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Naira Redesign: We’ve Collected N1.9trn Old Notes So Far, N500bn More To Go — Emefiele

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Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says N1.7 trillion worth of naira notes have been returned to banks so far — with N500 billion more to go.

He was silent on how much cash will be left outside the banking system with the naira redesign.

The bank on Sunday extended the deadline for the swap of the old notes for new ones at the commercial banks from January 31, 2023 to February 10.

Those who still have the old notes after February 10 will enjoy a seven-day “grace period” to deposit them directly with the CBN.

After February 17, the old notes will cease to be legal tender, the governor said.

In a press release on Sunday, Emefiele said: “Available data at the Central Bank of Nigeria has shown that in 2015, Currency in­ Circulation was only N1.4 trillion. As at October 2022, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion; out of which only N500 billion was within the Banking Industry and N2.7 trillion held permanently in people’s homes.

“Ordinarily, when CBN releases currency into circulation, it is meant to be used and after effluxion of time, it returns to the CBN thereby keeping the volume of currency in circulation under the firm control of the CBN.

“So far and since the commencement of this program, we have collected about N1.9 trillion; leaving us with about N900 billion.”

He said to achieve effective distribution of the new currency, the CBN has took a number of steps.

“We held several meetings with our Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) arid provided them with Guidance· Notes on processes they must adopt in the collection of old notes and distribution of the New Notes to all Nigerians. These includes specific directives to DMBs to load new notes into their ATMs nationwide to ensure an equitable/transparent mechanism for the distribution of the new notes to all Nigerians,” he said.

“We commenced a nationwide sensitization through the Print and electronic media to create an awareness on the redesigned notes to Nigerians including collaboration with the National Orientation agency to reach all Nigerians across multiple channels.

“We deployed 30,000 Super Agents nationwide to assist in our Cash Swap initiative in the hinterlands, rural areas, and regions underserved by banks in the Country to ensure that the weak and vulnerable ones amongst us can swap/ exchange their old notes.

“We deployed all our staff, particularly the Assistant Directors, Deputy Directors and Directors· in Abuja to proceed to all CBN branches Nationwide to join the mass mobilization campaign and monitoring programs, working with the Deposit Money Banks , agents and our Branch controllers across the 36 states of the Federation. This is meant to ensure compliance with all our guidelines already issued for smooth implementation of the program. Although we have received some reports of breaches by some bank branches, we have agreed with Executive Chairmen of the EFCC and ICPC to assist us, by sending their staff to all CBN and DMB branches nationwide to join in monitoring the implementation of these guidelines. The aim is to ensure compliance with the laid down guidelines.

“We are happy that so far, the exercise has achieved a success rate of over 75 percent of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system. Nigerians in the rural areas, villages, the aged and vulnerable have had the opportunity to swap their old notes; leveraging the Agent Naira Swap initiative as well as the CBN Senior staff nationwide sensitization team exercise.

“Aside from those holding illicit/ stolen Naira in their homes for speculative purposes, we do aim to give all Nigerians that have Naira legitimately earned and trapped, the opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped monies at the CBN for exchange.”

Emefiele thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, who he described as an “incorruptible leader”, for approving the naira redesign programme.

“I’ve just ended a meeting with Mr President. The purpose of the meeting is to provide Mr President with updates about the implementation status of the CBN currency redesign program currently going on across the Federation,” he said.

“First, I’d like to continue to thank Mr President for giving the CBN the approval to embark on this ambitious program because, like I had said in the past, the Central Bank of Nigeria hasn’t had the opportunity to embark on such currency redesign program in last 19 years and indeed, let me emphasize that only an incorruptible leader of the President’s stature can give such approval to the CBN.

“From the on-set (outset) of this currency redesign program, we made it clear that for 19 years, the CBN hasn’t been able to conduct this important aspect of its mandate, whereas this should normally have been be done within a 5-8 years window.

“Our aim is mainly to make our Monetary Policy Decisions more efficacious and like you can see; we’ve started to see inflation trending downwards and exchange rates relatively stable. Secondly, we aim to support the efforts of our Security agencies in combating Banditry and Ransom taking in Nigeria through this program and we can see that the Military are making good progress in this important task in Nigeria.”

