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DSS, Prison Officials clash over re-arrest of Ex CBN Gov. Emefiele

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There was pandemonium at the premises of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday, following an attempt by the Department of State Security Service to rearrest former governor of Central Bank Godwin Emefiele.

FELLOW PRESS reports that Emefiele was charged by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation under the Ministry of Justice.

He is standing trial before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, on a two-counts charge of illegal possession of firearms

He had pleaded not guilty to charge and was granted bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety in like sum.

The court had adjourned the case until Nov. 14 for trial and had ordered a remand of the defendant in the correctional service pending perfection of his bail.

Meanwhile, after the case was adjourned, the defendant remained in the courtroom several hours after the case ended.

It was gathered by newsmen who equally waited all the time in court ‘s premises, that the defendant may likely be re-arrested by the DSS.

The environment of the court was filled with armed men of the DSS, who were seen waiting with guns at the entrance to the courtroom where the defendant was arraigned.

Meanwhile, when a top official of the Nigerian Correctional centre made attempt to take the defendant into custodybof the correctional seevice as ordered by the court, officials of the DSS resisted the move.

Officiala of the DSS were seen pushing him off and ordering all journalists to move out of the viccinity while brandishing their guns.

All visitors to the court were seen running for safety.

At press time, the defendant is still inside the courtroom and it is unclear what the situation will be going forward

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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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