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Buhari hails Dangote on 64th birthday, says he’s a worthy partner

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President Muhammadu Buhari says Chairman of Dangote group, Aliko Dangote, is a key partner and warrior in the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.

In a statement on Saturday, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said Buhari gave the commendation in commemoration of Dangote’s 64th birthday.

Dangote Group is a member of private sector-led coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID).

Buhari said the “corona warrior” had continued to show consistent faith and belief in Nigeria.

He said the burden of the coronavirus pandemic has been lighter for both the citizens and government because people like Dangote provided needed support and cooperation.

“He also commended the President of Dangote group for giving wings to the aspirations of many youngsters and professionals in Nigeria and the rest of the continent, urging him to continue to do more,” the statement said.

“President Buhari added that these exemplary efforts will go down in history and will be remembered by future generations.

“He wished him many more years of healthy life and service to nation and humanity.”

Dangote is one of the three dollar-billionaires in Nigeria, according to Forbes 2021 world billionaires list released on Tuesday.

The industrialist retained the top spot of Africa’s richest person with a net worth of $11.5 billion, making him the 191st wealthiest person in the world.

He owns 85 percent of publicly-traded Dangote Cement through a holding company, and has shares in publicly-traded salt and sugar manufacturing companies.

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JUST IN: Old naira: IMF asks FG, CBN to extend February 10 deadline

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for the extension of the February 10 deadline to phase out the old naira notes.

The International monetary body made the call just after the Supreme Court had restrained the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) from enforcing the deadline.

The IMF, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday by Laraba Bonet, said the plea was on the hardship Nigerians were exposed to over the issue.

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It said: “in light of hardships caused by disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new bank notes available to the public, in spite of measures introduced by the CBN to mitigate the challenges in the banknote swap process, the IMF encourages the CBN to consider extending the deadline should problems persist  in the next few days leading up to the February 10, 2023 deadline”.

The IMF is the first international financial organisation to openly call for extension of the deadline for the deposit of old Naira notes.

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Cash crunch: Protesters defy police in Abeokuta, make bonfires on major roads

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Residents of Abeokuta, Ogun State, took to the streets on Tuesday protesting the scarcity of cash and the attendant pains.

Major streets affected by the protests are Aladesanmi, Fajol and Somorin in Obantoko area of Abeokuta as the protesters made bonfires and chanted anti-CBN songs
The Sapon branch of First Bank was also vandalised and the protesters tried to set it ablaze.
Ogun Police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the protest, saying police officers were on the ground to monitor the situation and prevent the destruction of property and loss of lives.
He said some group of boys were involved in the crisis.
The police later came to disperse the protesters but they regrouped as soon as the operatives withdrew from the scene.
The situation affected vehicular movement as motorists and pedestrians ran in different directions to avert being caught up in the chaotic situation.

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Court frees Diezani associate Omokore of $1.6bn fraud

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An Abuja federal high court on Tuesday discharged and acquitted Jide Omokore, chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited, of $1.6bn fraud allegations.

Omokore, an associate of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, and David Mbanefo on a 15-count charge on July 4, 2016.

They were accused of fraudulently diverting the $1.6bn said to be part of proceeds of sales of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government.

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