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Zamfara Govt. vows to tackle water scarcity across the state

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Gov. Dauda Lawal

Gov. Dauda Lawal of Zamfara, on Wednesday in Gusau affirmed his commitment to provide potable water to residents of Gusau, the state capital and other Local Government Areas in the state.

Lawal spoke at Government House, while receiving an interim report of the Zamfara State Water Restoration Advisory Committee, headed by Bawa Dauran.

The governor commended the team for contribution in advancing his government’s vision to address the lingering water scarcity in the state.

“It is a happy moment for us to receive this interim report considering that our state is faced with serious water scarcity challenge.

“This is instrumental in our resolve to mitigate the suffering of the people and of course, provide them with potable water.

“I made promises during my campaign among which is addressing water crisis. I want to re-assure the good people of Zamfara that my administration will do everything humanly possible to address this issue.

“I believe in this committee; we will get there, God willing. We will go through the report and consider the recommendations therein and do the needful to address the lingering issue”, he said.

He said it was interesting that the committee extended its work to other Local Government Areas, adding that doing so would provide all citizens of Zamfara with portable water.

Earlier, the committee chairman, Dauran, said though the state had faced serious water supply challenges he was confident that his committee’s report, if well implemented would solve the problem.

He said the interim report provided details of how the committee carried out its assignment to arrive at the recommendations.

Lawal on July 8 inaugurated the eight-man committee to provide a lasting solution to the water problem that had lingered across the state.

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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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