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I Will Make Community Policing Work, New IGP Egbetokun Vows

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Newly appointed Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun has vowed to make community policing work as he assumed office at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

He stated this on Wednesday when he officially took over the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force from retired IGP Usman Baba.

IGP Egbetokun warned police officers that he won’t tolerate abuse of office, corruption and misconduct, saying commensurate stiff punishment await erring officers.

The new police boss also said he will, in the coming days and months, unveil his strategies and tactics to secure the country and protect Nigerians from all forms of security challenges including banditry and gunmen attacks.

IGP Egbetokun said the salaries of constables recruited sometimes ago are already being looked into and the salaries, arrears and allowances will be paid by month end.

According to him, every law-abiding citizen will be brought on board in the fight against crime under his watch. The new police chief stressed that human intelligence garnered from communities would be used alongside technical gathering of information to curb crimes.

“Apart from technical intelligence, we are also going to rely so much on human intelligence available in our communities. We are going to be proactive in our approach to solving our community problems,” he said.

Quest For Community Policing

As banditry, vicious herdsmen attacks, killings and abductions increase in Nigeria in the last couple of years, some state government and socio-political groups like the Afenifere and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo had clamoured for community policing to tackle peculiar security challenges in the localities. Prior to the 2023 elections, the groups also called for constitutional review to allow devolution of powers and decentralised policing system.

In 2020, six states in the South-West geopolitical zone jointly formed a regional security operation code-named Operation Amotekun, which has since been backed by law and operational in Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun and Osun states. Also, in 2021, five South-East state governments formed Ebube Agu and the regional security outfit has since been operationalised just as the Benue State Government in 2022 launched the Benue Guards.

However, lack of arms licence for the men of these state-owned security have been said to hamper their effectiveness even as calls grow for the police to let them bear assault rifles like AK-47.

As part of its efforts to make community policing work, the administration of then President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2020 approved the sum of N13.3bn for the take-off of community policing initiative across the country but some challenges have encumbered the implementation of the initiative.

‘Challenges Will Be Addressed’

Acknowledging the challenges in the implementation of the initiative, the new IGP said they would be resolved and community policing is going to work.

IGP Egbetokun said, “On community policing, there is a lot that we are going to do differently in the implementation of the community policing strategies that we are operating presently.

“I discussed that with the retiring IG, my predecessor just before we came here and he told me all the problems we are facing with the implementation of the community policing strategies. We are not going to set it aside, we are going to continue with it but we are going to review a lot of things. We are going to make it work.”

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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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