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Tinubu has not approved salary increase for political office holders – Alake

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President Bola Tinubu has not approved any salary increase for political and judicial office holders, a spokesperson has said.

Dele Alake, a spokesperson for the president, was reacting to a statement credited to an official of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) that a 114 per cent salary increase has been approved for political office holders.

Mr Alake did not deny that the RMAFC made such a proposal but said it could not come into effect unless approved by the president.

“While we recognise that it is within the constitutional remit of Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to propose and fix salaries and allowances of political office holders and Judicial Officers, such can not come to effect until it has equally been considered and approved by the President,” he wrote in a statement.

Many Nigerians have criticised the proposal at a time citizens are being asked to adjust to increased prices of goods and services as a result of government policies such as the removal of subsidy on petrol.

NO PRESIDENTIAL APPROVAL FOR SALARY INCREASE FOR POLITICAL OFFICE HOLDERS AND JUDICIAL OFFICERS

We have followed with consternation the viral story of the purported 114% increase in the salary of the President, Vice President, elected Federal and State political office holders and judicial officers.

We state without any equivocation that President Bola Tinubu has not approved any salary increase, and no such proposal has been brought before him for consideration.

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While we recognise that it is within the constitutional remit of Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to propose and fix salaries and allowances of political office holders and Judicial Officers, such can not come to effect until it has equally been considered and approved by the President.

It is important to note that RMAFC, through its Public Relations Manager, has responded to this fake story being circulated and has already set the record straight.

However, that this unfounded story gained prominence on social media and in a section of mainstream media, again, brings to the fore the danger fake news poses to the society and our national well-being. The misinformation was, obviously, contrived to create ill-will for the new administration, slow down the upward momentum and massive goodwill the Tinubu-led administration is currently enjoying among Nigerians as a result of its fast paced, dynamic and progressive policies.

It is important to reiterate to journalists, media managers, and members of the public that stories on government activities and policy issues that do not emanate from approved official communication channels should be ignored.

Media practitioners are enjoined to, at all times, cross-check their stories to ensure accurate reportage, which is the hallmark of responsible journalism.

Dele Alake
Special Adviser, Special Duties, Communications & Strategy

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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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