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FCTA, professionals meet over building collapse, undeveloped plots in Abuja

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FCTA

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Wednesday met with building professionals, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders to address the problems of building collapse, undeveloped plots and abandoned structures.

Addressing journalists after the meeting in Abuja, the Director, Department of Development Control, FCTA, Mr Mukhtar Galadima, expressed FCTA’s concern over substandard structures and the spate of building collapse in the FCT.

Galadima explained that the meeting was to exchange views on how to stop the menace of building collapse in the FCT.

According to him, working with experts outside FCTA would help in strengthening supervision with a view to ensuring that only quality projects are delivered in the FCT.

“As a responsible agency, we have to be proactive in addressing the cases of building collapse. We have to work with professional bodies and regulating agencies.

“The meeting will help us to constitute a committee that will be making suggestions on tackling the menace of building collapse and substandard structures.

“We are going to engage with professionals and regulatory bodies continuously to discuss technical issues and strengthen supervision of building projects.

“This will help us to share responsibilities on how to ensure quality and safe buildings in the Abuja city,” he said.

Galadima disclosed that the committee which will soon be constituted will also examine issues surrounding abandoned structures and undeveloped plots and come up with solutions.

Also speaking, Mr Cyril Nwafor of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), urged the National Assembly to implement the council’s recommendations submitted to it since 2010.

He listed the recommendations to include involvement of only registered professionals in handling projects and discipline of those behind failed projects.

Other professional bodies at the meeting included the Architect Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) and the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) among others.

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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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