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Politicians Mounting Pressure to Stop CBN Cashless Policy—Groups



Cashless Policy CBN

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Some politicians have been accused of working tirelessly to frustrate the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for their selfish interests.

At a media briefing on Monday in Abuja, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) and civil society organisations (CSOs) under the aegis of the Coalition of National Civil Society Organisations (CNCSOs) said the reason behind the moves to stop the policy is vote-buying.

During elections, politicians induce voters with cash. This is a practice across most of the political parties in Nigeria. Some offer voters less than N5,000 for votes.

A few days ago, the central bank said from January 9, 2023, Nigerians would only be allowed to withdraw N100,000 per week as cash across the different channels, ATMs, POS terminals and over-the-counter (OTC).

This was kicked against by some lawmakers at the National Assembly, who asked the governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, to appear before them this week for explanations.

At the press conference today, CNCSOs praised the apex bank for the new policy and expressed optimism that the bank would not bow to pressure.

According to the leaders of the two groups, Mr Willy Ezugwu for CNPP and Mr Ali Abacha for CSOs, the cashless policy will tackle corruption in Nigeria apart from vote-buying.

“For the purpose of insight, by law, Section 2 (b) of the CBN Act clearly mandates the Central Bank of Nigeria to solely issue legal tender currency in Nigeria.

“The CBN regulates the volume of money supply in the economy in order to ensure monetary and price stability in line with Section 2 (a) of the Act.

“Specifically, the Currency Operations Department of the CBN is responsible for currency management through the planning, procurement, distribution, processing, reissue and disposal of banknotes and coins.

“It was in the exercise of its unambiguous legal duties in Section 2 of its establishment Act that the CBN in 2012 introduced what is today known as a cashless policy which led to the application of aspects of the policy beginning from January 1, 2012, in Lagos State, which was tagged Cashless Lagos.

“As specified by the CBN as far back as 2012, the cashless policy is aimed at placing Nigeria among the best 20 economies in the world before the year 2020. This is a target that was never met. We’re in 20222. Is Nigeria now among the 20 best global economies? But the CBN informed the world that Nigeria would start changing to a cashless economy by January 2012 and complete the process in 2020 to be among the best economies.

“So, why are people complaining about the timing of the implementation of the new cash withdrawal limits when the CBN is running behind its own scheduled implementation target?

“Only a mischievous person will be complaining about the timing of the review of the cash withdrawal limits because we should be applauding Mr Godwin Emefiele as the CBN Governor for daring to move Nigeria’s economy into the top 20 best in the world after over seven years of stagnancy,” the groups said.

Speaking further, they stated that, “Part of the 2012 cashless policy was conceived to reduce the amount of Naira notes and coins (that is cash) used for business, though not to eliminate their usage in line with Nigeria’s vision 20:2020. If so, why should politicians or anybody be complaining about the current reduction in cash withdrawals even when the CBN is two years behind its own target?

“Also, the cashless policy, among other gains, is to help the central bank and commercial banks better manage our economy to ensure that Nigeria’s monetary policy works.

“Now, is Nigeria’s monetary policy working? The answer is NO! Why, then, are we seeing governors, like that of Adamawa State, talking against the CBN Governor and his management team, who have vowed to speed up the implementation process for a full launch of Nigeria’s cashless policy, two years behind schedule of placing Nigeria among the best 20 economies in the world? It is because many of our current leaders don’t mean well for the country.”

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.


We Will Fulfil Paris Agreement on Climate Change—FG



paris agreement on climate change

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government of Nigeria has assured that it is ready to fulfil the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to ensure effective gender inclusion.

This was disclosed by Mr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, during the inauguration and inception workshop of the project in Abuja tagged The Nigeria Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT), Just and Gender Inclusive Transition (JGIT) Project.

The project is aimed at helping countries to better assess the impacts of their climate policies and actions and fulfil their transparency commitments.

Mr Ngige said the objective of the inception meeting was to launch the ICAT Just Transition project and increase awareness among the national stakeholders for a better understanding of its implementation.

He said that ICAT, an International multi-stakeholder partnership of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), was supporting Nigeria in setting up Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) of a Just and Gender Inclusive Transition(JGIT).

The minister, represented by Ms Daju Kachollom, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said Nigeria had signed a Project Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with the UNOPS, represented by the ICAT management.

According to him, the PCA is to firm up the process leading to the take-off and implementation of the project over a 12 months period.

“The objectives of the project, among others, include developing JGIT monitoring and MRV and ensuring it links with the sectoral MRV system.

