…Gets CBN, EFCC’s nod on campaign against fake currency
By Ayo Fadimu
The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) yesterday alerted the public on ongoing security investigation on $100 bills being imported from India into Nigeria.
The ABCON President, Alhaji (Dr) Aminu Gwadabe, who disclosed the development to financial journalists after the group’s National Executive Council (NEC) Meeting in Lagos, said the $100 bill is majorly counterfeited because of huge profit margins that come with it.
He said the fraudsters’ objective is not only to make profit, but to undermine Nigeria’s chances for automatic membership of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) after assessment of the country’s financial system scheduled for the first quarter of this year.
The ABCON boss said the issue of fake dollar in circulation has been observed and reported at the relevant security agencies adding that the ABCON, has in the interest of the economy and Bureaux De Change (BDCs) businesses, secured Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) backing to begin nationwide campaign against fake currencies in the country.
He said rising cases of fake currencies in circulation has led to huge losses to BDC operators and the economy.
Gwadabe said that ABCON is educating the public on how to identify fake dollar bills in order to protect the image of the country in the eyes of foreign investors.
“It is part of our objectives which in enshrined in our constitution as an association to eliminate the incidents of fake currencies circulation thereby enhancing the image of the country and transparency in our operations,” he said.
Gwadabe said the ABCON NEC has therefore released a guide to all BDCs on how to detect a fake dollar bill. He disclosed that there are seven dollar bills of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 and seven steps to authenticate them.
“The weight of each bill is one gram, 2.61 inches wide and 6.14 inches long. It is 75 per cent cotton and 25 per cent linen. Your finger can feel thickness and texture. Besides, the portrait water mark is partly overlapped by the Treasury seal, while the $100 bill is printed on the right side of the bill. The strip is thin, faint and runs vertically from top to bottom to the left of the watermark portrait. Also, the 3D security ribbon, also called the thread, is bright blue and vertical on the bill,” he said.
Continuing, Gwadabe explained that the raised printing feels rough on right shoulder of Benjamin Franklin portrait while the colour shifting ink works under ultra violet light.
He added that the dollar bill undergoes micro printing, which is the production of recognizable patterns or characters in the bill at a scale that requires magnification to read with the naked eye. To the unaided eye, the text may appear as a solid line.
He said that currency commonly exhibits the highest quality (smallest size) of microprint because it demands the highest level of counterfeiting deterrence.
Gwadabe said the BDCs have over the years, remained a potent monetary policy tool for exchange rate stability and promoting transparent foreign exchange operations in the country.
“The BDCs have helped the government in creating over 30,000 jobs, thereby reducing the unemployment rate in Nigeria. The BDCs have continued to make foreign exchange available to the critical retail end users thereby deepening forex access in the country. This campaign against fake dollar is aimed at ensuring that forex users get value for their money,” he said.
Continuing, Gwadabe said that BDCs have also been enhancing price discovery and transparency in the foreign exchange market.
“The operations of BDCs have also raised the level of investors’ confidence and diaspora remittances in the country. The BDCs under my leadership will continue to operate within set regulations and highest level of transparency in forex dealings,” he stated.
AfDB, GGBI partner to strengthen Africa’s green bond market
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, has signed a declaration with the coalition of development finance institutions to promote green bond markets in Africa.
AfDB’s Group Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Ms Hassatou N’Sele, said this in a statement issued on the bank’s website.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Africa’s engagement in the green bond market currently represents less than one per cent of the more than 2.2 trillion dollar community green bond issued in 2022.
N’Sele said the institutions in the Global Green Bond Initiative (GGBI) comprised the European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.
Others are the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, Green Climate Fund and Germany’s KfW development bank, while PROPARCO of the AFD Group act as consortium of European development finance institutions.
The AfDB’s chief financial officer signed the declaration with representatives of the coalitions’ institutions on the sidelines of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
N’Sele said the engagement was to tap from the Global Green Bond Initiative technical assistance programme announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in June 2023.
”The Initiative will help private capital flow from institutional investors into climate and environmental projects in EU partner countries, increasing their access to capital.
”Providing technical assistance to green bond issuers in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs), and crowding in private investors through a dedicated de-risked fund.
”This will act as an anchor investor in green bonds issued in EMDEs.
“The anticipated impact can be up to 15-20 billion euro in green investments,” she said.
N’Sele said the partners supported the origination of green bonds, development and identification of pipelines of green projects, and the development of credible and coherent green bond frameworks.
“This joint declaration among us to collaborate on technical assistance on green bonds in Africa is our commitment to work together and it is significant and impactful.
”There cannot be impactful development in Africa without vibrant local capital markets,” the AfDB official said.
N’Sele highlighted the AfDB’s engagements in the green bond market, including issuing over 10 billion dollar worth of green and social bbondsin 2022 to support sustainable progress across Africa.
“Let’s help Africa fully leverage the power of green bonds, and we can contribute together towards a sustainable future for Africans,” she said.
