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Emefiele Names Monarchs, Army Generals, Judges As Accomplices

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Godwin Emefiele

Emefiele Identifies Top Traditional Rulers, Army Generals, Judges As Accomplices Amid Corruption Scandal

Godwin Emefiele, the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who is currently in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) has identified some traditional rulers, Nigerian Army generals and judges as his accomplices, SaharaReporters learnt from DSS sources.

Emefiele, who is said to be “cooperating with investigators” reportedly narrated how he gave money to monarchs, army generals and judges at some point or the other during his time in office.

The suspended CBN governor has been in detention along with Abdulrasheed Bawa, the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after both of them were suspended from their respective offices by President Bola Tinubu’s administration over corruption allegations and abuse of office.

SaharaReporters on June 15 reported how Emefiele named Bawa as an accomplice in the Naira redesign scam that rocked the country some months ago.

SaharaReporters had learnt that Emefiele and Bawa – both undergoing interrogation – were being quizzed on sundry issues including the Naira redesign scam.

Giving SaharaReporters update on Wednesday, DSS sources claimed that Emefiele was “revealing a lot” and had named some top accomplices in his mismanagement of the country’s apex bank.

“As per Emefiele, he is cooperating with investigators and revealing a lot. Emefiele corrupted and bribed almost every major traditional ruler, army generals, some judges and clerics,” one of the sources revealed.

“Almost all the CBN directors are also being quizzed and they too are cooperating,” he added.

SaharaReporters had earlier reported that Emefiele was suspended “sequel to the ongoing investigation into his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy,” according to a release by Willie Bassey, the Director of Information for the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.

On November 23, 2022, then-President Muhammadu Buhari alongside Emefiele unveiled new naira notes in denominations of N200, N500 and N1,000. Emefiele insisted that the old notes would cease to be legal tender from January 31, 2023.

Addressing journalists after the event, Emefiele insisted that the move was not targeted at anyone as there were speculations that the move was pushed by the cabal in the Presidency and targeted at preventing Bola Tinubu, then-presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress from winning the February 25, 2023 election.

The policy caused Nigerians untold hardship due to the scarcity of naira notes with the CBN unable to meet the demand for new notes. The policy led to a cash crisis and long queues at banks and ATMs.

“Emefiele who is currently cooling his feet in the cell of the DSS is the reason why the EFCC chairman has been detained overnight. Emefiele who is cooperating with the DSS claimed that Bawa was the one who raised a memo to former President Muhammadu Buhari, asking that the Naira should be redesigned to stem money laundering during the 2023 election,” a top source had revealed to SaharaReporters.

“Bawa confronted him that he (Emefiele) and the former Attorney-General of the Federation, Malami were the ones that came to him to raise the memo because they suspected Tinubu had warehouses stuffed with naira notes,” the source had added.

In February and March, Nigerians were subjected to extreme difficulty with the Naira redesign and cashless policy due to the scarcity of the new Naira notes.

To make matters worse, Emefiele had refused to heed a Supreme Court ruling which made the old notes legal tender till December 31, before former President Buhari distanced himself from the disobedience to the court order.

SaharaReporters in February reported how the DSS attempted to arrest Emefiele, but the then Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, shielded him by providing soldiers to guard his residence and office.

The DSS had said it intensified its investigations to arrest and prosecute Emefiele, on allegations of terrorism financing and fraud.

SaharaReporters also in February reported that new court documents obtained from the DSS indicted Emefiele for funding “unknown gunmen” terrorising the Southeast region of the country.

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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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