“Another objective is to Enhance Transparency Framework (ETF) implemented by the Federal Ministry of Environment to achieve synergy, institutional memory, and stakeholder inclusion and cooperation.

“It will further enable a tripartite cooperation between government, labour, and employer associations to achieve a Just and Gender Inclusive Transition going forward with the implementation of the Paris agreement,” he said.

The minister said that the ICAT project would be implemented by a team of national experts and international ICAT consultants under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

On his part, Dr Yerima Tarfa, ICAT, JGIT Project Team Lead, said the initiative would help to increase the overall transparency capacities of countries and assess the contribution of policies and development objectives.

According to him, this is by providing appropriate methodological information and tools to support evidence–based policymaking.

Dr Tarfa noted that Nigeria was the largest economy and leading oil producer, and most populous in Africa.

“It faces the unique challenge of having to diversify its economy away from fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, and increasingly, coal) while responding to the unmet energy needs of its growing population.

“Nonetheless, Nigeria is turning this challenge into an opportunity by increasing the use of renewable energy, reducing its carbon footprints, and eliminating gas flaring.

“Nigeria’s National Determined Contributions (NDCs) is committed to a 20 per cent emission reduction by 2030 unconditionally and 45 per cent conditional, with focus on power and electricity, oil and gas,” he said.

The team lead said the highlights of the NDCs include ending gas flaring by 2030 and a 30 per cent energy efficiency level by 2030.

He said the inauguration of the inception workshop would provide the opportunity to create awareness and build a national cross-knowledge sharing that would provide a platform for key stakeholders to facilitate the implementation of the Nigeria ICAT JGIT Project.

He added that this would further set up an MRV of Just and Gender Inclusive Transition and its Roadmap for implementation in Nigeria.

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Appeal Court Restores Adeleke as Osun Governor



Appeal Court Restores Adeleke as Osun Governor

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

An appeal court sitting in Abuja on Friday upturned the judgment of the Osun governorship election tribunal, which removed Mr Ademola Adeleke as Governor of Osun State.

In January, the tribunal declared the former Governor of the state, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, as the authentic winner of the 2022 governorship election in the state.

While Mr Adeleke contested for the position under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Oyetola flew the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mr Adeleke was declared winner of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), but Mr Oyetola, who contested as a sitting governor, approached the tribunal to dislodge the winner.

He argued that Mr Adeleke won through an electoral fraud, over-voting and his prayers were answered, as the tribunal upturned INEC’s decision and declared him the winner.

However, Governor Adeleke appealed the judgement and today, a three-member panel of justices held that the election tribunal erred when it ruled that Mr Oyetola and the APC proved their allegation of over-voting.

The appellate court held that Mr Adeleke was validly elected as the governor of Osun State and restored his mandate.

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NDDC Seeks Partnerships to Reduce Dependency on IOCs, FG for Funding



NDDC Corrupt Officials

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has disclosed plans not to rely on oil multinationals and the federal government to raise funds for development projects in the region but instead pursue Public-Private Partnerships arrangements to drive development in the Niger Delta region.

According to the NDDC Managing Director, Mr Samuel Ogbuku, this PPP model would ease the financial burden of the central government.

Mr Ogbuku, speaking during an Executive Management and staff meeting at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, announced that a summit was in the offing to enable stakeholders to explore opportunities for collaboration.

He stated the NDDC would not relent in its PPP campaign to bring sustainable development to the Niger Delta region.

“We intend to leverage our PPP initiative during the summit, which will take place in April. It will help us to showcase what we can offer and show the world the future of NDDC.

“We cannot continue to rely on international oil companies and the federal government to raise funds for development projects. We intend to show the world that NDDC has been rebranded.

“We will take the campaign to all relevant organisations. Last week, we were at the meeting of the Oil Producers Trade Section, OPTS, of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lagos. Henceforth, NDDC will be attending the OPTS quarterly meetings.”

The NDDC boss further stated that the commission would also focus on capacity building for youths in the region.

“We are going to focus on youth development programmes; we have come up with a new concept of working with the Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce in the training of our youths and young entrepreneurs.

“We will show the world that we have young entrepreneurs. The various Chambers of Commerce will help us to make the programme sustainable. We will focus on empowering young people because the government cannot employ everybody.”

On NDDC’s commitment to its contractors, Mr Ogbuku affirmed that the Commission was engaging them to arrive at practicable ways of liquidating the debts saying, “We have been meeting with the contractors, and gradually, all legitimate debts will be defrayed.”

The NDDC boss said there was a need for reform within the Commission in order to bring it in line with the NDDC Establishment Act. For instance, he said, “we are reorganising the directorates to bring the number to only 13 provided for in the Act.”

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