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Nigeria will not sustain failed economic theory- Tinubu

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Bola Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu says Nigeria will not sustain failed economic theory that wasted 90 per cent of revenue in the servicing of external debts that can be used for development.

The president gave the assurance this at the opening of the Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association at the Chief MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja.

Tinubu said that prosperity would only occur once poverty is banished from the society with the cooperation of Nigeria’s private sector leaders.

“Can we continue to service external debts with 90% of our revenue? It is a path to destruction. It is not sustainable.

‘’We must make the very difficult changes that are necessary for our country to get up from slumber and be respected among the great nations of the world,” he said.

Speaking on the theme of the conference, “Getting it Right: Charting the Course for Nigeria’s Nation-Building,” Tinubu said that decisions must be taken to set the country on a growth path.

“We cannot have the country we desire without the reforms we have initiated. It is painful at the beginning, in the short and medium term, but we must do what we have to do to take this nation to its great destiny.

‘’It is not about you and it is not about me. It is about our generations yet unborn, for whom we must bequeath a great and prosperous country,” he said.

Against the backdrop of the judicial reforms he undertook as Lagos State Governor, Tinubu renewed his commitment to conclude the issue of remuneration for judicial officers and legal practitioners.

He noted that true justice reform must begin with world-class salaries and benefits for legal professionals in Nigeria.

“You are learned. I want to learn. Why are we so blessed and we are still lacking? We must have a change of attitude and a change of our mind set.

We accuse our nation and its previous leaders. We complain a lot of the past. Is that the solution? No! Let us look forward and be determined! God has given us what we need.

‘’We must work hard with determination to make our country great and it begins with you who are seated here with me,” he said.

Referring to an address by the Chairman of UBA Plc and Heirs Holdings, Mr Tony Elumelu, the president decried the inability of the country to eradicate poverty and tackle poor electricity supply.

He reiterated his administration’s commitment to ensure that Nigeria generates and distributes the needed electricity for economic development.

“Yes, it is a shame not to have adequate electricity for the mass majority of homes in Nigeria and to power our industries. How can we address poverty without electricity?

‘’We can take many people out of poverty with uninterrupted electricity supply. Poverty is not acceptable, and we must banish it,” the President said.

In his welcome address, NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau, expressed the confidence of the body in the ability of the President to deliver good governance to Nigeria.

He said this was because of Tinubu’s pedigree and past track record of excellent performance in Lagos State, where he was the governor between 1999 and 2007.

“President Tinubu got it right in Lagos, and it is our considered expectation that as President of Nigeria, you will not only replicate your achievements in Lagos, but surpass them for our country.”

The conference, attended by over 16,190 lawyers, include the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Lateef Fagbemi; Chief of Staff to the President Femi Gbajabiamila and Minister of Federal Capital Territory Nyesom Wike.

Others are the Minister of Sports, Sen. John Enoh; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, past NBA Presidents and senior government officials.

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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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