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August Meeting: Gov. Nwifuru tasks stakeholders, women to guard against abuse

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Ebonyi Governor, Mr Francis Nwifuru

The Ebonyi Governor, Mr Francis Nwifuru, has called on Chairpersons of Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state to use lessons learnt from the annual August Meeting of women to the well-being of women in their rural communities.

The August meeting is an annual congress held by Igbo women in the month of August. It is a massive homecoming whereby Igbo women in the diaspora and the cities travel back to their matrimonial villages to meet with their local counterparts to discuss matters about community development, Conflict Management, and human development.

Gov. Nwifuru, represented by the Deputy Governor, Mrs Patricia Obila, gave the charge during the 2023 Ebonyi Women August Meeting, held at Pa-Ngele Oruta Township stadium, Abakaliki.

Nwifuru urged the stakeholders to educate people on the ills of human trafficking, gender-based violence, give positive ideas, as they go home for the annual event.

He commended his wife’s efforts so far in curbing youth restiveness and saving lives of Ebonyi children outside the state, used as househelps.

He advised women to contribute positively at home and in the society for the growth and development of the state.

The Wife of the Governor, Mrs Mary-Maudline Nwifuru, tasked women to monitor activities of their wards and children to prevent any form of social vices and abuse.

She noted that women had played critical roles in sharping society with their compassion, wisdom and determination.

She added that the assembly, with the theme: “Mother, where is your child”, was a call to action for mothers to be vigilant and proactive in save guarding the welfare of children.

She harped on the need for women to be committed in training their children to reap the benefits.

“As the first lady, it has been my massage to all others to train their children themselves and not send them outside for others to train.

“Ebonyi children need to be saved from abuse and trafficking,” Nwifuru said.

Mrs Josephine Elechi, Chairman of the Occasion and Wife of the Former governor of the state, urged traditional institution and other critical stakeholders to increase actions to add moral values to the society.

Meanwhile, Mrs Felicia Nwankpum, the state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, expressed confident that the assembly would instill passion for mothers to be responsive to children and families.

“The administration has the mandate for the realisation of the needs of people in the state,” Nwankpuma said.

The convention was inaugurated by Mrs Nwifuru.

NAN also gathered that the state government, through Mrs Nwifuru, empowered about 2,000 widows and youths with grinding, sowing and water pumping machines and food items to boost their sources of livelihood.

Also, the event featured lectures on breastfeeding, ills of human trafficking, gender-based violence, among others by resource persons.

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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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