CASH POLICY: CENTRAL BANK APPROVES COURT RULING.
The new Nigerian cash policy finally took a positive turn today. This is because the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has now officially approved the ruling of the Supreme Court. Recall that the apex court had ruled that all old naira notes should remain as legal tenders until December 31st 2023.
The CBN’s press release yesterday which read. “Accordingly, the CBN met with the Bankers committee and has directed that the old banknotes remain legal tenders alongside the redesigned banknotes till December 31, 2023. Consequently, all concerned are directed to conform duly”
The CBN’s directive came shortly after the Presidency put out a tweet yesterday. The tweet said the President did not direct the CBN Governor to disobey the Supreme Court order. “Against the naira cash policy deadline, the Governor had no reason not to comply with court orders on the excuse of waiting for directives from the President”. The tweet ended.
CBN obeying court order, a victory for all Nigerians – Zamfara Governor
The Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has applauded the decision of the CBN to obey the ruling of the supreme court. He believes every Nigerian is happy with this decision. “All Nigerians can now sigh a relief on this matter. We expect more cash to be in circulation to ease our pains. Also those who were unable to replace their old naira notes with the scarce new notes will no longer lose their hard-earned money.” stated the Zamfara governor.
On Monday, the CBN said the old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes remain legal tenders. Recall that the Supreme Court had, in the March 3 judgment, ordered the Buhari regime to accept the old naira notes as legal tenders until December 31.
CBN bars Point of Sale terminals
The Central Bank of Nigeria has barred agents from using Point of Sale, POS, terminals meant for merchants to carry out cash-in and cash-out transactions. The apex bank disclosed this in a circular announcing the Exposure Draft of the Regulatory Framework for Agent Banking in Nigeria.
According to the CBN, the agent banking initiative has resulted in the proliferation of financial services agents across Nigeria. This has resulted in a significant and growing portion of financial transactions being conducted through the agents.
Erring banks will be reported and shut down immediately – Sanwo-Olu
The Governor of Lagos State, Jide Sanwo-Olu, has today warned all banks in the state. He said any bank that refuses to act accordingly to the new CBN order on the cash policy will be shut down. Sanwo-Olu stressed that while the news continues to circulate, every bank in the state should start doing the needful. He continued that the government would sanction any business that failed to collect the old notes.
“My dear Lagosian. I have noted the difficulties you have been having over the Naira cash policy crisis. Your pain is felt. I discussed this with top officials in CBN already. They assured me that commercial banks were directed to accept the old N500 and N1,000 notes as deposits and pay them out for withdrawals. They informed me that commercial banks got the directive at a Bankers Committee meeting on Sunday, March 12, 2023.” The Governor said.
He added, ”I therefore urge you to go ahead and have transactions with the old notes. Lagosians should feel free to use the old notes for commercial purposes. Retailers, transporters, traders and all businesses must not reject them. This is because the old notes remain legal tenders. This is following the CBN’s verdict, which extends the validity of the notes to December 31, 2023.”
Lagosians were also instructed to report any complaint about any bank that refuses to accept the old notes. They are encouraged to reach out to the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency, LASCOPA via these numbers; 08124993895, 09064323154, 08092509777.
Presidency talks down Obi, Atiku, others.
The Presidency insisted that “this election is an improvement on past elections and due credit should be given to the government and people of this country. Atiku Abubakar of Peoples Democratic Party and Peter Obi of the Labour Party were losers in the presidential election”. The ruling APC flag bearer Bola Tinubu was declared the winner by INEC in the contentious and competitive poll.
The Presidency thanked former ambassadors Mark Green and Johnnie Carson, as well as other foreign observers, for their concerns over the logistics of the general election. He also lauded their work as observers on the National Democratic Institute/International Republican Institute Election Observation Missions.
“It is worth setting their comments in context. No one has disputed the result of the election except the candidates that fell short. The elections was the biggest and the most competitive presidential election in the history of Nigeria,” said the Presidency in a statement on Monday. It stressed that despite delays and technical faults, the election consolidated democracy in Nigeria.
REACTIONS TO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS
It is worth reporting that the US President Joe Biden is yet to congratulate Bola Tinubu as the winner of the Presidential elections. This is surprising because Mr Biden is known for quickly congratulating democratically-elected leaders worldwide. When President Buhari was elected back then, Barack Obama was US’s president. Obama quickly congratulated him but with Joe Biden, it hasn’t been the case.
Last May, Mr Biden had telephoned then-Philippine president-elect Ferdinando Marcos Jr to congratulate him. The details of the call were published on the White House website. In a similar situation, the U.S. president sent a congratulatory message to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, when he emerged winner of the presidential election in Brazil in October 2022. This was also published on the White House website. Mr Biden’s silent body language towards Nigeria’s incoming president may be perceived as his skepticism of the electoral process that produced him.
The European Union had said the election process was distorted and lacked transparency. Similarly, British think-tank, Chatham House, said intimidation, violence, and irregularities tainted the presidential polls that gave Mr Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress the victory.
2023 ELECTIONS: GUBERNATORIAL ELECTIONS
Warn your supporters- INEC
The Independent Electoral Commission has warned political parties to warn their supporters to refrain from acts of violence during the forthcoming elections. The INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, made the call on Tuesday during a meeting of the inter-agency consultative committee on election security.
The INEC chairman thanked security agencies for the professionalism of their personnel and the largely peaceful conduct of the presidential election. He said INEC state offices have provided the police with the details for the governorship and state assembly elections, including locations of polling units and collation centres.
