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Subsidy removal: CSOs, stakeholders seek practical palliatives

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A non-governmental organisation, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), has called for practical palliatives to alleviate the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy on Nigerians.

The group’s Executive Director, Ms Faith Nwadishi, made the call at a Pre-National Dialogue on subsidy removal supported by a company, Palladium in Abuja.

According to her, the removal of the fuel subsidy has had far-reaching implications on the lives of our people.

“It is evident that vulnerable communities have borne the brunt of the hardship caused by this policy change.

“As leaders at the forefront of societal change, it is our responsibility to craft concrete and evidence-based recommendations that address these challenges and advocate for effective palliatives to alleviate their burden.”

Nwadishi said that the pre-dialogue would culminate in a one-day National Dialogue to be coordinated by the CTA.

“The national dialogue which will feature egg-heads in the civil society space and technocrats is expected to expose ways through which the suffering being experienced by majority of Nigerians over the subsidy policy can be ameliorated.

“The proposed national dialogue, partly facilitated by the USAID-SCALE project and Palladium.

“We will engage in thoughtful discussions, brainstorming, and collaborative problem-solving.

“Together, we will explore sustainable solutions that ensure transparency, accountability, and citizen participation in decision-making processes.”

Mr Muna Ugochukwu, Programme Officer Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) said:”the situation at hand calls for thinking out of the box.

“We need government to demonstrate a level of sacrifice and accountability; we need them to make concrete statements as to when our refineries will begin to work.”

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Hardship: Protesters Defy Police Warning, Hit Lagos Streets

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Residents have hit the streets of Lagos State to protest against the increasing spike in the price of food and the high cost of living in the country.

The protest was facilitated by a human rights group identified as the “Take It Back Movement.”

This comes against the warning issued by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Adegoke Fayoade, on Sunday.

The protesters were seen carrying placards of various inscriptions at Ojuelegba Under Bridge area of the state to express their grievances.

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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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