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Invite Nnamdi Kanu For Discussion, Ohanaeze Tells Tinubu

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Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has expressed outrage over the attack on Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, by ex-militant leader, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari.

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The Igbo group called on President Bola Tinubu to ignore the likes of Dokubo and invite Kanu for a round table discussion.

Dokubo had while speaking to journalists after a meeting with President Tinubu branded the IPOB leader a criminal, calling on Tinubu not to release him.

His statement has continued to draw the anger of Ndigbo, with many accusing him of reaching beyond his bounds.

The President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday accused Dokubo-Asari of being sponsored by those who want to destabilise President Tinubu’s government.

According to him, it was unthinkable that at a time many patriotic citizens of the country were thinking of ways to unite the country, the ex-militant who postures as a ‘son of the President’ was busy throwing up ideas that would further polarise the country.

We have always known Dokubo-Asari as a rabble-rouser who is not interested in the progress and prosperity of this nation.

“This is a man who had been in the creeks for years sabotaging the country’s economy. We all know what it is to sabotage the economy of a country- what other crime could be more than this?

“But curiously, the same man who claims to have repented, even when his boys are still in the creeks, has the temerity to brand Nnamdi Kanu a criminal.

“When did Asari Dokubo become a court of competent jurisdiction to decide who is a criminal? He has only taken his hatred for Ndigbo too far,” Okwu said.

The Igbo group urged President Tinubu to ignore Dokubo and his ilks “who are not in any way interested in the positive future of the country but their selfish gains.

“Mr President made it clear that he is ready to unite the fragmented country he inherited from the past administration and he has been so much applauded for this.

“We urge Mr President to go ahead and not allow his administration to be derailed by hypocrites like Asari Dokubo who want to feed fat from any form of crisis in the country. Mr President should be wary of him and his sponsors who are enemies of the government.

“The Federal Government should do well to invite and engage Nnamdi Kanu and other agitators. They are fighting for justice and marginalisation. If the government could engage members of Boko Haram who have killed and maimed millions of people, it should not find it hard to engage the agitators.

“Mr President is one of those who vehemently fought in favour of democracy and justice in the past; he should give a listening ear to Nnamdi Kanu,” Okwu said.

Ohanaeze, however, warned Dokubo “to desist from any further attempt to use Nnamdi Kanu’s ordeal to promote his interests.

“Enough is enough, we warn him to henceforth stop using Ndigbo as an avenue to promote his ego. Everyone knows he has personal issues with Nnamdi Kanu.”

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Job Losses, Factory Closures Loom As Unsold Goods Pile Up — MAN

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AGAINST the backdrop of sustained pressure in the foreign exchange market and high cost of production, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN has indicated that inventory of unsold goods is escalating to levels now threatening the existence of companies operating in the production sector of the economy with attendant job losses.

Findings show that as of the weekend the foreign exchange market had recorded over 254 per cent plunge in the value of the naira since flotation of the currency by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June 2023.

Recall that the naira traded for N471 per dollar in the official I&E market on June 13, 2023 before the floatation of the currency, but exchanged for N1,665.50 to a dollar as at February 23, 2024 on the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), indicating a depreciation of more than 253.6 per cent over the eight-month period. The forex crisis is also stoking inflation, and coupled with high energy costs, purchasing power has continued plummet, stifling demand for goods.

Speaking on the impact of this development on the manufacturing sector, Director General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said: “There are reports that across the board, many warehouses and plants of many manufacturing firms are stockpiled with unsold goods manufactured last year. “The development is as a result of the devastating effects of the exchange rate crisis, inflation, fake and sub-standard goods, smuggling and other macro-economics challenges.”

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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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