The defendant’s lawyer was said to have sent in word that he was stranded in Abuja.
Although the court was not happy about the development, it granted another adjournment to enable the defendants to file their reply to the interrogatories filed earlier by the former bank workers.
On the other hand, the other defendant – CBN – particularly asked the court for a short time to file its reply to the interrogatories.
The apex bank explained that it needed time to access its archives spread all over the country, in order to come up with an appropriate response to the interrogatories.
Reacting to the adjournment on behalf of his colleagues, chairman of the former bank workers, Magnus Maduka, reiterated their commitment to pursue the case to a logical conclusion to ensure that their terminal benefits and allowances were paid.
Interrogatories, also known as requests for further information, are a formal set of written questions by one party and required to be answered by another party or parties in a suit, in order to clarify matters of fact and help to determine in advance what facts will be presented at the trial of a case.
The House of Representatives says it will investigate the alleged non-repayment of seven billion dollars from the country’s foreign reserves, disbursed to 14 global asset managers and 14 banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria since 2006.
The House on Thursday resolved to investigate the matter, after a motion sponsored by representative Abubakar Ahmad.
According to the motion, the CBN gave each asset manager and its Nigerian bank counterpart a sum of $500 million dollars from the nation’s foreign reserves to manage.
The Senate Committee on Finance on Monday refused to allow the representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to address it on the rationale behind the exchange rates it used for three key projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund.
The Committee had on Sunday invited the CBN Governor to appear before it on Monday November 4, but the CBN Governor, instead sent the Deputy Governor Operations, Mr Adebisi Shonubi, to represent him.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has insisted that the closure of the nation’s borders is a great step that will improve the state of security.
While delivering a lecture on Friday at the Edo University, Iyamho in Edo State, he explained that it would specifically help to reduce the level of Boko Haram insurgence, kidnapping and cybercrime popularly known as ‘yahoo yahoo’.
“I can tell you that if we leave these borders closed for another two years, Boko Haram will reduce,” he said.
“I can tell you that Kidnapping and ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ will reduce because they will now see that the only place that they can make money is in agriculture and not in kidnapping people”.
According to the CBN Governor, most of the arms being brought into the country were smuggled in through the borders.
But ever since the borders were shut, the development has yielded good results.
According to him, one week after the borders were closed, the President of the Rice Farmers Association called to say that all the rice in their warehouses had been sold.
“The poultry people also called to say they have sold all their eggs,” he said.
He believes that the continuous closure of the borders would help to generate employment and reduce crime as Nigerians would have found diverse opportunities in legitimate businesses.
About 500,000 bags of local rice was sold by millers within one week of the border closure, the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has revealed.
Emefiele made the revelation on Monday while briefing reporters after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
He said that the Chairman of the Rice Processors Association complained to him that rice millers and processors in the country had 25,000 metric tonnes of unsold local rice in their warehouses and urged that something should be done to help keep their businesses alive.
The CBN governor who noted that he received the complaint before the nation’s borders were closed stated that the same person called one week after the closure that all the rice in their warehouses had been sold.
“Recently, the Chairman of the Rice Processors Association called me and said that all the rice millers and processors are carrying 25,000 metric tonnes of milled rice in their warehouses that they have been unsold because of the smuggling and dumping of rice through the Republic of Benin and other border posts we have across the country, and he would want us to do something about it,” he told reporters.
Emefiele added, “I am aware also that after some meetings held, in addition to those engagements we held with the President, the border was closed subsequently.
“A week after the borders were closed, the same Rice Millers Association called to say that all the rice in their warehouses has all been sold.
“Indeed, a lot of people have been depositing money into their account and they are telling them to hold on until the rice has been processed.”
The 25,000 metric tonnes of rice translates to 500,000 bags of (50kg) rice as 1,000 kilogrammes make one metric tonne.
The CBN governor also revealed that between 2015 and 2019, the number of companies setting up integrated and small mills rose astronomically and loan facilities have been given to help encourage the production of local rice.
He said, “Between 2015 and 2019, we have seen a rise in the number of companies setting up integrated and small mills; the CBN and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and rural development has been at the centre of not just encouraging the production of rice in Nigeria, but also funding these farmers by giving them loans to acquire seedlings, fertilizers and some herbicides for rice production.
“The benefit of the border closure in Nigeria is that it has helped to create jobs for our people, bring our integrated rice millers back into businesses and they are making money; our rural communities are bubbling because farmers are selling.”
Condition For Re-Opening
Similarly, Emefiele noted that some members of the Poultry Association of Nigeria, who also complained of difficulties selling their eggs and processed chicken confirmed that since the closure, demand has been on the rise.
He stressed that proper engagements between the Federal Government and neighbouring countries are key to ending the spate of smuggling and a consequential reopening of the borders.
The CBN governor added, “We are not saying that the border should be closed in perpetuity, but that before it can be reopened, there must be concrete engagements with countries that are involved in using their ports as landing ports for bringing in goods that are smuggled into Nigeria.
“That engagement must be held, so we agree on the basis of what products they can land in their country and if it is meant for their local consumption, it’s understandable.
