UPDATED: Nigerians at Crossroads Over Old Naira Notes Deadline as CBN Website Goes Off
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Residents of Nigeria are currently at a point where they must make a decision quickly on what to do with the old Naira notes in their possession.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in October 2022, announced that it was redesigning the N200, N500, and N1,000 currency notes. It then gave January 31, 2023, as the deadline to swap the old notes for new ones. This was later moved to February 10.
On Wednesday, February 8, 2023, the Supreme Court granted an interim injunction sought by the Governors of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara States to force the federal government to suspend the implementation of the old Naira notes deadline and fixed Wednesday, February 15, for hearing of the matter by the Governors, who want the old and new banknotes to co-exist until the former is naturally phased out of circulation.
The deadline for the return of the old currency notes ends today, and the CBN is yet to make any announcement on what the next line of action would be.
There have been reports that the apex bank may not obey the court order because it was not joined in the suit and that the dispute is between the federal government and the state governments.
But the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, was quoted as saying on Thursday that the government would adhere to the directive of the apex court.
“The order was granted by the Supreme Court, and the order was to lapse on Wednesday, which is the day of the hearing. With that position in mind, we have taken steps to file an objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.
“Jurisdiction on the grounds that when you talk of monetary policy regardless of the characters they take, the central bank is an indispensable and a necessary party for that matter.
“What we have at hand is a situation where the Central Bank is not joined as a party, and if the central bank as an institution is not joined as a party, the position of the law is clear that the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court cannot be properly invoked.
“So, we have given consideration to diverse issues, inclusive of the issue of jurisdiction and come Wednesday; we will argue the case from that perspective amongst others.
“I think what we are talking about is not whether the ruling is binding or not binding; we are talking about what we intend to do.
There is no doubt the fact that the ruling of the Supreme Court, regardless of the prevalent circumstances, is binding and then within the context of the rule of law, you can equally take steps that are available to you within the context of the spirit and circumstances of the rule of law.
“What we are doing, in essence, is compliance with the rule of law both in terms of obedience to the ruling and in terms of challenging the ruling by way of putting our own side of the story, putting across our case, challenging jurisdiction.
“So, the issue of obedience to the ruling of the Supreme Court is out of it we are wholeheartedly in agreement that naturally, we are bound by it and will comply accordingly, but within the context of compliance, we shall challenge the ruling by way of filing an application seeking for it to be set aside, it is all about the rule of law.
“The rule of law provides that there has to be obedience to the judgment and orders of the Supreme Court; the rule of law provides that when you are not happy with a ruling, you can file an application for setting aside and in compliance with the rights and privileges vested in us as a government we are equally looking at challenging the order and seeking for it to be set aside,” the AGF said when he appeared on Arise TV.
As of Thursday night, the website of the CBN had not changed the deadline for the old Naira notes from February. However, at the time of filing this report, the platform was done with the error message “Service Unavailable. HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable.”
At the moment, some Nigerians with old currency notes do not know what to do, but they have an escape route provided by the central bank. The bank had earlier given them a grace period elapsing February 17, to return their banknotes to the CBN through their banks.
The CBN website is now back online. We were informed that the platform went live again at about 9:00 am, a few minutes after our article was published.
Bitfinex Lists World’s First Mobile-Native Token Wrapped Minima
By Adedapo Adesanya
Bitfinex has listed the wrapped Minima ($WMINIMA) token, an ERC-20 token, aimed at helping build a truly decentralized network that empowers freedom worldwide and increases access to Web3 for any person with a mobile or IoT device.
Bitfinex is one of the first crypto exchanges to list WMINIMA, built on the world’s first mobile-native Layer 1 blockchain.
Minima’s presale for WMINIMA started on February 14, 2023, with 10 million tokens currently acquired out of the total supply of 125 million $WMINIMA tokens.
Traders on Bitfinex are taking this new innovation as a huge opportunity to become early adopters of the $WMINIMA token, by making deposits and purchases during the presale period. Effective 21st of March, 2023, on Bitfinex, trading for WMINIMA against the US Dollar (USD) and Tether tokens (USDt) will be available for all traders.
Wrapped Minima (WMINIMA) is a wrapped version of Native Minima (MINIMA), which has been issued on the Ethereum blockchain. Wrapped Minima (WMINIMA) enables Minima to be tradable on exchanges shortly after its Token Generation Event, without waiting for the technical integration of Native Minima ($MINIMA) onto exchanges, scheduled for Q3/Q4 2023. WMINIMA has an initial circulating supply of 98,100,000 coins and a total supply of 125,000,000 coins, with a listing price of $0.30.
The move is part of Bitfinex’s efforts to bring financial inclusion and financial freedom to less-advantaged and emerging communities around the world, particularly where there is currency volatility.
By becoming an owner of Wrapped Minima on Bitfinex, users will be helping build a truly decentralized network that empowers freedom all around the world.
The Minima protocol and its network have already been built, with Mainnet recently launching after several years in Testnet, yet Minima is still relatively unknown.
As a result, there is still a huge opportunity to become an early adopter of the world’s first mobile-native layer 1 blockchain before it becomes widely adopted.
