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FG eyes $1.5bn loan from World Bank



…Considers tapping domestic dollar savings

The Federal Government has revealed its intention to obtain a loan facility of $1.5 billion from the World Bank.

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun stated this in an interview with Bloomberg Tv on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland said the loan will support the budget and also provide liquidity in the forex market.

According to the Minister, the reforms with respect to fuel subsidy removal and merger of the foreign exchange market require some form of support from multilateral organisations.

He explained that, “We’re hoping to get $1 billion or $1.5 billion from the World Bank. It is a matter of discussion at the moment, but we think we will get the support because we are continuing with our reforms.

“What we’ve done with fuel subsidies, what we have done in terms of the foreign-exchange market reform, deserve support. We’ve done enough and we deserve to be rewarded imminently.”

Speaking further, Mr Edun said that the government’s priority is to stabilise the naira through liquidity.

He explained that receipts from crude oil sales remain the main source while also looking at domestic dollar savings with and outside the official market.

According to him, “The priority is to stabilise the naira, that means getting in the additional liquidity – number one from oil revenue.

“We are also looking to make sure we tap Nigerian savings, in particular domestic dollar savings both inside and outside the formal market. There’s a lot of cash in the Nigerian economy.”

Furthermore, he noted that the priority of the CBN still remains clearing the FX backlog which he estimates at $5bn.

He said, “There is actually liquidity within the banking system and there should be a way of getting the banks to actually help with that backlog, either on a spot or a forward-rate basis.

“We believe that if we coral the dollars that are available, we can pay down that backlog almost in one fell swoop.”

The Minister also hinted that Nigeria is contemplating issuing Eurobonds later in the year if the rates are considerably lower stating that major issuers have informed the country of the possibility this year.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed that it has effectively distributed around $2.0 billion.

This significant intervention has targeted industries such as manufacturing, aviation, and petroleum, aiming to alleviate the pressure of outstanding debts.

The Acting Director of the CBN’s Corporate Communications Department, Mrs. Hakama Sidi Ali, revealed these developments during a briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, January 17, 2024. Mrs. Sidi Ali emphasised the central bank’s commitment to resolving the forex backlog issue by initiating payments to qualified transactions.

As part of the transparency measures, the CBN commissioned an independent forensic review conducted by a reputable firm. Mrs. Sidi Ali highlighted that the forensic review uncovered severe infractions, gross abuse, and substantial non-compliance with market regulations.

To address these findings, the CBN will collaborate with relevant agencies to enforce appropriate sanctions.

While underscoring the importance of regulatory compliance, Mrs. Sidi Ali reiterated the CBN’s dedication to sanitising the financial services sector.

The overarching goal is to foster trust among all market participants, internal and external stakeholders, thereby ensuring the stability and integrity of the Nigerian economy.

Despite the enforcement measures, the CBN remains committed to settling legitimate foreign exchange backlogs, maintaining a consistent track record in the last three months.


Chess champion Tunde Onakoya meets Sanwo-Olu after record-breaking feat



By Sodiq Adelakun

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, received a courtesy visit from Tunde Onakoya, the renowned chess champion, at the State Government House in Ikeja on Wednesday.

The meeting came after Onakoya’s remarkable achievement of setting a new Guinness World Record (GWR) for the longest chess marathon.

Recall that on April 17, Onakoya embarked on a mission to break the world record, aiming to empower illiterate children across Africa through his feat.

He successfully achieved the record on April 20 at Times Square in New York City, playing for an impressive 58 hours and winning every match.

Governor Sanwo-Olu congratulated Onakoya on his outstanding achievement, acknowledging the inspiration he has brought to the youth and the state.

Sanwo-Olu, while sharing pictures of the visit on his X (formerly Twitter) page, described Onakoya as an embodiment of “the spirit of Lagos.”

“Powerful visions birth movements that change lives. Today, we welcomed back @Tunde_OD, our chess champion, to Lagos,” he wrote.

“His journey embodies the spirit of Lagos—resilient, ambitious, and driven to succeed. As we celebrate his achievements, we’re inspired by his vision for empowering our children and youth.

“Together with Tunde and the transformative power of chess, we’ll work towards a future where every child in Lagos has the opportunity to realise their full potential.

