Connect with us






*Govs demand concurrent use of new and old notes till year end, postponement of February 10 deadline for currency swap 

*President begs for 7 days to resolve cash crunch 

*Emefiele: No plans to extend deadline for old naira 

*Protests in Ibadan, Warri, Benin

*Akeredolu to Buhari: Cash, petrol scarcity may yield unpleasant consequences, act now 

*Deploy more money agents, Osinbajo tells banks

Deji Elumoye in Abuja, Nume Ekeghe in Lagos, Fidelis David in Akure, Sylvester Idowu in Warri, Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

Eleven governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) met with President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday at the State House, Abuja, over the lingering cash crunch in the country following the Naira redesign, and demanded for the concurrent use of the new and old notes till the end of this year.

At the meeting, which was also attended by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, President Buhari rejected the demand of the governors and urged Nigerians to give him a seven-day grace to resolve the cash crunch.
Many Nigerians are finding it difficult to obtain the new Naira notes, resulting in protests in parts of the country like Benin, Ibadan and Warri.
The governors sought to share with Buhari the negative impact of the Central Bank’s policy, which they said had been undermining the painstaking efforts that had been put forth by this administration in transforming the economy.
But the President said the objective of the policy was not to create hardship but to provide the economy with much needed revitalisation and the benefits will be borne in the medium to long term.

Unfortunately, Buhari said, “inefficiencies and underhanded practices being carried out on the part of our banks as the primary distribution medium, have destabilised the smooth and successful execution of the policy.
“Some banks are inefficient and only concerned about themselves. An extension of the time frame within which to complete this process will be made insignificant for as long as greed and selfishness continue to guide our actions.”
The President said he had received and seen televised reports about cash shortages and undue hardships that local businesses and the citizens are being subjected to and gave assurances that the balance of the seven of the 10-day extension will be used to rectify whatever issues that pose a threat to successful implementation.

While continuing to monitor the situation, the President assured that he would be meeting with both the CBN and the Security and Minting Company and a decision would be taken based on current realities in the best interest of the people.
The President stated that when considering the policy, prior to its initial approval, he demanded an undertaking from the CBN that no new notes would be printed outside the country, and he received firm assurances that there was enough capacity, manpower and equipment for the domestic execution of this exercise.
However, the president said he would interrogate these assurances as part of his engagement with the responsible agencies of government.
Finally, he thanked the governors for bringing the cries of the people to him, given their proximity to them and assured that there would be a solution to the problem.

Earlier, the governors, led by Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, while briefing the President, reiterated their position which is in full support of the policy decision to redesign the currency, and were convinced about the intent behind its thinking, but shared their concern regarding the current fallout which has a debilitating impact on their constituencies.
They told the President that as leaders within the party and the government in their various states, they were becoming anxious regarding the economic impact and the potential erosion to the democratic process, particularly the upcoming general elections.
They, therefore, requested that the President directs an adequate injection of the new notes and the continued utilisation of the old ones until the end of the year.
Speaking with newsmen after the APC governors’ session with the President, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State disclosed that they urged Buhari to allow both the old and new naira notes to co-exist to ease the suffering of Nigerians while also postponing the February 10 deadline to complete the currency swap.
The governor, who spoke with some reporters in Hausa, said while the CBN mopped up over N2 trillion of the old notes, it printed only N300 billion which was not enough to cater for citizens’ needs.

El-Rufai, who was in the company of his Kano State counterpart, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, said the apex bank should have printed at least half of what they mopped up, which is N1 trillion if it had wanted to implement the cashless policy.
According to him, the governors told the president that the masses were suffering and traders were losing their goods due to lack of patronage, citing the case of tomato sellers that travelled to Lagos with their goods but all got wasted because people have no money to buy.
El-Rufai, who said the governors appealed to the president to reconsider his earlier stance, however, said he did not tell them yes or no.
He added that Bagudu went back to meet the President privately with the hope of convincing him.

On the notion that he criticized the President because he wanted to become “a godfather”, the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) said: “I don’t criticize President Buhari. I have never criticized President Buhari, it’s only those working with him who are telling him lies, they don’t tell him the truth, and they don’t tell him what the people are going through on these policies or decisions that are taken.
“What President Buhari brought, we support it. We know the reason he wants to do something, but they are not doing it right and they don’t tell him the right thing. We, the true followers of Buhari are not using him to get money for shopping, we are mandated to tell him the truth, and that’s what we’ve done.
“President Buhari himself knows me, he knows how we have been together, all these allegations I’m used to hearing them. Which godfather am I looking for? Tinubu is our Presidential candidate, we want him to win the election.

