Reps Committee Investigating Privatisation Of Power Sector, Frown At Absence Of CBN Governor Again

A file photo of CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.

 

Chairman of the House of Representatives adhoc committee which is investigating the privatisation process of the power sector, Ado Doguwa, has once again frowned at the refusal of the Central Bank governor to honour the invitation of the committee.

This is the second time the Central Bank governor has failed to honour the invitation of the committee.

Mr Doguwa says the Central Bank governor has been busy expending taxpayers’ money but has refused to appear before the committee to account for those monies.

He, however, said the committee will take all necessary actions to compel him to appear before the committee even as he questioned if the CBN governor has something to hide.

Court Summons Malami, Emefiele, Others Over National Theatre Handover

Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami and CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, and five others to appear before it on Friday, July 24.

According to the court, they are to explain the alleged handover of the National Theatre to some developers while the structure is a subject of a pending lawsuit.

Among the five others summoned by Justice Ayokunle Faji is Access Bank of Nigeria Plc and its Managing Director, Mr. Herbert Wigwe.

Others summoned to appear before the court are the Minister, Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and National Orientation, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the National Theatre and the National Troupe of Nigeria Board.

Justice Faji summoned all the parties who are listed as defendant/respondents in a suit before it by a company, Topwideapeas Limited.

Topwideapeas Limited is reportedly designated as the concessionaire of the fallow land adjoining the National Theatre.

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Through its lawyer, Chijioke Okoli (SAN), the company brought an exparte application before the court asking it to reverse the handover in order to protect its interest in the property.

The senior lawyer contended that if not reversed, the handover of the structure would render the eventual decision of the court in the suit null and void.

Okoli also complained that despite pending litigation on the structure, the National Theatre was handed over to the CBN, Access Bank of Nigeria Plc, and Herbert Wigwe on July 12.

The handover was said to have been purportedly done by the National Theatre and the National Troupe of Nigeria Board, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), and the Minister, Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture & National Orientation who are listed as the 1st to 3rd defendant in the suit.

Okoli, therefore, is seeking an order “suspending or staying the purported handover on or about July 12, 2020, by the 1st and 3rd defendant/respondents to the 5th-7thdefendant/respondents of the National Theatre Complex, Iganmu, Lagos and the adjoining lands, pending the hearing and determination of the applicant’s motion for an interlocutory injunction (by notice filed on December 31, 2019).”

CBN Retains MPR At 13.5 Per Cent

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has retained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 13.5 per cent.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the decision of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) after the two-day meeting which held at the apex bank’s headquarters in Abuja.

According to Emefiele, all members of the committee had agreed to retain the current monetary policy stance.

“An increase in the MPR will be taken by the deposit in the money banks as an invitation to increase lending rates and this will be most undesirable at this point in time when efforts are being made to avert a recession.

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“Besides, a reduction in the MPR will not make the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) reduce lending rates but other strategies of the CBN are making the DMBs to reduce the lending rates in furtherance of growth objectives,” he stated.

“In view of the foregoing, the Committee by unanimous vote to retain monetary policy rate at 13.5 per cent and to hold all other parameters constant,” he stated.

Emefiele explained that the committee held the Cash Reserves Ratio at 27.5 per cent, while the Liquidity Ratio was left unchanged at 30 per cent.

N380 Forex Rate Not Devaluation Of Naira, Says Emefiele

A file photo of Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
A file photo of Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

 

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele on Saturday clarified that the recent jump in foreign exchange rate to N380 to a dollar is not a devaluation but an adjustment.

According to Mr Emefiele, the apex bank has the responsibility to see to the adjustment in the Naira, insisting that the bank has no hand in what happens in the Investors, Exporters and End- users window.

The CBN had issued a circular to all banks and Bureau De Change on Friday, advising that the BDC should not sell the Dollar more than N380/1USD to end-users.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has the responsibility to see to the adjustment in the currency; what you have seen is an adjustment in currency and we have been accused that we have a hand, we don’t have a hand, Emefiele said.

We allow the I&E window, which is the dominant market to dictate the exchange rate in the market.

At this time the CBN provides FX in that market at 380, anyone who has higher than the 380 can go ahead, but it should be available in the market to fund the domestic market.

He added that the new rate is only an adjustment, but in economics and foreign exchange management language, it is not a devaluation, he maintained.

Coronavirus: CBN Set To Inject N1trn Into Nigerian Economy

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday announced a plan to raise its intervention in all critical sectors of the economy by another N1 trillion.

This is in response to the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the intervention will boost local manufacturing and import substitution in the economy as a way of providing succour to the people impacted by the deadly virus and also create more jobs.

READ ALSO: NNPC Retail Stations To Begin Sale Of Fuel At N125 From March 19

As a major focus of the package, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced 100 billion naira loan support for health laboratories in the country.

Mr Emiefele directed all commercial banks in the country to support pharmaceutical companies and the Healthcare industry.

He said the CBN will in the days ahead continue to reel out its support for the economy.

Suspected Fraudster ‘Cooling Off’ In EFCC Custody For Impersonating Emefiele

Godwin Emefiele                                                                                                                Onyebuchi Julius

 

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a suspected fraudster for impersonating Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

In a statement on Friday, the anti-graft agency said the suspect, Onyebuchi Julius, “is currently cooling off in one of the detention facilities of the EFCC, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.”

Onyebuchi, a native of Ngor-Okpala in Imo State, is said to have claimed that he is into estate management.