BIG STORY

NOVA Merchant Bank Uplifts 50 Young Lives Through Paediatric Surgical Intervention

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NOVA Merchant Bank, a leading merchant bank in Nigeria, has sponsored a Pediatric Surgical Intervention, as part of its 2023 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) program, specifically within its UPLIFT initiative project.

This initiative, conducted in partnership with the Association of Paediatric Surgeons of Nigeria (APSON), positively impacted 50 indigent child patients at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) on Monday, September 18, 2023.

APSON is the umbrella body of all Paediatric Surgeons in Nigeria engaged in the treatment of surgical issues in children, the education and training of specialists in Pediatric surgery, and the enhancement and preservation of the high standards and quality of surgical care provided to children.

This collaboration exemplifies NOVA’s unwavering commitment to community development and its dedication to impacting lives through its UPLIFT Initiative projects aimed at creating “Today’s solution for tomorrow’s sustainability (UPLIFT).”

Speaking on the motivation behind NOVA’s intervention, Mr Nath Ude, Managing Director of NOVA Merchant Bank, said, “NOVA envisions a future in which millions of people have free or low-cost access to healthcare and where unnecessary pain caused by preventable illnesses and untimely fatalities can be mitigated. This intervention is a stride towards achieving this vision.” He added that, “No child should be deprived of their promising future due to a lack of healthcare accessibility” noting that the impact of this project will echo through lifetimes to come.

Emphasizing the pivotal role of NOVA’s intervention, the President of APSON, Professor Roland Osuoji, said, “In the past year, Lagos state heavily subsidized paediatric operations for children between the ages 0-12 which have resulted in a growing waiting list, stretching until 2025.” He added that, “This initiative not only reduces the backlog but also saves lives and offers hope to these deserving families.

Commenting on the patient selection process, Dr Omolara Williams, the Local Organizing Committee Chairman of the medical outreach, said, “We surveyed our group of patients from our database and pinpointed those who were on the waiting list due to financial constraints. We made every effort to contact as many of them as possible, and as a result, we now have patients ranging from 1 to 14 years old who will receive treatment for their pediatric conditions through this intervention.” She further emphasized the need for continued regional and national initiatives like this to bridge the gap in paediatric surgical care accessibility.

Expressing appreciation for NOVA’s intervention, the LASUTH Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Adetokunbo O. Fabamwo, said, “This collaboration reflects a shared vision of a healthier and brighter future for children in Nigeria.” He noted that this meaningful impact is not just mending bodies but also building dreams.

NOVA Merchant Bank Limited is an investment grade-rated merchant bank in Nigeria, offering an integrated suite of financial solutions encompassing Financial Intermediation, Wholesale and Investment Banking, Asset and Securities Management, Trade Services, Cash Management, Transaction, and Digital Banking.

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Vandals Destroy 108 Transmission Towers Across The Nation Between January 2022 To September 2023 — TCN

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  • Federal Government Alleges Sabotage

A total of 108 power transmission towers were destroyed by vandals in various parts of the country between January 2022 and September this year.

This is according to the data obtained from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

It was gathered that the vandals destroyed 132kV double circuit power transmission lines, 330kV double circuit lines, and carried out soil excavation that threatened transmission towers, as the Federal Government described the development as sabotage.

The vandalism of transmission towers occurred in the Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Enugu,  and Benin regions, though the government, through TCN, had contracted out the repairs of some of the vandalised towers.

It had also deployed in-house engineers of the transmission company to work on other vandalised towers.

An analysis of data from the transmission company showed that 27 towers were vandalised in the Abuja region during the review period, while nine towers were destroyed in the Lagos region.

The Kano region recorded the highest number of destroyed transmission towers, as 52 towers were vandalised in the region during the review period, while 10 towers were shattered in each of the regions of Enugu Benin.

Nigeria’s power grid had collapsed twice in September, throwing the country into widespread blackout in both cases. The government and consumers blamed this on sabotage and destruction of transmission facilities.

TCN (in an information obtained by The Punch) said that in 2023 alone, it had recorded over 10 incidents of vandalism at different degrees across its regions, especially attacks on its transmission towers.

It stated, “In the Kano region of TCN, 49nos. towers were vandalised; Osogbo region, 51; Abuja region, 19; Enugu region, 18; among others. Nine towers, from Tower 56 to Tower 65 along the Papalanto/Abeokuta 132kV transmission line, located in the Obafemi Owode area of Ogun State, were all massively vandalised, leading to their collapse on May 23, 2023.