Emefiele Rules Out Further Extension of Deadline

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele at a press briefing in Lagos yesterday stated that there would be no further extension of the Naira swap.
He urged Nigerians to be calm, reassuring that the CBN is working assiduously to address all the challenges related to the redesign of Naira notes and the unavailability of cash.
He added that undue charges by Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) and super agents would be stopped.
He further reiterated that the policy was not targeted at any politicians as stated by some political bigwigs.
He said: “We do see that there will be some transient or temporary pains. But we are appealing, we are begging, we are on our knees begging people to please show understanding they should be calm. In our meetings with the banks, we have told them to set up tents and chairs, and give people numbers, which I’m sure some people will say is old-fashioned.
“But at this time that we’re trying to get the currency to circulate there should be a queuing arrangement and please be patient. The assurance we give is that it would eventually go around. “Eventually, the limits would be raised and the limits would be removed and people would be able to conduct their exchanges and businesses in the way it has always been in the past.”

Also, on the clamour to move the deadline by one year, Emefiele said: “I would say no. I’m sure that people are going to say that only last Tuesday, I said no, but I want to say unfortunately again, this time, we will not be looking at an extension of the deadline. Because we at the central bank, the deposit money banks, and other very important stakeholders, we are looking at areas where there is pressure and we are doing everything possible to address those areas of pressure.”
On the allegation that the Naira redesign is solely directed at a presidential candidate, he refuted such claims and stated that the policy was in line with best practices of managing the macroeconomy.
He said since the commencement of the programme, N2.1 trillion had been collected, leaving about N900 billion balance.

IG Orders Arrest, Prosecution of Naira Notes Racketeers

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has ordered the arrest and subsequent prosecution of all individuals engaged in the sale or abuse of the new Naira notes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The Force spokesperson, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, revealed this in a statement yesterday.
Baba directed the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department and the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Intelligence Bureau to place officers and men of the department and the bureau across the nation on high alert to carry out the directives.
The police chief noted that this was in furtherance of the federal government’s policy and drive to uphold the provisions of the CBN Act, 2007, and dignify Nigeria’s currency.

The IG similarly charged all supervisory AIGs and Commissioners of Police in charge of police commands and formations to carry out full enforcement of the provisions of Sections 20 and 21 of the CBN Act, 2007 which criminalises, among other things, the hawking, selling or otherwise trading of the Naira.
“And, also, the spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira notes, falsifying or counterfeiting of bank notes, refusal to accept the Naira as a means of payment, tampering with the coin or note issued by the CBN,” the statement read.
Adejobi further noted that the IGP reiterated the mandate of the NPF to enforce all laws and regulations without any prejudice to the enabling Acts of other security agencies.
He also urged “all and sundry to cooperate with the police as it brings the long arm of the law to bear upon all violators of the provisions of the CBN Act, and other extant statutes in Nigeria, with a view to having a well-policed society in all ramifications within the country.”

Akeredolu to Buhari: Cash, Petrol Scarcity May Yield Unpleasant Consequences

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has advised President Buhari to take urgent steps to address the scarcity of Naira notes and petrol price hike in the country.
The petrol crisis and scarcity of Naira notes are resulting in protests in parts of the country.
In a statement yesterday, Akeredolu said the current situation was a recipe for “unpleasant consequences” if not properly handled.
He said: “The struggles and actual fights recorded in banking halls, ATMs and POS points, and markets across the country are disquieting. The choice of this period for the implementation of a policy, which bears an instant negative impact with no discernible mitigation in sight, raises serious suspicion of partisanship on the part of the CBN.
“The ordinary people are the victims. Depositors can no longer access their monies even to feed their families. Hunger is not the anticipated result of a monetary policy.

“While no reasonable person will contend with the decision of the CBN to discharge its statutory functions, the plight of the downtrodden must, however, be considered. Majority of Nigerians groan, at present, under the crushing weight of these crises.
“There is pervasive discontent in the land and unless some urgent redemptive steps are taken to ameliorate the debilitating effects of seeming desultory and nonchalant disruptions of their normal simple lives, a series of events with unpleasant consequences is inevitable.
“There is palpable anger engendered by frustration in the land. The wave of discontent increases with unbelievable rapidity across the country. The current hardship being experienced by the ordinary people forebodes unpleasant consequences. These crises may set in motion a chain of events, the end of which is better imagined.

