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Urban violence has reduced significantly in Borno, says Commissioner

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Babagana Zulum

Urban violence which engulfed Maiduguri and environs has reduced drastically, the Commissioner for Information and Internal Security, Prof. Usman Tar has said.

Tar made this known on Sunday while giving an update on the security situation in Borno.

”Activities of gang groups prompted Gov. Babagana Zulum to order a security clampdown on criminal elements in the state.

“These kinds of urban violence and criminality have subsided significantly. In Maiduguri, the so-called ‘Marlian thugs’ are being curtailed through concerted surveillance, apprehension and prosecution of suspects.

“A synergy between the theatre command, law enforcement agencies, communities and civil volunteers (Civilian JTF) has decimated the threats of youths bulge, associated violence and criminality,” Tar said.

On the mass surrender of insurgents, Tar said the Disarmament, Demobilization, Deradicalisation, Rahabilitation, Reconciliation and Reintegration (DDDRRR) programme of the surrendered insurgents known as “Borno Model” was on course.

He said that the programme was designed to provide a “root and branch” approach to ending the Boko Haram insurgency.

“Under the DDDRRR programme, the Borno Government has so far received over 100,000 Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters, farmers, women and children.

“Out of this figure over 50 per cent are women and children, about 42 per cent are captive farmers, less than eight per cent are conscripted fighters and commanders,” Tar said.

According to him, government has since inception of the programme, reintegrated 6,900 minors and low risk back to their communities in six batches

While commenting on closure of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and relocation of IDPs and refugees back to thier recovered areas, Tar said many had been successfully resettled in northern and central parts of the state.

“Resettlement of IDPs to remote locations is being implemented in the longer term, subject to reconstruction of houses and improvement of security on the ground”, Tar said.

In Yobe where there is no pronounced cases of urban violence while insurgents attacks has drastically reduced, the Director of Community Outreach, Mr Idris Baffa lauded the relative peace in the state but raised concerns over possible suprise attacks on soft targets.

Baffa said that there have been reports of suspicious movements from some areas of the state that needed security attention.

“Farmers and herders are telling us that there are movements of these terrorists in Futchimiram, Garin Tura, Bulabulun and Bultuwa; In some of these areas, the insurgents are imposing taxes on herds and grains,” Baffa said.

The director called for deployment of troops to Geidam town to step up patrols in the hinterland, particularly in wards like Fejina/Fukurti, Zurgu Ngelewa/Borko and Futchimiram that were still inaccessible due to activities of the insurgents.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on July 26, Gov. Zulum directed security operatives to crack down on the notorious ”Marlian” group believed to be terrorising residents in some parts of Maiduguri and Jere within the metropolis.

The ”Marlian group”, which is populated by some youths associated with drug abuse, has gained notoriety for engaging in a wide range of criminal activities, such as extortion, robbery, drug and substance abuse, and acts of terrorism, including the killing of security operatives.

Zulum during an emergency security meeting in Maiduguri, said:” I summoned this emergency security council meeting to address the emerging security threat that is bedevilling the Maiduguri metropolis and parts of Jere Local Government, with a view to coming up with additional implementable strategies to guarantee the needed peace and security.

“Intelligence reports reaching my office from different sources have indicated increasing activities of youth gangsterism operating in some parts of the state capital and Jere Local Government.

”This syndicate specialised not only in phone snatching in broad daylight, robbery and possession of locally made weapons, but has now graduated into the killing of innocent lives, including security operatives,” the governor declared.

Zulum, who was deeply concerned about the escalating violence, expressed the government’s determination to restore peace and ensure the safety of all residents.

“I want to assure the general public that the government of Borno, under my leadership, will not allow such a matter to deteriorate. I have received assurances from the security operatives of their commitment to tame such dastardly acts, and our administration is ever committed to dealing with such matters within the shortest possible time,” Zulum said.

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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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