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Jonathan Lists Benefits Of New CBN Complex

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Construction of an ultramodern complex at Port Harcourt branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN was necessitaed by an urgent need to provide state of the art building infrastructure that would enable CBN carry out its banking, regulatory and developmental functions to cope with increased volume of banking activities in Rivers State.

President Goodluck Jonathan who stated this Friday, at the commissioning ceremony of the new CBN complex in Port Harcourt said the initiative was a fallout of the bank’s deliberate policy of renovating and updating its facilities.

The president who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala stated that, “a work place must not only be worker-friendly and conducive but must equally be vistors or other users friendly and conducive.”

He expressed satisfaction over the bank’s effort in providing good infrastructural facilities for its operation and also commended various reforms undertaken in the banking sector in the last few years. He noted that such bold initiatives have restored tremendous confidence in the nation’s banking system.

“Initiatives of the bank in the real sectors of the economy and their salutary effects are in tandem with my government’s Transformation Agenda, a major plank of which is to make Nigeria the preferred investment destination in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Mr President.

Other concerted efforts of the bank including its shared services initiative in the banking sector, he remarked, were aimed at reducing banks overheads and thus reduce lending cost and other banking charges as the industry gears up to enhance lending to the real sectors of the economy to power rapid growth in the years ahead.

President Jonathan particularly commended CBN for its roles in the economy saying they have been very remarkable and totally in consonance with and supportive of the policies of his administration.

In his own address, the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi stated that Port Harcourt branch of the bank which was established on October 17, 1964 was second after Central Bank of Nigeria, Lagos and noted that the branch was strategic because of the geographical position of this part of the Eastern Region, as a sea port and hub of economic and financial activities.

The CBN Governor explained that the old building constructed in the early 60’s was in capacity, facilities, vault size and aestatic value no longer in sync with the public infrastructure provided by the host State Government.

Sanusi maintained that CBN was determined to constantly monitor the banking system to ensure that it remains robust and competitive while providing financial intermediation that would propel economic growth and development.

Sanusi who used the occasion to highlight some of the bank’s policy initiatives, explained that the recent initiative on less cash in transaction policy billed to commence June next year is aimed at addressing the currency management challenges in the country as well as enhancing the national payments system.

“The Nigerian economy is heavily cash-oriented in the transaction of goods and services. The huge cash transaction increases the operational costs of the banking sector which is passed down to the customers in the form of high service charges and high lending rates,” he explained.

Chris Oluoh

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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