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Ignore false alarm on insecurity – Kogi Govt. urges citizens, travellers

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Yahaya Bello Kogi state

Kogi Government has urged citizens and travellers to ignore false alarm on insecurity circulating that the state is not safe.

Retired Commodore Jerry Omodara, Security Adviser (SA) to Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja.

An alarm in in form of a notice in circulation in the state claims, “Kogi State is hot for now. For those visiting kogi State to see family and friends please avoid this areas, Jimgbe, Elete, Emoro, Geregu down to Ajaokuta.

“Also, avoid Obajana old road. Even if you are stick in traffic due to the new bridge construction, please avoid the old road, it’s very dangerous.”

Omodara said there was the need to caution people, to avoid believing in unconfirmed reports like that, especially when it had to do with security in Kogi.

“As things are in terms of security, there is such thing happening in Kogi. It’s all but falsehood.

“Trust us, we will not give anyone the chance to torment the people of Kogi as it used to be in the past. As it is, there is no cause for alarm as long as Kogi State is concerned.

“This is because criminals coming into the state are quickly harvested. We are harvesting them even with those who ran to other states as we ensure we go after them and bring them back to face prosecution.

“All we expect from the public is timely information and the security agencies will do their job, ” he said.

The security adviser explained, “it’s true you can’t completely eliminate criminality in any society, but the compact system of neighborhood and the security architecture put in by the Federal Government in Kogi is working very well along with the will power of the Kogi Government to deal with the emerging security situation.

According to him, “If we have one or two security challenges, be sure we have nipped 6 or 7 or 8 in the bud.”

He said for the fact that there was an incident recently, people should stop enlarging it as if it was a threat to wellbeing of residents and passers-by.

“We all know what the security situation in Kogi was and what we are having now.

“The government of Gov Bello has been able to bring sanity in Kogi, where the people are very free, doing their legitimate businesses without any fear of harassment.

“Therefore, rather than escalating falsehood on social media, it’s better you channel information, whenever you discovered any security challenge or breach to the security operatives for prompt action,” he advised.

Omodara expressed gladness that the government and security operatives were getting it well in Kogi.

“Till the last day of Alh. Yahaya Bello in office as governor, and even to the next government, we will continue to fight insecurity in Kogi for the good of our people.”

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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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