many times on the streets of Lagos by hoodlums. I once attended a party at Onikan. (Sule) Malaika was the artist who performed. As I was about to leave the party around 8 pm, I was assaulted. Some boys pelted me with bottles of Hennessey drink and other items. A particular lady at the party warned me not to go yet that the boys had a mission. Before she finished speaking, one of the boys named Afeez brought out a knife and threatened to slaughter me. One of those at the party, however, called some soldiers and I was rescued. I have been together with Oluomo for over 27 years and I know some of the pranks he plays.

Do you still receive death threats at the moment?

Yes. Some people still call to tell me not to leave the house and that some people want to kill me, but I am not bothered.

What have you been doing since your park was taken away from you as you alleged?

I haven’t been working. I had 11 buses but they were all sent away from parks in the state. I later sold the vehicles when area boys kept vandalizing them.

In all honesty, what will you say was the offense you committed against MC Oluomo?

I did not offend him in any way. What I think is that he had an eye on my then second wife, because MC Oluomo had since reconciled with some of his arch-rivals like Kunle Poly, but he has refused to make peace with me.

Do you still hear from her?

No, we stopped talking.

Did you have kids together?

No, there was nothing like that.

Do you have any wife at the moment?

Yes, my first wife is still with me and my children are grown up.

The national leadership of the NURTW April appointed you as the chairman of the caretaker committee for Lagos following the suspension of the union by the state government. Have you assumed the role?

We have yet to occupy the state secretariat of the union in the Abattoir area of Agege as MC Oluomo and his men have yet to vacate the property. The office is the bone of contention now. MC Oluomo said he won’t vacate the NURTW office after his suspension. He has converted the building into that of the Park Management Committee and branded it as the park management office. He removed the NURTW logo from the place and on our vehicles. He also hired Oodua People Congress members to man the place with a standing order that any union member found around the place should be gunned down. I was in the office of the director of the DSS (Department of State Services) on Wednesday and he said what MC Oluomo did was not proper. It is not proper to defect from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party and now convert all APC offices and vehicles to those of the PDP. It is just like mounting the PDP flag at the APC secretariat. That can’t work.

What was your mission at the office of the DSS?

I was invited concerning the planned protest of May 19, 2022, which was not allowed. The Commissioner of Police also invited me. I met with the two of them on Wednesday and they told me to tell my followers to be patient for them to resolve the matter because this is the period of elections. I know that they are deceiving us.

What was the goal of your protest?

We want our office back. MC Oluomo and his people should not be occupying our office; they should be in Alausa as members of the Parks Management Committee. Ondo State has a parks management system and does not use the union’s office. Oyo State has a parks management system and does not operate from the union’s office. What is MC Oluomo still doing in our office in Lagos?

Have you written to the Lagos State Government?

Yes, the government has been informed. I have written about 10 letters to the state government demanding the return of our office. The last letter was the one I notified the government that my members would protest. Lagos would have been loud if the security agencies had allowed us to go ahead with the protest on Thursday. Even if Tinubu held a rally, he could not have garnered the number of people that would come out for our protest.

How many are your members, including those who didn’t move with MC Oluomo and are still with the NURTW in the state?

We have more than 5,000 members. They are all my followers. All my supporters have not been working since the crisis started; only MC Oluomo’s boys have been collecting tolls. Aside from money, he knows I have the crowd and I have the character.

Who do you think is behind MC Oluomo?

It is the government. You know if the government backs you, it is like you have the support of God. Sanwo-Olu is the leader of the state today. He presents the staff of the office to monarchs. The same governor who banned us has the authority to say no to park managers and tell the NURTW to resume. However, if one has the support of those in government, it is not a license for highhandedness. For instance, if a benefactor buys me a commercial vehicle, the person has done well by providing something for me to earn a living. That the driver decided to use the vehicle for kidnapping is another thing entirely and the donor of the bus should not be blamed. That one has the support of people in government is not a license to misbehave.

Are you afraid for your safety?

