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​FG will continue to dialogue with resident doctors, NLC says Speaker

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Hon. Tajudeen Abbas

The Federal Government will continue to dialogue with the members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the labour unions towards addressing their grievances.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, made this known after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said that the engagement with the president on the issue of the strike of the resident doctors was enlightening as the president showed great concern about their plight.

‘’We met with the president on the strike of the National Association of Resident Doctors. He asked us to continue to dialogue with them and tell them to give him more time.

‘’He told us that some of the issues raised by doctors were not known to him and he will like to resolve them as quickly as possible. I believe within the next coming days some actions would be taken,’’ Abbas said.

Similarly, the speaker said that the house would continue to dialogue towards meeting the demands of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress.

‘’We will invite them to come and sit so that we can hear their grievances and then we follow the same pattern of engaging them, pursueding them to give us a little to see how can be able to meet their expectations.’’

​The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that resident doctor​ started their strike on Wednesday because their demands were not met by the government.

​Part of their demands include immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), immediate release of the circular on one-for-one replacement, payment of skipping arrears and upward review of CONMESS in line with full salary restoration to the 2014 value of CONMESS​.

​The NLC has also given a seven days ultimatum to the Federal Government to reverse all perceived anti-poor policies, including the recent hike in the pump price of petrol, or face an indefinite nationwide strike from Aug. 2.

The speaker appealed to the labour unions to give the new government of Tinubu more time to look into the demands with the aim of resolving them amicably.

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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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