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Lagos NUJ holds maiden unifying cultural day, preaches love, unity



Lagos NUJ holds maiden unifying cultural day, preaches love, unity

(Photo: Edo/Delta State cultural dance session during a cultural day event organised by the Lagos Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists as part of activities to mark the union’s 2023 Press Week on Thursday in Ikeja)

The Lagos Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Thursday called for love and unity among Nigerians.

Its chairman, Mr Ajayi Adeleye, made the call in Ikeja, at the maiden cultural day event organised as part of activities to mark the union’s 2023 Press Week.

Journalists from different ethnic groups showcased thier colourful cultural attires, dance, music and meals.

Different media houses dressed in thier traditional clothing exchanged meals as people moved freely between tents to share with one another.

Ajayi said the union decided to go beyond the media rendezvous usually celebrated annually by adding glamour of culture to boost unity among journalists.
“This programme has come to promote unity of tribes in spite of our diversity.

“Everybody is happy wining and dining, there is food from various parts of the country. Everybody should be free to eat whatever he wants from any chapel, we are one family,” he said.

Ajayi urged the union to ensure continuity of the programme, while urging Nigerians in the Diaspora to join hands in developing the nation.

He said a new visionary government was in place and those in the diaspora should come back home with ideas and investments toward achieving the renewed hope agenda.

“As Nigerians, we should be our brother’s keeper, we should be united, we have no home than Nigeria,” he said.

He reeled out achievements of his administration, promising that by September, the union’s guest house in Somolu would be inaugurated.

High Chief Sunday Ossai, President General, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Lagos State also appealed for unity, saying Nigerians should not allow politics to cause division.

“I want to appeal that politics should not divide us. No matter what happens, politics should not divide us,” he said.

Ossai, who led the traditional breaking of Kolanuts prayers and the Igbo cultural dance session, said elections were over and all parties should allow healing in the spirit of brotherhood.

The traditional leader, who was accompanied by Eze Uche Digba, the Eze Ndigbo, Ikeja said Nigerians needed to live in love and unity.

Other activities at the event included march past by various media, dance and singing competitions with cash rewards to winners.

The event had in attendance traditional leaders of some other ethic groups and NUJ executives from Zone B led by the Vice President, South West, Mrs Ronke Shamo.


Job Losses, Factory Closures Loom As Unsold Goods Pile Up — MAN



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



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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