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FOREX: CBN allays fears of Nigerians

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In the face of rising demand for foreign exchange for both goods and services by Nigerians, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has advised Nigerians to resist the urge of succumbing to the speculative activities of some players in the foreign exchange market.

Speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, 28 July 2022, the Director, Corporate Communications at the CBN, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi said the CBN remained committed to resolving the foreign exchange issues confronting the nation and as such has been working to manage both the demand and supply side challenges.

While admitting that there was huge demand pressure for foreign exchange to meet the needs of manufacturers as well as those for the payment of tuition, medical fees and other invisibles, Nwanisobi said the Bank was concerned about the international value of the naira, adding that the monetary authority was strategizing to help Nigeria earn more stable and sustainable inflows of foreign exchange in the face of dwindling inflows from the oil sector.

Specifically, he noted that recent initiatives undertaken by the Bank such as the RT200 FX Programme and the Naira4Dollar rebate scheme had helped to increase foreign exchange inflow to the country. According to him, the Bank’s records showed that foreign exchange inflow through the RT200 FX Programme in the first and second quarters of 2022 increased significantly to about US$600 million as at June 2022. Similarly, he disclosed that the Naira4Dollar incentive also increased the volume of Diaspora remittances during the first half of the year.

Continuing, he said interventions such as 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity, Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) and the Non-Oil Export Stimulation Facility (NESF), among others, were also geared towards diversifying the economy, enhancing inflow of foreign exchange, Stimulating production and reducing foreign exchange demand pressure.

Nwanisobi therefore said that the Bank would continue to make deliberate effort in the foreign exchange sector to avert further downward slide in the value of the naira, which he observed is fuelled by speculative tendencies.

Reiterating an earlier position of the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, he urged Nigerians to play their role by adjusting their consumption patterns, looking inwards and finding innovative solutions to the country’s challenges. He submitted that Monetary policy alone could not bear all the burden of the expected adjustments needed to manage the challenges around Nigeria’s foreign exchange and admonished that: “It’s our collective duty as Nigerians to shore up the value of the Naira”.

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3 injured as 2 armed drones from Lebanon explode in Israel

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Two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Lebanon carrying explosives exploded in northern Israel on Tuesday, lightly injuring three people, Israeli authorities said, amid heightened tensions between Israel and Iran and its allies.

The Israeli military said in a statement that the armed drones crossed from Lebanon into Israeli territory and exploded in the area of Beit Hillel in the Galilee.

Three people sustained light injuries, Israel’s state-owned Kan reported.

The drones did not trigger air raid sirens, and the military said the incident was under review.

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CBN expresses commitment to harnessing digital technologies

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The Central Bank of Nigeria says it is committed to harnessing the power of digital technologies to enhance financial inclusion.

Mr Yemi Cardoso, CBN Governor, said this on Tuesday in Abuja, during a strategic institutions tour by participants of Senior Executive Course 46 of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).

Cardoso, who was represented by Dr Bala Bello, Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, said that digital technologies would also boost productivity and create an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive.

According to him, the apex bank has already deployed robust digital technologies in driving most of its processes towards achieving optimal performance.

He said that NIPSS, as a foremost national policy think-tank, had made invaluable contributions to the socio-political and macroeconomic development of Nigeria.

“We are, therefore, not surprised at the apt and relevant choice of your research theme.

“The CBN and NIPSS have had a long-standing and robust working relationship since the establishment of the institute. This has culminated into positive mutual benefits for the two institutions.

“The CBN, on the one hand, has provided infrastructural support to the institute through construction of an auditorium and a hostel, in addition to the provision of technical support.

“On the other hand, NIPSS has supported the technical capacity of the CBN through the training of some personnel both at senior executive course level and intermediate course cadre,” he said.

The Director-General of NIPSS, Prof. Ayo Omotayo, said that the study visiting would be representing the institute in getting information from operators of the apex bank on the relevance of digital technology to developing jobs for Nigerian youths.

According to Omotayo, a lot of progress has been made globally in using digital systems to run the economy.

“The more of our activities that we can put in digital format, the more we get the opportunity of providing employment access to a whole lot of the 120 million active Nigerians.

“We at NIPSS always knock at the frontiers of knowledge, checking what is going to happen in the immediate future.

“We are working towards a system where we believe that almost every service can be delivered digitally,” he said.

The Acting Director, Monetary Policy Department of the CBN, Dr Lafi Bala Keffi, commended the NIPSS study group for its interest in the apex bank.

She urged the participants to explore the time-tested culture of NIPSS, which is to diagnose national, profer practical solutions and recommend ways of making such solutions realisable.

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NCAA suspends licences of 3 private jet owners

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Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended licences of three Permit for Non-Commercial Flight (PNCF), otherwise known as private jet owners, over alleged failure to comply with regulatory requirements.

Acting Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Chris Najomo, disclosed this to newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos.

Najomo said that after issuing a stern warning to the PNCFs in March, the authority deployed its men to monitor activities of private jet owners at airport terminals across the country.

He said that consequent upon the heightened surveillance, three private operators were found to have violated the annexure provisions of their PNCF and Part 9114 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, 2023.

Najomo further stated that NCAA would be carrying out a re-evaluation of regulatory requirements compliance of all PNCFs owners within the next 72 hours.

This, he said, this was in line with the authority’s zero tolerance for violations of regulations.

“In line with our zero tolerance for violation of regulations, the authority has suspended the PNCF of these operators.

“To further sanitise the general aviation sector, I have directed that a re-evaluation of all holders of PNCF be carried out on or before April 19, to ascertain compliance with regulatory requirements.

“All PNCF holders will be required to submit relevant documents to the authority within the next 72 hours,” he said.
Najomo recalled that in 2023, the use of private jets for commercial purposes had gotten the attention of the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), who issued marching orders for cessation of such acts.

He said that in March, NCAA issued a stern warning to holders of the permit for non-commercial flights, PNCF, against engaging in the carriage of passenger cargo or mail for hire and reward.

Najomo said that the riot act was also directed at existing Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders who utilised aircraft listed on their PNCF for commercial charter operations.

“It must be emphasised that only the aircraft listed in the Operation Specifications of the AOC are authorised to be used in the provision of such charter services.

“Any of those AOC holders who wish to use the aircraft for charter operations must apply to the NCAA to delist the affected aircraft from the PNCF and include it into the AOC operations specification.

“NCAA wishes to reiterate to the travelling public not to patronise any airline charter operator who does not hold a valid AOC issued by the NCAA, when they wish to procure charter operation services,” he said.

The NCAA boss, thereafter, encouraged legitimate players in the aviation industry to promptly report such illegal activities to the authority for necessary action.

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