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Fuel subsidy removal: Gov. Mbah inaugurates committee on palliatives

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Fuel subsidy removal: Gov. Mbah inaugurates committee on palliatives

Gov. Peter Mbah of Enugu State has rolled out palliatives to mitigate the harsh economic effects of the recent removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government on residents of the state.

He stressed that his government felt the pains the people were passing through.

The governor disclosed this on Monday in Enugu while inaugurating a committee for the procurement, storage and distribution of the relief items to the public.

He charged members of the committee, chaired by the Deputy Governor, Mr Ifeanyi Ossai, to handle the palliatives with transparency, while ensuring the speedy distribution of the items to those in dire need of them.

Also, members of the committee include the chairman, Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON), Enugu State, and Chairman of Nkanu East Council Area, Mr Okechukwu Edeh.

ALGON Deputy Chairman and Chairman of Uzo Uwani Council Area, Mr Chukwudi Nnadozie, Chairman of Awgu Council Area, Mr Pedro Nwankwo and his Enugu East counterpart, Mr Livinus Anike are also members.

Others are the Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Mike Ogbuekwe, Programme Manager of Enugu State Agricultural Development Programme (ENADEP), Dr Ogbonna Onyeisi, and the head of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Chinasa Mbah.

Mbah who acknowledged the harsh impact of the fuel subsidy on the people, further said that the subsidy removal, would, however, immensely benefit Nigerians in the long run.

While maintaining that he shared in the pains Nigerians were going through at the moment, Mbah expressed the hope that the palliatives would help alleviate their hardships.

He also enjoined the committee to spare no time in ensuring that the palliatives were sent to “homes of those that need them the most in the state”.

He said, “You recall that few months ago the Federal Government of Nigeria removed the fuel subsidy. And as you know, that came with pains, shared pains, even though we believe in the long run, it will be beneficial to the country.

“The question for us now as leaders is, how do we mitigate those shared pains that our people are going to be exposed to? It is part of what we are doing to see how we can begin to cushion the effects of some these pains.

“So, what we are doing now is to see how to fix the pains people are going through and there are also plans for short and medium term solutions, and that we are going to do in due course.”

The governor further charged the committee to ensure that the palliatives got to the people who deserved it and also ensure it was distributed with speed and transparency.

Responding on behalf of the committee members, Ossai expressed the committee’s readiness to deliver on the assignment and work with the template given to them in ways that would reflect transparency.

He appreciated the governor for meeting the yearnings of the people, even as he assured that the committee would not disappoint in the discharge of their responsibilities.

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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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