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Nigerians groan as Naira scarcity persists nationwide

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A few days into the Christmas and New Year festivities, Nigerians are once again grappling with a shortage of Naira notes. Despite assurances from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regarding the availability of currency notes, the resurgence of Naira scarcity, akin to the cash crunch experienced in December last year and the first quarter of 2023 due to the failed Naira redesign policy, is beginning to impact Nigerians significantly.

As of Monday, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in various parts of the country are either not dispensing cash or are witnessing long queues. DMBs have imposed maximum withdrawal limits ranging from N20,000 to N50,000, and transaction fees through Point-of-Sale operators (PoS) have doubled due to the scarcity.

Despite the CBN attributing the Naira scarcity to panic withdrawals by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) from various CBN branches, it insists there is no actual scarcity and that the economy has an adequate supply of currency. However, the prevailing situation contradicts the CBN’s assertion.

Dr. Uju Ogunbunka, the President of the Bank Customers’ Association of Nigeria, dismissed the CBN’s explanation as meaningless and emphasized the real scarcity of Naira in the country. He urged the CBN to fulfill its mandate by printing more currency to facilitate transactions.

Elegede Segun, the secretary-elect of the Mobile Money and Agent Banking industry in Nigeria, highlighted that PoS operators were severely affected by the Naira scarcity, resulting in increased charges to avoid losses. Banks’ cash withdrawal limits and scarcity-induced self-help measures among the public have contributed to the challenges faced by PoS vendors.

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Renowned economist Prof Segun Ajibola criticized the CBN’s reason for the Naira scarcity, urging the regulator to diagnose and address the problem swiftly to prevent counterfeiters from taking advantage.

Mr. Idakolo Gbolade, CEO of SD & D Capital Management, attributed the Naira scarcity to communication issues between the CBN, DMBs, and the public. He emphasized the need for improved communication from the CBN to assure Nigerians that there is no reason to hoard Naira notes.

The Naira redesign policy implemented from December 2022 to February 2023 led to a cash crunch until the Supreme Court extended the deadline to December 31, 2023, and later vacated the extension following a federal government request.

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Gov Yusuf reappoints Sanusi as Emir of Kano, orders ex-monarchs 48 hours to vacate seats

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Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf has approved the reappointment of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II as Emir of Kano under the new laws.

The governor has given former emirs 48 hours to vacate their palaces and hand over Emirate Council properties to the Commissioner of Local Government, who also serves as State Deputy Governor.

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State has signed the Kano Emirates Bill 2024 into law, repealing the 2019 Emirate Councils Law that altered the state’s over 1000-year history.

By signing the bill, the governor declared that the 2019 law has been repealed and is now history.

The signing was attended by the Speaker of the State Assembly, Ismaila Falgore, Deputy Governor Aminu Abdussalam, Secretary to the State Government Abdullahi Baffa Bichi and others.

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The State Assembly has fulfilled one of its constitutional roles by signing the bill into law.

CREDIT: DAILY POST

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Europa League: Lookman nominated for Player of the Week

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Ademola Lookman has been nominated for the UEFA Europa League Player of the Week. The Nigerian international delivered an outstanding performance, scoring a hat-trick in Atalanta’s 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday night.

His teammates, Davide Zappacosta and Ederson, have also been nominated for the award.

Additionally, Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapie is in the running for the accolade.

Lookman previously won the Player of the Week award during Atalanta’s semi-final victory against Olympic Marseille, where he recorded a goal and an assist in the second leg of the match.

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National Council on Sports: Tinubu lauds Mbah over safe environment, support

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Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu, praised Enugu State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah, for creating a safe and conducive environment for the country’s sports stakeholders to gather for a national sports council meeting. Tinubu commended Mbah’s commitment to promoting sports, highlighting his administration’s satisfaction with these efforts.

Governor Mbah announced that his administration has partnered with the private sector to develop a state-of-the-art sports park aimed at enhancing sports development and talent discovery in the state.

During the inaugural National Council on Sports (NCS) meeting held in Enugu on Wednesday, President Tinubu, represented by the Minister of Special Duties, Hon. Zaphaniah Jisalo, emphasized the significant role sports play in a nation’s development. He noted that sports are not only a form of entertainment and recreation but also a business that warrants substantial investment.

Speaking on the theme “Sports for National Unity and Socio-Economic Growth,” President Tinubu urged Nigerians to view sports as a means to foster unity, promote health, and drive economic growth. He highlighted the opportunities sports provide for young people to develop character, discipline, and leadership skills, and called for innovative approaches to enhance sporting potential, inclusivity, and equal opportunities for all Nigerians, regardless of gender, age, or physical ability.

Governor Peter Mbah emphasized that sports serve as a powerful unifying tool, transcending tribe, language, and creed. He highlighted Enugu’s rich sporting heritage, including the achievements of Rangers International Football Club, and urged stakeholders to invest in the sports industry through effective partnerships.

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Mbah stressed the significant economic impact of sports globally and encouraged both public and private sector investment in the industry. He noted that his administration’s partnership with private investors to build a state-of-the-art sports park would provide a platform for youth talent discovery and sports enthusiasm. The facilities at the sports park will include training areas, athlete housing, and a physical therapy and sports medicine center.

Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, remarked that Enugu was chosen to host the inaugural National Council on Sports due to its strategic importance in the nation’s sporting landscape. He emphasized the need for investment in sports infrastructure, talent development, and grassroots programs to nurture athletic talent, stimulate local economies, create jobs, and promote healthier lifestyles among Nigerians.

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