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Extension: Enugu traders laud CBN, want circulation of N200, N500 notes

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Traders in Enugu have lauded Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for extending the deadline for the exchange of old naira notes by 10 days.
They said the decision had brought back life to their business activities which had been stagnated few days ago dues to Jan. 31 deadline.
Newsmen reports that the CBN had on Jan. 29 announced the extension of the deadline for the deposit of old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes in banks from Jan. 31 to Feb 10 in a statement signed by its governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.
Some of the traders who spoke to newsmen on Monday said with the extension they can now accept old naira notes for transaction.
While commending CBN governor, a trader, Mrs Vivian Dele urged him to used the 10 days extension to print more of the new naira notes to make available for Nigerians.
Dele said the scarcity of the new naira notes in bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Enugu had stagnated businesses.
“I sell food stuff at Ogbete Market and I stopped collecting old money since Jan. 28 which has affected my business as i accept only new money and transfers.
“Many of my customers complained of the queues at the bank’s ATMs and at times, the transfer will not even go,” she lamented.
This, she said, had affected the level of patronage to businesses in the market.
A pure water seller, Mrs Ukamaka Blessing, noted that in spite of the extension, N500 and N200 notes were still scarce in many ATMs in the state.
“I sincerely thank Mr Godwin Emefiele for the 10 days extension but he should make the new naira notes available to Nigerians.
“He should print more of N200 and N500 notes to make transactions easier,” she appealed.
Another trader, Emeka Ezenwa, regretted that many ATMs he visited on Jan. 29 being Sunday around Agbani Road and Zik Avenue were without money in them.
“I have gone to Keystone bank and Access bank ATM this morning but there is no cash and the one in First bank have stopped paying.
“Some of us waited for hours yet they did not put money in the machine and the situation here is terrible.
“I hope with this extension, things will change,” he said.
Mr Elijah Igwe asked, “How can a woman who go to his farmer to pluck vegetables and bring it to the market for sale or a woman that sell salt exchange their goods with the scarcity of new naira notes”.
Commending CBN governor for the extension, Igwe said the policy should consider other citizens in the rural areas rather than torturing and stressing them or making them lose their old money.
Also speaking, a Bank Manager, who pleaded anonymity, said the rush at the banks and its ATM was what he described as Nigeria factor.
He said, “Our challenge now is Nigerians who love last minute rush,”.
The manager said the policy was best for the country, adding that many countries even in Africa had implemented it many years ago.
The source explained that as at last two weeks, only few customers deposited their old currency, adding that they worked on Saturdays and Sundays to enable customers submit their old currencies.

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Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves surge by 5% to $33.58bn

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Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves increased by 5 percent to $33.58 billion in the last two months.

This is according to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s latest FX data as of June 19, 2024.

Accordingly, the foreign exchange reserves figure represents a $1.47 billion increase compared to $32.11 billion on April 19, 2024.

The Monetary Policy Committee, MPC during its 295th meeting reiterated its commitment to boosting Nigeria’s external reserves.

“The Committee also noted the marginal increase in the external reserve balance between March and April 2024 and urged the Bank to sustain its focus on accretion to reserves”, reads in part.

Recall that the Nigerian government received $925 million from Afrieximbank barely two weeks ago as the $3.3 billion crude oil-backed prepayment facility organized by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

Meanwhile, despite the increase in the country’s foreign reserves, Naira depreciated N1485.36 for the second consecutive time against the dollar on Thursday.

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Ondo Govt breaks silence after court declared 33 LCDAs illegal

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Following the judgment of an Ondo State High Court which declared the creation of the 33 Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs, as unconstitutional, the state government has stated that it is studying the judgement.

The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Kayode Ajulo, in a statement on Friday, said the state government would duly analyze the judgement, adding that the rule of law would be followed.

The late former Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu created the LCDAs in 2023.

But in his judgement on Thursday, Justice A.O. Adebusuoye stated that the LCDAs were not lawfully created.

According to Ajulo, the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgement has been requested and will be studied accordingly.

“All necessary measures, in accordance with our laws, will be taken to safeguard the interests of our citizens, foster peaceful coexistence, and uphold the rule of law.

“The Honourable Attorney General remains steadfast in his commitment to prioritising the well-being and welfare of our citizens, working tirelessly to ensure that justice and the law are served.”

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Nigeria Customs generates N249b within 5 months in Rivers

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The Nigeria Customs Service, Area 2 Command, Onne in Rivers, said it has generated more than N249 billion as at May, 2024 representing 40.3 per cent of its current annual revenue target.

Comptroller of the command, Muhammed Babandede, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen at Onne.

According to him, the 40.3 per cent revenue record followed a recent review of the command’s annual revenue target from N494 billion to N618 billion.

The comptroller noted that when compared to the same period in 2023, the command had recorded an increase of more than N153 billion.

He also said that six containers laden with codeine, contraband drugs and goods valued at more than N3 billion were also confiscated within the period under review.

He said that the seizures included four containers laden with bales of clothing, lace and fabrics with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of more than N911 million.

Others, the controller said, were two containers laden with 2,625 cartons of codeine syrup among other contraband valued at more than N2 billion.

Babandede commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for inter-agency collaboration while also assuring adequate handover of seizures.

He also emphasised that the command would not relent on its core function of trade facilitation which entailed streamlined and simplified technical and legal procedures for clearing import or export goods.

On the operations of bonded terminals, the comptroller explained that the final destination for clearing of consignment was at the importer’s discretion.

“These procedures are guide which all Customs officers must adhere to.

“This negates the erroneous belief that officers of the Onne command connive with operators of Bonded Terminals to transfer containers,” he said.

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