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FCTA to remove trees destroying public infrastructure in Abuja – Official

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says it will remove all trees that their roots are destroying public infrastructure, particularly roads in the capital city, Abuja.

Ferdinand Ezeoha, Director, Engineering Service, Federal Capital Development Authority, stated this in Abuja on Tuesday, during a tree planting exercise in Guzape District.

Ezeoha explained that the trees were donated by Women in Energy, Oil and Gas Nigeria.

The director, who noted tree planting has been part of the infrastructural provision for the city, added that the bad trees would be replaced with friendly ones across the city.

He, however, said that the wrong trees, such as the Enterolobium trees, meant for desert areas were planted in most parts of the city, particularly in Maitama and Jabi areas.

He explained that the roots of some of the trees planted in the earlier stages of the development of the FCT were affecting road asphalt around Maitama and Jabi districts.

“Tree planting has been part of the infrastructural provision for the city., which is why there is an area known as the “Green Verge” between the asphalt area and the walkway for planting trees.

“It is, however, very unfortunate that the kind of trees that were planted when the FCT was being developed are now destroying our infrastructure.

“If you go to places like the Maitama and Jabi Districts, you will see that a lot of the trees are now affecting our road infrastructure.

“We have decided to correct the error by planting the type of trees whose roots will not damage our infrastructure,” he said.

Mr Isaiah Ukpana, Director, Parks, and Recreation, FCT, expressed optimism that the trees donated by the women group would support the FCTA’s effort of replacing 20,000 trees in Katampe, Wuye and Guzape Districts.

Ukpana said that the team has made a lot of progress, adding measures were being put in place to ensure that the trees survive human and environmental forces.

“We have water tankers to water the trees and make provisions for chemicals that will be applied to them to ensure their survival.

“We are equally enlightening citizens on the need to protect trees and not to destroy them,” he said.

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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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