“The federal government must make a categorical pronouncement on the availability of petrol and its price since it is the general belief that the country still pays humongous amounts as subsidy. A situation which permits a few individuals to inflict pains on the populace, seemingly without check, is deplorable.
“Emefiele must come clean on the new monetary policy. Nigerians are practically buying the country’s currency to feed when we are not in a state of war.
“The fact that the ruling party hopes to present candidates for election in the general elections in the coming weeks accentuates the level of suspicion as regards the possibility of having certain elements whose interests stand at variance with the general aspirations of the party and its committed members.
“There is no better way to de-market a brand than this ruthless execution of a pernicious motive. The Federal Government, through the President (Muhammadu Buhari), must act now.”

Deploy More Money Agents, Osinbajo Tells Banks

Concerned about the difficulty experienced by Nigerians in getting the new Naira notes, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo met with some players in the FinTech space yesterday, with a view to exploring possible ways of mitigating the hardship.
Specifically, the Vice President at the meeting held at the State House, Abuja, urged regulators and the banks to deploy more FinTechs and money agents to the hinterlands to address the worrying situation.
Osinbajo said: “You need cash to pay for transport. For instance, in Abuja how do you take ‘drop or along’ or use a Keke NAPEP without cash, or buy foodstuff on the road or in canteens, or even buy recharge cards?

“Parents with kids in public schools give money daily to their children for lunch, most commerce is informal, so you need cash for most things.”
During the interactive session with a number of FinTech investors and ecosystem players, the Vice President said the CBN and the commercial banks should work with all FinTechs that have mobile money agents, not just some of them, in order to reach the farthest places in the country.
According to him, “it seems to me that banks must engage their mobile money operators – FinTechs with mobile money licenses and many of them have micro-finance bank licenses now and already have a network of mobile money agents or human banks or human ATMs (as they are sometimes called) who are responsible to them and they can supervise by themselves. They can do currency swaps and open bank accounts.”

Speaking further about some of the concerns arising from the redesign of the new naira notes, Osinbajo disclosed that more disturbing is the fact that after depositing your old notes, there are no new notes, so people everywhere in the urban areas and rural areas simply have no money.
The Vice President acknowledged that “there are logistical challenges that have to be addressed by the CBN and the banks, especially from the point of view of the average Nigerian and those in the hinterland who hardly use any electronic platforms.”

Protest in Warri, Benin, Ibadan

Scores of youths and women barricaded major roads in Warri and environs yesterday protesting fuel hike and the scarcity of Naira notes in the country.
The angry protesters took over the ever-busy Warri-Sapele road in Warri, breaching socio-economic activities along the route.
Another band took over the NPA expressway, by Delta Broadcasting Station, setting fire at the two sections causing traffic gridlock on the busy road.
The protesters accused fuel marketers and various bank managers of being responsible for the current hardship befalling citizens.
The protest, which started at about 10 am, took a concerted effort of soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Effurun to calm and dislodge the protesters, promising to prevail on relevant authorities to address the situation.

The protesters lamented that the Naira notes are being sold in high amounts by bankers and POS operators and fuel is also being hoarded by marketers.
According to the protesters, many families were now dying of hunger due to the scarcity of the Naira notes, as internet banking is being frustrated by bad networks.
In Benin City, Edo State, depositors who could not access their funds in different banks in the city blocked the ever-busy King Square (Ring Road) to traffic in protest.
The protest caused diversion of vehicular traffic to adjourning streets and roads.
The depositors, who are majorly youths, turned down all pleas from a detachment of police and men of the Edo State Traffic Management Agency who were available to control the traffic.

Residents of Ibadan metropolis, in large numbers yesterday, stormed major roads protesting against refusal of commercial banks in the city to dispense new redesigned naira notes through the ATMs and over the counter.
The protest which began peacefully at Agodi-Gate axis turned violent in some parts with the burning of a police station and destruction of public utilities.
When the protesters stormed the Oyo State Secretariat, Agodi, a police officer attached to the Governor’s office was injured during an attack.
The protesters who came with sticks, woods, broken bottles and other dangerous weapons forced the two main gates of the Secretariat open making the security operatives on ground to run for their lives.

However, an unconfirmed report said the police station at Agodi-Gate was set on fire, after a confrontation with officers of Operation Burst.
In most areas, roads were blocked while tyres were set on fire with thick smoke all over the sky.
In some areas, angry protesters resorted to molesting harmless passersby and extorting money from them.
The situation thus forced many banks to hurriedly shut down operations in the city.