I am going back to meet with the director of the DSS and the police commissioner. I have been receiving death threats from MC Oluomo’s boys.

What channel of communication are they using?

They have been calling my phone to deliver the death threats. I have the voice notes.

Have you taken any legal action to retrieve the NURTW office in Agege?

Yes, we have taken the matter to court. Femi Falani (SAN) is our lawyer. We want to recover our office. MC Oluomo should vacate our office. Aside from that, the NURTW is registered with the Federal Government through the Nigeria Labour Congress. The state has no right to ban the union because we didn’t cause any trouble in the state before we were suspended.

Are you involved in politics?

I am not a politician; I am a core unionist but I vote during elections. I am a confirmed member of the APC.

Credit: The Punch

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Tension Over Alleged Blasphemy In Bauchi, Pastor Injured, Houses Burnt

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A Pastor has allegedly been injured and many houses were burnt by angry youths who went on the rampage over alleged blasphemy in the Katangan area of Warji Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

Details of the incident were still sketchy as of the time of filing this report.

It was gathered that trouble started when a message was allegedly circulated on social media that a Christian girl in the town allegedly engaged in blasphemy of Islam.

A source confirmed the incident, saying, “Yes, the incident is true. It is an aftermath of the incident of the alleged blasphemy that happened in Sokoto last week.

“What I learned was that a Christian girl allegedly posted and commented on something on social media which has to do with the incident in Sokoto and that was how it started.

“The situation there is more than tension since many houses have been burnt down. But no life was lost, to the best of my knowledge.

“A shop which belongs to an ECWA Church in the area was also burnt down. And I learned that the District Head of the area and the leaders are on top of the situation. The police have also been informed about it.”

Another source said, “We were at home this evening when we heard shouts from some Muslim youths in their numbers who went on the rampage and besieged an ECWA Church in the area.

“But Christian youths and others resisted and repelled them but that was after they had burnt down a shop attached to the church. Many houses were burnt down by the rampaging youths.

“In the process, one of the pastors of the ECWA church was seriously wounded; as I speak to you now, efforts are on to save his life.”

One of the leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the state also confirmed the incident to journalists in a telephone interview.

He said that the Commissioner of Police in the state and the Senior Special Assistant to the Bauchi State Governor on Christian Religious Affairs are aware.

He called on the Christian community in the state not to allow the situation to degenerate.

Efforts to get a confirmation on the incident from the Bauchi State Police Command proved abortive.

Several calls put through to the Public Relations Officer, Ahmed Wakil, were neither picked nor returned as of the time of filing this report.

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BIG STORY

Naira Notes Will Be Out Of Circulation Soon, Embrace e-Naira – CBN

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has urged traders to embrace the e-naira, noting that paper naira notes will soon be out of circulation.

Mr. Godwin Okafor, controller, Delta State Branch of CBN, stated this on Friday at the popular Ogbogonogo market during the market sensitization on e-Naira.

“We are here at the market today to sensitize the market people on the use of e-Naira. It is fully backed by CBN, unlike Bitcoin which has no legal backing”.

Report has it that the consultant of CBN on e-Naira, Dr. Aminu Bizi, said Delta was chosen as the second state to sensitize market women on e-Naira after Lagos.

“We are here to sensitize market men and women, shop to shop on the use of e-Naira. CBN has gone behind ATM, and POS, therefore, we are going to meet the Okada/tricycle union on this policy.

“Paper currency will soon be out of circulation because CBN spent money to print money and people abuse the currency in the market, spraying at the occasion, payment of Okada/tricycle and others and CBN is losing”

He said the use of e-Naira was effective, charges free unlike ATM and POS, and cannot be hacked by fraudsters.

In his remark, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah, applauded CBN for the e-Naira initiative.

Ukah who was represented by the Director of Finance and Account in the office of SSG, Mr. Benson Ojoko, said the state was delighted with CBN programs, describing e-Naira as a laudable program that has placed Nigeria in international finance.

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