How to trade WMINIMA on Bitfinex
WMINIMA is available to trade with US Dollar (USD) and Tether tokens (USDt). To sign up now, follow these few easy steps:
- Visit the Bitfinex website or download the Bitfinex mobile app and click on the sign-up button.
- Use the African Bitfinex LEOs community affiliate code “9r9ifKfHx” to get a 6 per cent discount on trading fees for life.
- Create an account by entering the required details: username, email, password, country of residence, and referral (optional).
- Create and confirm a log-in pin code or enable touch ID or face ID, if your phone enables it.
- You will be directed to the setup security page. Here, download the Google Authenticator app. If already downloaded, select the “I’ve installed the app” tab.
- Open the GA app to directly add your new token. Alternatively, you can also select to use the QR or Setup key. Enter your code to enable 2FA setup.
- Check your inbox to confirm your email address via an email sent by Bitfinex.
- After email confirmation, accept the Bitfinex Terms of Service to complete the account setup and proceed to the trading page.
- Once that is done you can now trade the WMINIMA on Bitfinex.
CBN Releases N12.65bn for Three Agricultural Projects in Two Months
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disbursed N12.65 billion to the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), its flagship agriculture intervention scheme, in the first two months of 2023.
The Governor of the apex bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said this on Tuesday in Abuja when he read the communique issued at the end of the 290th meeting of the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
According to Mr Emefiele, the total disbursement under the ABP since its inception by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2015 is N1.09 trillion.
“Between January and February 2023, the bank disbursed N12.65 billion to three agricultural projects under the ABP,” he said.
“It brings the cumulative disbursement under the programme to N1.09 trillion to more than 4.6 million smallholder farmers cultivating or rearing 21 agricultural commodities on an approved 6.02 million hectares of farmland,” Mr Emefiele added.
According to Mr Emefiele, the improved performance of the economy has been driven largely by sustained growth in the services and agricultural sectors.
He also cited a rebound in economic activities associated with economic recovery and continued intervention in growth-enhancing sectors by the CBN as responsible for the growth.
He said that the CBN had also disbursed huge sums as an intervention to various other sectors of the economy.
“The CBN also released the sum of N23.70 billion under the N1.0 trillion Real Sector Facility to eight new real sector projects in agriculture, manufacturing, and services.
“Cumulative disbursements under the Real Sector Facility currently stands at N2.43 trillion disbursed to 462 projects across the country, comprising 257 manufacturing, 95 agriculture, 97 services, and 13 mining sector projects,” he said.
He said that the apex bank also released N3.01 billion under the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility (NEMSF-2) for capital and operational expenditure of electricity distribution companies (Discos).
He said that the facility was aimed at improving the liquidity status of the Discos, there aiding their recovery of legacy debt.
“This brings the cumulative disbursement under the facility to N254.39 billion,” he said.
UK Firm Unveils Portal to Aggregate Property Prices in Africa
By Adedapo Adesanya
Baron and Cabot, a UK-based international real estate firm, has launched a portal that will use artificial intelligence technology to predict property prices in Africa to allow real estate agents to sell properties and earn in pounds, providing an unprecedented opportunity for growth and financial success.
The novel approach will allow real estate firms to de-risk their investments in international markets and gain access to a wide range of fully compliant properties.
Baron & Cabot has been particularly successful in Africa due to inflation driving clients to move their money into GBP and Dollar to purchase assets. It is one of the top fastest-growing property companies in the world and transacts around £100 million per annum ($120 million) of UK property while having access to some of the best property developments in the UK.
Speaking on this, Mr Mark Pearson, Managing Director of Baron & Cabot, said, “We are thrilled to be launching this innovative concept that will not only provide a platform for real estate agents in Africa to sell UK properties but will also create job opportunities and drive economic growth.
“We believe that by leveraging AI technology to predict property prices, we can provide our partners with a unique advantage and help them to achieve financial success. Our joint venture expansion plans are aimed at creating mutually beneficial partnerships that will bring value to all parties involved.”
In addition to providing agents with access to new revenue streams, Baron and Cabot’s property portal is also expected to create new job opportunities in the African market.
The company also revealed that it would provide its agents with comprehensive 2 to 4-week training and support to help them succeed in their new roles. This training will ensure that agents are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to navigate the real estate market and take advantage of the opportunities that Baron and Cabot’s concept provides.
As part of its offering, Baron and Cabot will provide clients with mortgages anywhere in the world (excluding war zones), with mortgage rates lower than 6 per cent and deposits below 35 per cent, making it easier for clients to invest in UK properties.
“Our management company boasts an impressive occupancy rate of over 99 per cent, with properties awaiting new tenants for an average of only 10 days. This sets us apart from other cities around the world, where the average occupancy rate is only 70 per cent.
“In addition, our Airbnb or short-term rental products have an average occupancy rate of over 70 per cent, resulting in substantial rental returns and secure investment. Our secret to success lies in our ability to identify high-demand areas with low supply, combined with exceptional management that keeps both our tenants and landlords satisfied,” Mr Pearson added.
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