“As a result, Abeokuta and its environs were out of power supply for some days as the company had to supply bulk electricity through an alternate line, to enable Ibadan Disco (distribution company) to distribute electricity to its customers whose supply was affected by the incident.

“In the same vein, there were frequent activities of vandals in the TCN Aba sub-region in August 2023, with repair costs totalling about N23. They include 122No earthing copper conductors and 244No copper cable lugs with N366,000 worth of galvanised bolts and nuts carted away.”

It added that at the Port Harcourt sub-region, some cases of vandalism included Owerri Ahoada 132kv DC Line (T199 – T211), IPP/Elelenwo 132kv DC Line (T40, T43, T52 and T53), Owerri/Ahoada 132kv Line (T203 – T217), Ahoada/Yenagoa 132kv Line (T19 – T31) and IPP/Elelenwo 132kv Line (T40).

“Uyo Work Centre has only one case of vandalism at Itu T/S where an underground cable connected to the generator was vandalised.

“The Benin region was not left out of the nefarious acts as vandals attacked towers 30 to 33 along the Ihovbor-Osogbo-Benin-Osogbo double circuit transmission line, cutting the legs of the four towers, but they did not collapse and therefore did not interrupt bulk power transmission on that line.”

According to the TCN, on June 8, 2023, the linesmen of Benin region while patrolling the Benin/Ihovbor/ Osogbo 330kV double circuit line tower, discovered that Towers 30 to 34 were vandalised.

It stated, “The tower legs were sawed off and left to collapse, which could have been catastrophic, as it could have led to the loss of power supply and revenue and the probability of people getting electrocuted.

“The TCN management condemned the activities of these vandals, stating that their nefarious acts negatively impacted the grid expansion efforts of the company and are considered saboteurs. In addition, resources that would have been used to further improve the grid infrastructure would now be used to replace the vandalised towers.

“TCN is again appealing to host communities to join hands in the fight against vandals, admonishing them to report suspicious movement around transmission towers to security operatives or the TCN office in the vicinity.”

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Senate Screens Acting CBN Governor Dr. Cardoso, 4 Deputies Today

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The  Senate will today (Tuesday) screen the acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Olayemi Cardoso, for confirmation into a substantive capacity alongside four nominees for the positions of CBN Deputy Governors, to steer affairs of the apex bank in the next five years.

The Red Chamber, which is returning from its two-month annual vacation, has also scheduled the screening of two additional ministerial nominees by  President Bola Tinubu for Tuesday, October 3, 2023.

The Media Office of the Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, disclosed this in a statement on Monday evening.

While the National Assembly was on break, the President appointed the duo of Dr. Jamila Ibrahim and Ayodele Olawande as Minister of Youths and Minister of State for Youths respectively.

Tinubu also approved the nomination of  Cardoso as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria pending his confirmation by the Senate.

Last week, Cardoso resumed as the CBN governor in an acting capacity pending his screening and expected confirmation by the Senate.

The statement by the Senate Leader office said, “Dr. Cardoso will be screened alongside four deputy governors: namely Mrs. Emem Nnana Usoro, Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Mr. Philip Ikeazor, and Dr. Bala M. Bello.

“Besides, the Senate has scheduled to screen the ministerial nominees – Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim and Mr. Ayodele Olawande, respectively designated as Minister of Youth and Minister of State for Youth on October 3.”

Meanwhile, the Senate also pledged not to disappoint Nigerians as regards the appropriation of the 2024 budget.

Speaking on the agenda of the Red Chamber ahead of its resumption, the Senate spokesperson, Yemi Adaramodu,  emphasised that the revitalisation of the economy was top of its priorities.

Adaramodu said, “Soon after the resumption, the appropriation process will commence.

“The 10th Senate will not disappoint Nigerians; we’d ensure that we do what is expected of us because we are in a peculiar time when all hands must be on deck and Nigerians are eagerly waiting to see us do the needful to save Nigeria from the economic troubles we are currently experiencing and that permanent solutions are proffered.

“We’d ensure that appropriations are targeted at deliverables that can enhance a good life and good living of Nigerians and we are going to ensure that those that are approved are delivered to the latter and that quality services are given to Nigerians so that we can realise the goals of the Nigerian project so that we can ensure that life is more abundant to everyone to Nigerians.”

Adaramodu said the Senate expected the President to send the budget soon.

 

Credit: The Punch

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