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NDLEA investigates shooting incident in Delta

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it is investigating the shooting incident during raid on a drug joint at Okpanam area of Asaba in Delta.

This is contained in a statement by the Director, Media and Advocacy (NDLEA) Mr Femi Babafemi on Saturday in Abuja.

Babafemi said that a stray bullet from the weapon of an NDLEA officer was reported to have hit a young man who eventually died while undergoing treatment in a hospital.

He said that the NDLEA Chairman, retired, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, set up the investigation panel consisting top officials from the national headquarters, after receiving initial briefings on the incident from the Delta Command.

Babafemi said that the chairman directed the investigators to immediately proceed to Asaba, to establish the actual facts of the case.

According to him, the NDLEA has been in touch with the family of the decreased.

Babafemi also reported the initial brief on the incident given to the Chairman by the Delta command.

“Team of NDLEA operatives carried out an intelligence-based raid of the joint of a notorious drug dealer located at Okpanam area of Asaba at about 1600 hours on Thursday July 13.

“And in the process of the operation, a Toyota Camry 2008 model, light blue colour at the scene suddenly zoomed off and knocked down one of our officers who is currently in critical condition, undergoing treatment in a hospital.

“In a bid demobilise the car and prevent it from escaping, another officer fired a shot aimed at the tyre of the car, which eventually escaped.

“While the injured officer was rushed for treatment, the officers got reports of a stray bullet hitting a young person and immediately located the father of the victim, followed him to the hospital and supported in facilitating his treatment but unfortunately died in the process.

“We’re in touch with the family to provide necessary assistance while we conclude our investigation of the incident.

“We will like to assure the family and members of the public that we’ll get to the root of the case and take necessary action.”

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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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