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Group begs Tinubu to intervene in Muslims, Isese adherents crisis

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Group begs Tinubu to intervene in Muslims, Isese adherents crisis

The Ancient Religion Societies of African Descendants International Council (ARSADIC) has appealed to President Bola Tinubu to intervene in the crisis between some Muslim faithful and traditionalists over the celebration of Isese festival in Ilorin, Kwara.

The president of ARSADIC, Ifagbenusola Atanda, while speaking at a news conference in Ile-Ife, Osun on Tuesday, begged the president to ensure adequate security protection for traditional religion adherents in the country.

“We call on President Bola Tinubu to caution the Kwara state government from banning traditionalists from worshipping and celebrating their traditional festivals, for such action could lead to religious crisis.

“The traditional worshippers know their boundary not to throw offensives at other faiths.

“We will resist any attempt to trample on our rights to freedom of religion and association as spelt out in the Nigerian Constitution,” Atanda said.

He equally called on the Inspector-General of Police(I-G), Kayode Egbetokun, to prevent arbitrary arrest of Isese adherents by the police in Ilorin.

“We are calling on the IGP to investigate the recent arrest of some traditional worshippers in Ilorin by the police and the handling of the case, and sanction anybody that is culpable.

“The government should ensure equity among the three recognised religions of Christianity, Muslim and traditionalist,” he added.

Atanda condemned the recent clash between an Ilorin-based traditional worshipper, Yeye Omolara Ajesekemi and some Muslim faithful at the Yemoja River in the Oko Olowo area of the metropolis.

“Yeye Omolara Ajesekemi has our support at all times to practice her faith, the traditional religion which bonds all of us together,” he said.

According to him, the three religions worshippers have been living harmoniously in the state for years.

Atanda maintained that the group was ready to defend the rights of the traditional adherents, noting that traditional worshippers would not fold their arms and allow infringement on their fellow adherents.

He called on the state government, state house of assembly, royal fathers and other stakeholders to protect the interest of traditionalists in 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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