Jan 31 remains deadline for old naira notes, says CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Saturday said the deadline to phase out the old naira notes remained January 31.
The CBN said this in a post on its social media pages.
“Deadline for the return of old series of 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes remains January 31 2023,” the post read.
This came as more prominent individuals including Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, have called for the extension of the deadline.
The CBN post was accompanied by a video of Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, in which he said there are no plans to shift the deadline.
The video was from a media briefing held on January 24, after the bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.
Emefiele had said, “I must say here that unfortunately, I don’t have good news for those who feel that we should shift the deadline.
My apologies. The reason is because just as the president has said on more than two occasions, and even to people privately, that for us, 90 days — in fact, we feel it’s 100 days — is enough for anybody who has the old currency to deposit the money in the banks.
“And we took every measure to ensure that all the banks were open or remain still open to receive all old currencies; 100 days, we believe is more than adequate.
“We called on the banks and said ‘not only are we requesting you to increase your banking hours so you can receive old currency, but we are also asking you to keep your doors open on Saturdays.
“The banks did not have any reason to even keep their banking halls open on Saturdays, neither did they see the kind of rush that they anticipated. There were normal people who came to deposit money into the banks.
“We do not see any reason to begin to talk about a shift because people could not deposit their old monies into their banks.”
CBN releases more cash, orders banks to open Saturday, Sunday
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has directed all commercial banks to open for operation on Saturdays and Sundays.
It also said more banknotes had been evacuated from its vaults to commercial banks across the country.
A statement by the spokesman for the CBN, Isa Abdulmumin, said the measures were part of coordinated efforts to ease the circulation of banknotes of various denominations.
It said a substantial amount of money, in various denominations, had been received by the commercial banks for onward circulation to their respective customers.
He said the CBN had directed all banks to load their automated teller machines (ATMs) as well as conduct physical operations in the banking halls through the weekends.
“Branches of commercial banks will operate on Saturdays and Sundays to attend to customers’ cash needs,” the statement added.
Abdulmumin said the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, would personally lead teams to monitor the level of compliance by the banks in various locations across the country.
He urged Nigerians to be patient as the current cash shortage would ease soon with the injection of more banknotes into circulation.
How N4.8tn annual fuel subsidy made Nigeria poorer – NNPC
Nigeria’s petrol subsidy regime has been “fuelling the vicious cycle of poverty” , the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has said.
A total of 133 million Nigerians are said to be living in poverty.
Lawal Musa, Senior Business Advisor to Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer (GCEO) of NNPC, said the Federal Government spends as much as N4.8 trillion annually on petrol subsidy — at the expense of the wellbeing of Nigerians.
He stated this at a joint National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS)/Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
In a presentation titled, “Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and the Nigerian economy’’, he said the amount spent on petrol subsidy payments could deliver infrastructural projects to the citizens.
Musa said deregulation of petrol prices could deliver 500,000 new houses and skill up of 2 million Nigerian students, among others.
According to him, the amount spent on subsidy could provide 7,500 kilometers of road network at N400 million per kilometre and 37 well-equipped 120-bed tertiary health centres at N32 billion per hospital annually.
He added that the subsidy spend could deliver N12 trillion in four years to Nigeria, adding that the cost of petrol subsidy surpasses the direct benefits to the masses.
In addition, the NNPC GCEO adviser said deregulation of PMS prices could also provide additional 27,000 megawatts of electricity to Nigerians as well as build and equip 2,400 hospitals in 774 local government areas.
Nigeria is the largest producer of crude oil in Africa, possessing 28 percent of Africa’s reserve, with petroleum contributing significantly to the country’s economy,” he said.
“The benefits derived have over the years been eroded due to the amount paid on subsidy, a regime [that] has been fuelling the vicious circle (sic) of poverty in the country.”
Musa explained that petrol was sold at the lowest price in Nigeria, among most West African countries, in spite of the average cost of $2.7 per litre globally, which amounted to about N570 per litre.
He noted that verifiable petrol demand data is critical to national planning and energy security.
On his part, Garba Deen Muhammad, NNPC’s spokesperson, said the organisation was engaging with students as critical stakeholders in the new organisation, which he said belonged to over 200 million Nigerians — including the students.
Muhammad said the engagement, which would be done annually, was aimed at enlightening the students and CSOs on NNPC as a new entity, registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), under the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
Nigeria Air will commence operation before May 29 – FG
The Federal Government says the new national carrier, Nigeria Air, will commence operation before the end of the current administration on May 29.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday.
He spoke amid worry about a lingering court case instituted against the project by airline operators of Nigeria.
Sirika gave the assurances during the National Aviation Stakeholders Forum 2023.
He said the Federal Government was already taking measures to overcome the hurdles introduced by the indigenous airlines.
According to him, the project is 98 per cent completed.
“All of the road map items except, perhaps the airline, which in my opinion is at 98 per cent completion, and we will fly within the remaining two months by the grace of God,” the minister said.
“We will also finish the concessions. So, all those things we said we would do when we came in, we did them.”
The minister described as unfair the action of the local airlines, adding that the Buhari government had supported local airlines more than all previous governments.
He accused them of constituting a stumbling block to the actualisation of the national carrier expected to generate new jobs and better opportunities in the industry.
He said the Nigerian Aviation industry is the only one in the world where qualified pilots are without jobs.
He said 50 pilots had come to him complaining about their unemployment status, adding that the national carrier should be able to employ more pilots and create other job opportunities.
He said Ethiopian Airlines, the offered bidder for the national carrier, is highly competent and profitable enough to add value to the Nigerian aviation sector.
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