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KDSG promises robust engagement with citizens

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KDSG promises robust engagement with citizens

The Kaduna State Government has promised a robust engagement with the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the state for the benefit of the citizens.

The Special Adviser to Gov. Ina Sani on NGOs, Sakina Garba, said this in Kaduna at a one day engagement to review the submission of citizens groups to transition committee and tracking its implementation.

Garba noted that because of the importance the governor attached to the citizens, he created the Office of the Special Adviser on NGOs at his office and that of his Deputy, to critically look into concerns of citizens in every sphere of his administration.

She therefore urged NGOs and CSOs in Kaduna to take advantage of the opportunity to build more synergy with the state government.

Similarly, her counterpart in the office of the Deputy Governor, Mr Zubairu Mukthar, said CSOs and NGOs were partners with the government, adding that they all had a common goal to achieve in making life of citizens better in all spheres.

He assured participants at the review meeting that it would be a new dawn for NGOs and CSOs in Kaduna State.

He also assured transparency and accountability as key words in their engagements.

Earlier, the State Lead of Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), Mr Abel Adejor, said electioneering period was over and it was now time for governance and holding those elected into public offices accountable.

He said prior to the elections, engagements were held with the Partnership for Issues-based Campaign in Nigeria (PICaN), where gubernatorial candidates were present and the citizens demand charter was presented to them.

“Now that we are going to look at government direction, we will look at areas in all sectors that require intervention.

“Through dialogue we will see how we can hold the government accountable,” he said.

Adejor, therefore, noted that the objectives of the review meeting were to reflect on the agenda-setting activities during the 2023 gubernatorial elections with focus on influence of citizens’ demand charter.

He said it was also to facilitate dialogue with strategic political appointees to generate strategies to support and track the implementation of the Sen. Uba Sani’s “Sustain blueprint” and jointly agree on next steps to strengthen partnership.

Also, Mr Yusuf Goje, representative of PICaN, disclosed that it was engagement and demand charter, developed through its programmes, that influenced some content of Gov. Uba Sani’s “Sustain Agenda”.

Presenting a paper titled “Agenda setting, journey so far”, Goje said in the health sector, PICaN submitted 14 needs – four reflected in the blueprint (Sustain Agenda) of Gov. Uba Sani.

He also said that on social protection, they submitted seven demands where five were included in the state government’s “Sustain agenda”.

According to Goje, the demands they presented in the charter for education were nine, out of which three were reflected in the ‘Agenda.

Speaking further, he predicted that the 2027 election in the state would feature more engagements with candidates.

“We believe by the next election, the engagement will be more robust, even the politicians are seeing that we are moving towards governance and the electorate are becoming more aware,” he said.

He, therefore, said in view of the successes recorded, what they would do next was to track the “sustain blueprint”.

“Our next step is tracking the ‘Sustain Blueprint’ and citizens demand influence. After four years, that is what we will use as his result sheet for the Kaduna State Government.

“We will continue to track because we have the state government development plan. The SUSTAIN blueprint has seven areas of focus which we will track.

“State Development Plan 2021 to 2025, which will be looking at impact of services if they are changing and improving lives of the people. We will use it as a baseline to see if the government is making progress or not,” Goje said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that CSOs at the review meeting presented their submissions of the inclusivity of government’s Agenda, and the progress/challenges they encountered in the course of their activities.

The CSOs included the Kaduna Tax Justice Network, Kaduna Basic Education Accountability Mechanism (KADBEAM), Kaduna Local Government Accountability Mechanism (KAD-LGAM), and Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC).

Other participants cut across Ministries, Departments and Agencies of 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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