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According to the EFCC, the suspect confessed via verbal and written statements that he posed as the CBN Governor with an email account ‘[email protected]’ to defraud his victims.

He added that he defrauded an Arab national, Omar Es Sh Deeb, whom he said made payments to him through Western Union.

The suspect was also said to have confessed that he specialised in Business Email Compromise (BEC), and his modus operandi involved searching for email addresses via Google.

According to him, he sends convincing emails to his prospective victims and defrauds them as soon as they fall prey to whatever scam he had planned out.

The EFCC noted that Onyebuchi confessed to have benefited as much as N4.5million from his alleged criminality on the cyberspace.

It, however, stressed that the evidence gathered so far may prove otherwise as investigation was ongoing and responses were being awaited from some of the finance houses the suspect transacted with.

Again MPC Retains Policy Rate At 13.5 Percent

 

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has retained the benchmark rate at 13.5%.

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this decision during a press conference at the end of a two-day MPC meeting held on Tuesday at the apex bank’s headquarters in Abuja.

He explained that the committee unanimously voted to retain the MPR, after the rates were reduced from 14 percent to 13.5 percent in March 2019, the first time the MPR was reduced since July 2016.

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Mr Emefiele said that the committee reviewed the upside and downside options to either tighten, hold or loosen and decided to hold policies at its current position.

“The MPC reviewed the upside and the downsides of the options to tighten, hold or to loosen.

“The committee felt that there would be more gains in the shortfall to medium term in holding policy at its current position. The committee decided by unanimous votes to retain the policy rate at 13.5 percent and to hold all other policy parameters constant.

“The MPC voted to retain MPR at 13.5%, retain the asymmetric corridor at +200 and -500 basis point around the MPR, retain the CRR at 22.5% and retain the liquidity ratio at 30 percent.”

He added that the committee suggested that the Federal Government should reconsider its 2020 budget oil price benchmark of $57 per barrel, due to the possibility that prices will remain relatively weak in the nearest future.

Border Closure: Inflation To Moderate In Three Months, Says Emefiele

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele has said that the rise in inflation is temporary and will go down aggressively in another three to four months.

A report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), showed inflation figures at a 17-month high, rise to 11.61% in October.

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Mr. Emefiele in an exclusive interview with Channels Television said that the attribution of the rise to border closure cannot be totally ruled out, but the benefits are more.

“Inflation goes up from 11.22 to 11.61 between September and October, and mainly it’s because of the border closure.

“I am not going to entirely disagree that yes, because of border closure that has resulted in some supply shortages because of goods that are being dumped into the country.

“Who are those benefitting, in as much as I don’t like the fact that prices went up momentarily from September and October, the beneficiaries are Nigerians and companies where we have seen a situation where people have jobs, farmers who produce poultry and those benefitting from import of cars legitimately.”

The CBN Governor expressed his displeasure at the inflationary pressure but was quick to assure that the trend will witness an immediate turnaround.

“In as much as I do not like the fact that the inflationary pressures are coming up right now, I’m also saying that it will moderate and very quickly, maximum of another 3 to 4 months aggressively downwards.”

Senate Committee Rejects Emefiele’s Representatives

 

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.

Read Also: Emefiele: Border Closure Will Reduce Kidnapping, ‘Yahoo Yahoo’

Led by the Chairman, Solomon Adeola, the Committee members, however, refused to allow the Deputy Governor address them.

According to them, the invitation was not meant for him.

The panel also noted that Emefiele had failed to inform it earlier that he would be sending a representative.

They, therefore, insisted that Emefiele must appear before the committee on Wednesday, November 6.

Emefiele: Border Closure Will Reduce Kidnapping, ‘Yahoo Yahoo’

 

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.

FG Approves N19.18bn Loan For Nine Local Cotton Processors

 

The Federal Government has approved the sum of N19.18 billion to produce quality cotton seeds to revive the nation’s value chain in the cotton, textiles and garments sector.

Speaking at a high-level meeting in Abuja, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele explained that nine firms will be given the funds as the government targets to achieve self-sufficiency in cotton production and textile materials within the next three years.

The apex bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with all the uniformed organisations in the country at the meeting.

“We are improving the linkage between cotton farmers and ginneries by ensuring that ginneries are able to obtain a high-quality cotton product produced by these farmers.

“In this regards, approval had already been given to the tune of 19.18bn to finance 9 ginneries with a view to retooling their processing plants, while providing them with improved access to finance at single-digit interest rates.”

READ ALSO: Border Closure: About 500,000 Bags Of Local Rice Sold In One Week, Says Emefiele

The CBN Governor said the investment will help stop the $4bn lost annually to imported textiles.

According to him, the terms of the agreement guarantees all uniformed Federal Government agencies would source all their uniform needs from local textiles and garments factories.

He added that the same gesture will be made to the textile and garment firms

“This is to help sustain their operations and improve their production capacities.

“The same support will be extended to textile and garment firms, we have invested heavily in our local textile and garment factories to retool and produce assorted uniforms for our uniform services that meet international standards.”

The uniformed organisations present to sign the agreement include The Nigerian Police, Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, Civil Defence, Correctional Services, Nigerian Customs, NYSC, Road Safety Corp, Immigration, Federal Fire Service and Nigerian Drugs Law Enforcement Agency.

Border Closure: About 500,000 Bags Of Local Rice Sold In One Week, Says Emefiele

 

 

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.”

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A photo of CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.

 

Benefits Of Border Closure

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.”