“But the fact that they are now smuggled into Nigeria, we all agree should not happen because it undermines our economic policies and desire to ensure that industries are alive and jobs are created in Nigeria.”
Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, has clarified that the N7.6 billion loan collected from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was not fresh, but one which his predecessor, former governor Abiola Ajimobi took.
Makinde explained that his administration only approached the House of Assembly on Thursday to seek approval to use the loan facility for purposes other than what it was originally meant for.
He added that contrary to claims that the loan is a fresh one, his administration just secured the approval of the State House of Assembly to access the N7.6 billion loan which was previously collected by Ajimobi.
A statement by Makinde’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa said the Government had equally noticed the deliberate misconceptions and misinformation on the loan facility, saying it was an attempt to colour the truth to confuse the public.
“The misconceptions and misinformation that Governor Makinde was going for a loan of N7.6 billion is a deliberate attempt to colour the truth and it is an indication of a political move by certain commentators who are exhibiting apparent amnesia on the matter.
“Governor Makinde is not seeking for a fresh loan. The action that was taken by the House of Assembly of Oyo State on Thursday was to give the legislative nod to the State Government to access the fund that had already been domiciled with the government since the days of ex-governor Ajimobi.
“The Governor’s decision to approach the House of Assembly was a mark of his belief in due process, the rule of law and its processes. Ordinarily, some state executives would just have proceeded to spend the funds since it was already in the coffers of the state, but Governor Makinde won’t do that.
“You may wish to recall that sometimes in 2017, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had approved some funds under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACs) for disbursement to four states including Ekiti; Osun; Oyo and Abia.
“Somehow, the immediate past administration of Governor Ajimobi chose to delay access to that money until April 2019, when the governorship election of the 2019 election had been won and lost. That government intended to expend the said money on the purchase of “Agriculture equipment” in less than two months to the end of its tenure. Allowing access to that money within a month of Ajimobi’s exit could only be counter-productive for the people of Oyo State,” the statement explained.
Adisa in the statement added that it was the spirit of activism in Governor Makinde that prodded him to smell mischieve in the plan to access that money in the twilight of Ajimobi’s administration and that informed the suit filed by then Governor-elect Makinde at the High Court of Oyo State to secure an injunction restraining the then Governor from accessing that money.
According to the statement, the two farm settlements are to be built into Farm Estates in line with the vision of the Makinde administration to ensure the full utilisation of the Agriculture value chain for economic expansion and to boost of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
A former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo, says it is important for Nigeria to be innovative.
He explained that this was necessary for the country to remain relevant among the comity of nations, noting the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA).
“The implication (of the signing) is that insularity will no longer be an option; the name of the game of the future in an increasingly integrated world is innovate, compete or die,” Soludo said while giving a speech at The Platform, an annual programme organised by the Covenant Christian Centre.
He noted that the world was already on the fourth industrial revolution with the digital economy while Nigeria was struggling with the basic stages of growth.
“While electric cars are fast replacing diesel and petrol cars, many of our people are still building petrol stations.
“The ordinary people who can’t explain what has hit them resort to all sorts of criminal activities to survive. Economic structuring will entail thinking through the alternative scenarios and mapping out to alternative possible proactive responses,” the former CBN boss added.
The monetary policy committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria is asking the Federal Government to consider the sale of its redundant public assets as part of efforts to increase its revenue base.
Speaking at a news conference after the monetary policy committee meeting in Abuja, the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said the sale of redundant public assets would create significant revenue for government and resuscitate the redundant assets to generate employment and contribute to the nation’s economic growth.
The Central Bank is seeking the cooperation of state governors in revamping the nations economy which has been described as fragile owing to the increasing numbers of unemployment and growing population.
speaking at a meeting with some state governors in Abuja,the governor of the apex bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele explains that addressing the twin problem of unemployment and population explosion can only be achieved through more investment in the nation’s agricultural sector.
Mr Emefiele appealed to the governors to key into CBN’s policy which is aimed at revamping the agricultural sector through the ten commodities of rice,maize, tomatoes, cotton,cassava,cocoa,palm oil,sorghum,millet yam rubber and the diary sector.
On their part, the governors pledged their support towards making the policy a reality.
The House of Representatives on Thursday directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the new charges placed on Nigerians under its new cashless policy, with immediate effect.
CBN had announced an increase in charges on withdrawals and deposits exceeding N500,000, however, in a plenary session, the Lower House ordered the apex bank to suspend the policy until appropriate consultations have been concluded.
This was affirmed via a series of tweets on the official Twitter handle of the House of Representatives.
The @HouseNGR has urged the @cenbank to suspend its recent directive to banks on cashless policy, which seeks to have individuals and corporate organisations charged for deposits and withdrawals respectively.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced the commencement of charges on deposits in addition to already existing charges on withdrawals.
According to a statement from the CBN, the charges, which takes effect today, September the 18th, will attract 3 percent processing fees for withdrawals and 2 percent processing fees for lodgments of amounts above 500,000 naira for individual accounts.
The statement, however, explains that the charge on deposits shall apply in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, and Rivers states as well as the Federal Capital Territory, while the implementation of the cash-less policy will take effect from March the 31st, 2020.