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Senate Presidency: PDP Senators-elect Reject Akpabio

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The aspiration of the annointed candidate for the office of the Senate President in the 10th National Assembly, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has suffered a setback as the major opposition caucus in the Senate has rejected his choice.

The much-awaited zoning arrangement for the leadership of the 10th Assembly was made public at the end of an eight-man caucus meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held in President-elect, Bola Tinubu’s Abuja residence on Friday morning.

Akpabio, who joined the ruling APC in the build-up to the 2019 general election, is the preferred candidate of the President-elect and the leadership of the ruling party. While Senator Jibril Barau from Kano State has been picked as Deputy Senate President.

For the incoming House of Representatives, the APC Caucus led by Tinubu opted for Hon. Tajudeen Abbas from Kaduna State and Hon. Benjamin Kalu from Abia State as Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively.

LEADERSHIP reports that Senator Barau and Hon. Abbas are from the same North-West zone, a development that may put spanner in the works of the APC Caucus.

Also, Akpabio is not in the good books of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the National Assembly both the outgoing 9th Assembly and the incoming 10th Assembly, hence all entreaties from the former Akwa Ibom State Governor have fell on the PDP lawmakers-elect’s deaf ears.

He is said to enjoy the support of only three of the 36 PDP Senators-elect. The three Akpabio’s supporters are Senators-elect from Rivers State because of Governor Nyesom Wike’s alliance with APC at the centre.

“He is offering us money but we don’t want his money because he is not principled. He will eventually sell out the Senate if allowed to emerge the Senate President.

“Remember what he did in 2018/2019. The PDP honoured him as a first-timer in the Senate by giving him an exalted position of Minority Leader. Without any just cause, save for his pocket and selfish interest, he abandoned the PDP midstream and joined APC. He was rewarded with a ministerial position. We can’t trust such person as a Senate President, he is unstable,” a PDP Senator-elect from South-South, who did not want to be named, said.

Also, it was learnt that another thing against the APC choice, is the way he embarrassed and threw the federal lawmakers under the bus during a Senate hearing on Niger Delta Affairs Ministry under him in 2021.

“His behaviour that day shows someone who hate the legislators’ guts and he is ready to shut the door of reconciliation.

“Another reason why most legislagors are afraid of supporting Akpabio is his connection to the travails of two South-South Senators, Senator Bassey (Akpan) of Akwa Ibom and Senator Peter Nwaoboshi of Delta,” the lawmaker added.

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Hardship: Protesters Defy Police Warning, Hit Lagos Streets

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Residents have hit the streets of Lagos State to protest against the increasing spike in the price of food and the high cost of living in the country.

The protest was facilitated by a human rights group identified as the “Take It Back Movement.”

This comes against the warning issued by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Adegoke Fayoade, on Sunday.

The protesters were seen carrying placards of various inscriptions at Ojuelegba Under Bridge area of the state to express their grievances.

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CBN Lifts Ban On BDCs, Introduces New Operational Mechanism

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In a major development aimed at financial stability and strengthening the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to resume its weekly intervention in the country’s foreign exchange (FX) market through the Bureau de Change (BDC) operators.

In 2021, the central bank, in a bid to achieve its mandate of safeguarding the value of the local currency, ensuring financial system stability, and shoring up external reserves, announced the immediate discontinuance of foreign currency sales to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in the country.

However, the resumed intervention, which would reportedly commence today for funding as well as Tuesday for collection, will see the apex bank inject FX into the subsector in a bid to rescue the naira from further depreciation against major currencies, particularly the US Dollar. The collection will be at designated CBN branches in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Awka, while details of the naira accounts to be credited for funding bidding will also be made available today.

CBN is also expected to publish the list of eligible BDCs to benefit from its funding using certain compliance criteria.National Executive Council of Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) hinted on the latest developments through a memo to its members over the weekend.

The association also warned members that it will no longer be business as usual under the new supervisory regime of the central bank, as any infringement or infraction would result in outright revocation of license and prosecution.

ABCON said through the association’s various engagements with the central bank, in conjunction with ABCON’s strategic partners, CBN had agreed to its request, under the bank’s supervision, to inject liquidity into the market through a weekly intervention beginning today.

CBN assured ABCON that the new circular on the Revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines to BDCs, which was introduced over the weekend, was only a draft exposure that required the association’s inputs before the release of the final guidelines by the apex bank.

To that effect, the letters of the guidelines were not cast in stone, the association’s leadership told its members, who had been worried over the sweeping reforms in the document, which, among other things, prescribed N2 billion and N500 million minimum capital for national and state BDCs, respectively.

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