There were reports that some banks were attacked by the protesters who were said to have damaged some of the ATMs.
Most major roads in Ibadan were deserted, while people were seen with green leaves trekking long distances.
Armed policemen in their patrol vehicles were stationed along the road to prevent breakdown of law and order.
Areas mostly affected by the protest included Agodi Gate, Idi Ape, Iwo Road, Mokola, Dugbe and Monatan.
In October 2022, Emefiele announced the plan to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, and asked Nigerians to deposit their old notes before January 31, 2023 when they would cease to be legal tender.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


‘We’ll Make Sure Green Passport Regains It’s Pride’, FG Tells EU



The federal government has said that it has embarked on key reforms towards ensuring that Nigeria’s international passport regains it’s pride through key reforms through reduce identity theft and transparency in passport processing.

Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, made this known while hosting the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Nigeria, Samuela Isopi, weekend in Abuja.

He said, “We have commenced the process to unbottle the bottlenecks in our international passport application and collection process. Today, we have made huge progress. We are also working on ways to reduce identity theft. We want to make sure the green passport regains its pride and integrity.”

““If we are able to solve crime and migration problems in Nigeria, Africa will be better for it.

“Due to the boundaries Africa shares with the EU, our problems are more of an EU problem than any other part of the world. And, because we are committed to solving this, we will explore all avenues.”

Urging the EU to support the federal government’s drive for reforms in the area of deploying technology to buffer and enhance border management architecture within the country, he said “The European Union is important to the socio-economic development of Nigeria. Our relationship with the EU is historical in terms of but not limited to bilateral support.”

The minister explained that there are also plans to decongest the nation’s correctional facilities across the country because over seventy per cent of the 79,000 inmates in the nation’s custodial centers are awaiting trial.

“We have over 4000 inmates in the facilities for their inability to pay various fines. We believe we can reduce the number of inmates in our correctional facilities by about forty per cent if we explore non-custodial alternatives as provided for in the Correctional Service Act, ” Dr. Tunji-Ojo said in a communique signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Also Babatunde.

On her part, Isopi said the EU will continue to support Nigeria as well as provide technical support in managing the illegal aspect of migration as well as curbing human trafficking and people smuggling.

Continue Reading


Troops Kill 52 Terrorists, Arrest Seven Suspected Oil Thieves, Others



Troops on the frontline have eliminated 52 terrorists and rescued 61 kidnapped victims. The troops also arrested 53 criminals, and seven suspected oil thieves, amongst others.
A total of seven terrorists comprising five men, one woman have also surrendered to troops. This disclosure was made by spokesman of Defence Media Operations (DMO), Major General Edward Buba. Buba was speaking on ongoing military operations by the Armed Forces of Nigeria as at September 22, 2023.

According to him, “The mission of the military against terrorists and other violent extremist groups in the country remains unchanged. The armed forces will continue with aggressive operations to force these groups to submission.

“Accordingly, troops of Operation HADIN KAI in the North East were engaged in ambushes, raids, rescue operations, fighting patrols, attacks as well as cordon and search activities. These operations resulted in neutralised terrorist, rescued hostages, surrender of terrorist combatants as well as recovery of arms and ammunition.

“The operational activities of troops of Joint Task Force Operation HADARIN DAJI in the North Central ranged from rescue of kidnap victims within Tsafe local council of Zamfara to artillery missions on terrorist massing up in the forest.

“Others include the arrest of terrorist collaborators and the conduct of offensive activities to disrupt terrorist freedom of action.”

“The operational activities of troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN during the period range from conduct of raids and arrest of terrorists at Afana village in Zangon Kataf of local council of Kaduna State. Troops also arrested cattle rustlers in Dogo Nahawa Bush Jos South, Bokkos and Mangu councils of Plateau State. Troops recovered weapons at Kulben village in Mangu local council of Plateau State.

“During the period under review, troops of Operation WIRL STROKE conducted 22 operations; 13 fighting patrols, 6 confidence building patrols and one raid operation in Mbaayande, Mbamazu and Mbaagudu villages of Konshiga council of Benue State. Similarly, fighting patrol was conducted in Logo council while some arrests were made around Okpokwu council of Benue State.

“Troops of Joint Task Force Operations UDOKA and Operation SEARCH AND FLUSH in the South East region sustained momentum in the fight against insecurity the region. Troops responded to distress calls, responded to foil kidnappers’ activities in Okigwe local council of Imo State, conducted fighting patrol to Isu Onichain Onicha local council of Ebonyi State and apprehended five suspected IPOB/ESN terrorists in Ikwo and Ihiala local councils of Ebonyi and Anambra States respectively.