“The state proudly supports his mission, purposefully providing resources to fuel this noble cause now and in the future.”

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NASS to embark on legislative reforms to reform Judiciary



The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio has disclosed that the National Assembly will embark on legislative reforms to reform the Judiciary.

The Senate President made this known at the opening ceremony of a two-day Summit on “Enhancing Justice Delivery in Nigeria” organised by the Federal Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association and other international development partners in Abuja.

A statement by the Special Assistant on Media/Communication to the Senate President, Anietie Ekong quoted Senator Akpabio to have said that the collaborative efforts of stakeholders will shape the strategic direction of Nigeria’s justice system, making it more robust, accessible, and equitable.

Akpabio urged the Nigerian Judiciary to evolve a blueprint for the transformative changes needed to enhance judicial efficiency and ensure the fair administration of justice across the nation.

According to Senator Akpabio, “In the coming months, I will invite my colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives to deliberate on these proposals with the gravity and diligence they deserve.

“Together, with the insights and support of the judiciary, legal experts, and the Nigerian populace, we will embark on this legislative journey to enshrine these reforms into law.

“This is more than legislative duty; it is our moral imperative to fortify the foundation of our nation’s justice system for present and future generations. I look forward to productive discussions and to the eventual realization of these reforms, ensuring a just, equitable, and prosperous society for all.

“I will not be telling the truth if I say that we at the National Assembly are not aware of the delays and backlogs plaguing our courts, which not only deny timely justice but undermine faith in our judicial system.

“These delays harm our society’s most vulnerable and create an environment where justice is seen as inaccessible and inefficient. In an era where technology has transformed so many sectors, it is critical that we harness its potential within our judicial processes to enhance speed and transparency.

“We are committed to budgeting for the implementation of judicial reforms that will include the adoption of digital tools to manage cases more effectively and ensure that justice is neither delayed nor denied.

“This journey requires collective effort. I call upon all stakeholders, including my colleagues in both legislative and executive branches, as well as the judiciary itself, to support these vital reforms. Together, we can build a justice system that is fit for the 21st century,” he said.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was represented by Vice-President Kashim Shetima said the administration has embarked upon far reaching reforms to enhance justice delivery including the appointment of the full complement of the Justices of the Supreme Court.

Other stakeholders who presented papers at the Summit included the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Kayode Ariwoola, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN among others.

L-R: Deputy Senate President, Senator Barau Jibrin, Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Vice President of Nigeria, Senator Kashim Shettima and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola at the opening ceremony of a two-day Summit on “Enhancing Justice Delivery in Nigeria” organized by the Federal Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association and other international development partners in Abuja

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LAUTECH introduces six new degree programmes, including Mass Comm.



Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, has announced the introduction of six new degree programmes to its academic work.

The acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Razaq Kalilu, made the announcement during the 16th convocation ceremony held at the university’s Great Hall on Tuesday.

According to Prof. Kalilu, the introduction of the new programmes is part of the institution’s efforts to rapidly change its academic outlook and fulfill its mandate, as well as the vision of its Visitor, Governor Seyi Makinde.

The new programmes are aimed at providing students with a wider range of academic options and equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in an increasingly complex and competitive world.

The introduction of the new programmes is a significant development for LAUTECH, which has been working to enhance its academic reputation and provide students with a world-class education.

The university community and stakeholders have welcomed the development, which is seen as a positive step towards positioning LAUTECH as a leading institution of higher learning in Nigeria.

The VC said, “A year ago, the university established the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences with four academic programmes. This year, we have introduced six additional new degree programmes into that Faculty namely Psychology, Mass Communication, Linguistics, Yoruba, Theatre Arts, and Political Science. A Faculty of Law has also been established to run a degree programme in law.

“All the seven newly introduced programmes have recently gone through Resource Verification, in March this year towards the National Universities Commission’s approval. We hope to admit students for these programmes in this current academic session as soon as we receive the clearance from the NUC,” he stated.

In his address, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the institution, Prof Ayodeji Omole charged the graduands to be good ambassadors of the university.

“As you receive your degrees, remember that you are not just graduates of LAUTECH, but ambassadors of knowledge, integrity, excellence, service and progress, all that your university stands for. Carry the torch of learning with pride and let your actions speak volumes about the calibre of education you have received,” Omole advised.

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