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Senate to screen ministerial nominees on Monday

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Senate

The Senate says it will on Monday begin the screening of the 28 ministerial nominees proposed by President Bola Tinubu.

Spokesperson of the Senate, Sen. Adeyemi Adaramodu (APC-Ekiti), disclosed this while addressing newsmen after the list of the nominees was read in the upper chamber on Thursday.

Adaramodu said that although the Senate was not supposed to sit on Mondays, but because of the importance attached to this national assignment, “we have suspended all our rules for them to commence the exercise next Monday”.

He assured that the screening would be thorough because the lawmakers were very much aware of the high expectations of those who would assist President Bola Tinubu in fulfillment of his mandate and the constitution.

“The Senate is going to examine the character, personality, the experiences, the background of every nominee and we believe at the end of it, Nigerians will not be disappointed.

“We expect that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) that will be constituted after the screening is going to be the one that will breathe oxygen into the comatose economy of Nigeria.

“The list is here, until they come forward with their resume, it’s not going to be a shadow screening that you have a very good resume, you don’t have the character to carry the resume.

“You must have the character and you must have the mental ability to be able to be part of that cabin crew that is going to fly the aircraft of the success of Nigeria.

“To satisfy the expectations of Nigerians for high velocity performance, we will eyemark, not earmark the performances.”

He said that there would be no allocation of time for any nominee and “if a single nominee takes up to three hours or a whole day, so be it.”

On allegation on some nominees like former governors with EFCC cases, Adaramodu said all the nominees had gone through security screening checks from the executive.

“However, if there is any red flag raised, we will look into it, Nigerians will never be disappointed by the 10th Senate.”

Meanwhile, with the screening commencing on Monday, the annual recess of the National Assembly, which would have begun on Thursday, has been put on hold till after the exercise.

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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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