The INEC chairman said the governorship and state assembly elections involve more constituencies, candidates and collation centers. He said it is therefore important for parties and candidates to ask their agents and supporters to see the elections as a contest and not a war.
“They should refrain from acts of violence that may mar the elections. Issues that will compromise the security of our personnel, observers, the media and service providers,” he said.
The Gubernatorial polls have been fixed for March 18, 2023.
As the countdown continue towards the weekend’s Governorship and National assemblies elections. Leading political parties have intensified preparations towards the elections. Lagos State has been set for a battle between the incumbent Sanwo-Olu of the APC. Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the LP and Mr. Jandor of the PDP. It promises to be the most fascinating and unpredictable elections in years.
IN OTHER NEWS
The National Rail Corporation, NRC, has today started work on the train crash that occurred at Ikeja last week. The body says it has begun construction of underground pass and overhead bridges at the 11 level crossings across Lagos State to avoid accident. The Managing Director of the corporation, Mr Fidet Okhiria, made this known in an interview with Newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday.
He also said that NRC management had planned to get gate men to stop vehicles and avoid accidents while passing through the level crossings. “The NRC would deploy men and technology to alert road users whenever trains approached the level crossings”. He added.
Okhiria noted that all over the world, people obeyed simple traffic regulations, but in Nigeria motorists usually violated traffic signs. He urged motorists to be more careful while passing through level crossings, reminding them that life had no duplicate.
The Bauchi state police command has declared a federal lawmaker Yakubu Shehu wanted for homicide. While making the announcement, they’ve also placed a bounty of N1 million on him.
Mr Shehu is representing the Bauchi federal constituency on the platform of PRP but later defected to APC. This is contained in the Special Police Gazette Bulletin distributed by the Bauchi police command’s spokesman, Ahmed Wakil. The bulletin said the Nigeria Police Force, under the authority of the inspector general of police, Usman Baba, had declared Mr Shehu wanted.
He is wanted “in connection with a case of criminal conspiracy, causing grievous hurt, inciting disturbances of public peace and culpable homicide. The police are seeking anyone with valid information that will lead to his arrest for interrogation and arraignment on criminal charges.”
The bulletin added that anyone with information that could assist in his arrest should please contact 08151849417 or report at any nearest police station.
It said the security agency asked anyone with useful information about his whereabouts to contact them, promising N1 million as a bounty.
China has opened its borders to foreign visitors for the first time in 3 years. For the past three years, visiting has been banned due to the Covid-19 restrictions. According to the Chinese statement, visa-free entry will resume to the southern island of Hainan and for for cruise ships visiting Shanghai. Visa-free entry will also restart for foreigners traveling from Hong Kong and Macao to neighbouring Guangdong province. Also, tour groups from Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states visiting the provinces of Guilin and Guangxi.
China scrapped quarantine for international arrivals in January in a partial re-opening met with an outpouring of joy and relief from citizens, both the hundreds of millions isolated inside the country for the past three years and those overseas separated from their loved ones.
Visitors in the country are still tasked with taking a Covid test 48 hours before departure and need to fill in the results in their customs health declaration forms.
In an advisory, the US State Department urged American citizens to reconsider any travel to China, including Hong Kong and Macao. This is due to “arbitrary enforcement of local laws” and the risk of wrongful detention.
I wanted to make statement with my outfit – TEMS
Grammy-winning Nigerian artist, Temilade Openiyi, a.k.a TEMS has made a shocking admission.
Remember she was been trolled yesterday because of her outfit at the 95th Oscars award events. She endured a flurry of backlashes after the dress was view-obstructing to some participants who attended the event on Sunday. Well, she has come out to give account of herself on Tuesday afternoon. In an interview with Harper’s Bazzar, Tems disclosed why she went for the elaborate gown. According to the Grammy-award winner, she decided to “go all out” and “make the most” of her first Oscars attendance.
“Two years ago, I would’ve said no to this dress,” she said. “But it’s my first Oscars, I am going to go all out. I really wanted to make the most of the day. The dress is also my way of celebrating my work and the people around me. Celebrating my country and celebrating the people that are rooting for me. This dress says ‘Yes, yes, I am here!’”
Asked what her recent global achievements mean to her, the Damages crooner opined that it was an indication she is on the right path. “If the biggest women in the world love my work to such an extent that they are working with me, then that must say something. My work is actually reaching places, it’s making some type of impact”.
Tems was nominated for Best Original Song at this year’s Oscars for the movie’s soundtrack, ‘Lift Me Up’. She co-wrote the song with superstar singer Rihanna. Kaala Bhairava and Rahul Sipligunj’s ‘Naatu Naatu’, however, won the category.
Arsenal clear all London awards.
Arsenal football club got rewarded last night for a great season so far. The annual London awards where all football clubs based in London get recognized went down yesterday. Mikel Arteta won the manager of the year award. Bukayo Saka won the youngest player of the year award. Martin Odegaard won the best player of the year while Ramsdale won the goalkeeper of the year award. All four winners were representing the Premier league leaders Arsenal.
Also at the awards, the English female football team were also recognized. Arsenal’s Leah Williamson received the award on their behalf.
We are the champions!!
The Uefa champions league return again tonight with four teams vying to make it to the quarter finals stage. Porto of Portugal host Italians Inter while Manchester City welcome German side RB Leipzig to the Etihad, England. Both Inter and Manchester City are favorites to go through after their first leg results.
Thanks for reading.