Mr Stefano Signore of the European Commission’s partnerships directorate, described the partnership with the AfDB as an important milestone in efforts to mobilise green bonds in emerging developing economies.
Also, representative of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) expressed hope that the partnership would contribute to the intensification of climate and environmentally relevant projects.
”We hope to also contribute to pipelines that can set off the mobilisation of the global green bond initiative.”
NIS opens passport office in Ikorodu
The Comptroller- General of Nigeria Immigration Service(CGI), Mrs Caroline Adepoju ,on Friday assured Nigerians that they would get their passports within three weeks of submitting their applications.
Adepoju gave the assurance while inaugurating a new passport office in Igbogbo community in Ikorodu, Lagos State .
Adepoju said passports would now be processed and issued speedily provided applicants submit all the required details in their applications.
She advised the public to ensure that they renew their passports six months before its expiration to avoid problems while applying for visa to some countries.
Adepoju thanked the people of Igbogbo for their support and for providing all that was needed to start operation in the area.
“I thank the traditional ruler and the people of Igbogbo for their support and for ensuring the realisation of this project.
“This is my first assignment after my confirmation as the substantive Controller General of Nigeria Immigration Service.
“I want to advise the public to ensure they renew their passport six months before expiration to avoid being denied visa by some countries,” she said.
Speaking, Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu said the establishment of the passport office in Igbogbo would improve service delivery i to Nigerians and save the people of Igbogbo and environs the stress of traveling far to obtain tbeir passports..
Sanwoolu, represented by Mr Ibrahim Layode, Commussioner for Home Affairs, said the role of Immigration in any country could not be over- emphasised.
He said that the establishment of the passport front office in Igbogbo was a testament to Federal Government’s commitment to providing world -class immigration services in line with global standard.
Also speaking, the council Chairman of Igbogbo Baiyeku Local Counvil Development Area(LCDA) Mr Olusesan Daini, urged the CGI to consider expanding operations at the new passport front office .
Daini said the council would synergise with NIS to ensure the edifice was maintained.
“We will also improve our security architecture to ensure the office is secure.”he said.
He said that the new passport office was a welcome development as residents would no longer have to travel far to obtain or renew their passports.
“The establishment of this passport front office in Igbogbo will improve commercial activities.
“The council will also improve its security architecture to provide adequate security in the area,” he said.
Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Orimadegun Kasali ,who spoke on behalf of all the traditional rulers in Ikorodu Division , said he was very happy that the passport front office was established in his domain.
He added that it would go a long way in improving commercial activities in the area.
Adeboruwa commended all those who facilitated the establishment of the passport office in the community.
“I cannot say how happy I am today, infact ,this office will put Igbogbo community in world map.
” I appreciate everybody that has contributed in one way or the other to make this a success,especially the family that donated the land .
“I am glad that Igbogbo passport office has come to stay,” he said.
Nigeria, Germany sign Siemens power project accelerated implementation agreement
President Bola Tinubu and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz were witnesses to the signing of an accelerated performance agreement in Dubai on the Siemens power project in Nigeria.
The agreement was signed on the side-line of the on-going 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28 by Mr Kenny Anuwe, Managing Director of FGN Power Company on behalf of Nigeria.
Ms Nadja Haakansson, Siemens Energy’s Senior Vice-President and Managing Director for Africa signed on behalf of the German company.
Speaking after signing the agreement, Anuwe highlighted Siemens Energy’s effective delivery of crucial equipment worth more than 63 million Euros to Nigeria since the commencement of the project.
This includes 10 units of 132/33KV mobile substations; three units of 75/100MVA transformers, and seven units of 60/66MVA transformers, currently being installed by FGN Power Company at various sites.
The Dubai agreement was signed to expedite the implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) to improve Nigeria’s electricity supply.
The PPI, formerly known as the Nigeria Electrification Roadmap Initiative, was the outcome of the visit by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Abuja in August 2018.
An agreement was signed between the governments of Nigeria and Germany in 2019 to improve Nigeria’s power sector.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, stated on Friday in Abuja that since assumption of office, Tinubu had advocated the accelerated realisation and expansion of the PPI.
To achieve this, the project has been a major focal point in three rounds of bilateral discussions at meetings between President Tinubu and the German Chancellor in New Delhi, in Abuja and in Berlin.
The Dubai agreement will facilitate the modernisation and expansion of Nigeria’s electric power transmission grid with full supply, delivery and installation of Siemens-manufactured equipment within 18 to 24 months, Ajuri stated.
It will ensure project sustainability and maintenance with full technology transfer and training of Nigerian engineers at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), he added.
The project will also focus on identified load demand centres with particular emphasis on economic and industrial hubs nationwide and the execution of new 330kV and 132/33KV substations in target load centres with economic priority.
These are in addition to thousands of kilometres of overhead transmission lines to connect new substations with existing ones, Ajuri also stated.
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