“Troops of Operation UDO KA also conducted raid operations on IPOB/ESN camps in Ohafia local councils of Abia State. The operation led to the recovery of one improvised 16 MBRL gun mounted on a vehicle with other arms and ammunition. Sadly, a joint patrol team of operation SEARCH AND FLUSH (SAR) suffered a setback when responding to a distress call in Ehime Mbano LGA of Imo State.

“They were ambushed by members of the Proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed affiliated Eastern Security Network (ESN). Meanwhile, troops operations led to rescue of kidnapped hostages and others.

“Overall, as at September 22, 2023, the armed forces neutralised 52 terrorists and arrested the following: 53 criminals, 7 suspected oil thefts while rescuing 61 kidnapped hostages. Additionally, a total of 7 terrorists comprising of 5 adult males, 1 adult female surrendered to troops.

“Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE denied oil theft of an estimated sum of N946,387,570.00 being value of seizures. The operations in South-South resulted in the recovery of the following; 496,250 litres of stolen crude oil, 83,400 litres of illegally refined AGO, 1,200 litres of PMS, 4 pumping machines, 5 Speed Boats, 34 dugout pits, 57 storage tanks, 16 wooden boats, 85 ovens and 3 outboard engines.

“Troops recovered a total number of 77 weapons and 658 assorted kinds of ammunition. The breakdown as follows; 53 AK47 rifle, 2 AK47 rifles loaded with 8 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 18 locally fabricated rifles, 1 beretta pistol, 3 pump action guns, 650 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 50 AK47 magazines, 2 rounds of 9mm ammo, 6 rounds of 7.62 NATO, 5 fragmentation jackets.

“Furthermore, troops recovered 15 vehicles, 12 motorcycles, 12 Bicycles, 5 mobile phones, 12 cutlasses, 2 generator sets, 2 gas Cylinders, 133 livestocks and a sum of N602,000 and Airtel airtime worth N8,000.

“The military will, through its operations continue to make improvements towards ensuring safety of citizens and restoring security across the country. Citizens are encouraged to “know something, say something and let the military do something about it.”

Continue Reading


Akwa Ibom Lawmaker Cautions Students Against Cultism



The Senator representing Akwa Ibom South Senatorial district at the National Assembly, Senator Ekong Sampson, has advised secondary school students in the state to shun the practice of cultism as it can destroy their future careers.

He advised them to face their studies seriously, adding that great leaders of today never made it through cultism, but through a dint of hard work in educational pursuits.

Sampson, who is the Vice chairman of, the Senate Committee on Education, gave the admonition while celebrating his 57th birthday with the students at Saint Francis Secondary School, in the Eket Local government area of the state at the weekend.

Giving reasons why he chose to celebrate his birthday in the classroom, the senator said he is a product of education, adding that he became what he is because he took his education pursuit seriously.

While noting that education remains the key to a sustainable and successful life, the senator prayed that he would want to see them excel in their chosen careers, becoming medical doctors, engineers, pilots and so forth.

He said ” I’m here as a product of education, I have worked hard to promote education because without education I wouldn’t have been where I am today.

‘”Today, I am the Vice chairman Senate Committee on Education, I thank the Senate President, senator Godswill Akpabio, and my colleagues who allowed me to be involved in education in the Senate. The more we promote education, the more we tackle social vices that confront us such as insecurity and the rest.

“So, we must not leave education in the hands of government alone; every stakeholder should be involved in education. During my birthday, I go to school to teach. I have taught in  Mkpat-Enin school, last year, I was at Mbo, and today is the turn of Eket.

“We are thanking God that Akwa Ibom State is taking centre stage through a young man called John Obot, who has broken the Guinness World Record in marathon reading aloud. John Obot has become a national and international Icon.

“Don’t allow yourself to be involved in cultism because cultists cannot get to where I am today. Governor Udom Emmanuel is not a cultist, Senator Godswill Akpabio is not a cultist, President Bola Tinubu, from what I have heard is not a cultist; they all made it through education.

He promised to build a befitting staff quarter for the school and transform in the entire school.

The senator started the celebration with a lecture he delivered titled ” Imagination in Essay Composition: Unity in tenses at the end of which he donated a token to a few students who excelled in the spelling competition.

Continue Reading


Copyright © Estreet On TV 2023