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No More FOREX For Textiles, Garments Import -CBN

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Textiles and garments imports have joined the FOREX restriction list of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, announced in Abuja, yesterday.
Emefiele made the announcement during a meeting with textile industry stakeholders and added that the policy would take effect immediately.
Nigeria spends an estimated $4billion on imported textiles yearly.
Emefiele said that the restriction would rejuvenate the textile industry in Nigeria and ensure that the needed growth was actualised.
“Accordingly, all FOREX dealers in Nigeria are to desist from granting any importer of textile materials access to forex in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange market.
“In addition, we shall adopt a range of other strategies that will make it difficult for recalcitrant smugglers to operate banking business in Nigeria.
“The details of those strategies will be unfolded in due course,” the governor said.
On the issue of smuggling, he said it would be dealt with seriously to discourage importation of textiles and force sellers of textile and garments to buy from Nigerian producers.
“You know the CBN does not carry guns, arms or have to be at the border posts but we know what we will do to make it difficult for those smugglers to bring in those things into Nigeria and we will unfold those to you.
“So when we make it difficult for them to smuggle those things into the country, it opens the market for you so that those who would have gone to buy those things will be forced to come to you.
“That is one economic solution that I see and since the government itself has already signed an executive order, that will compel everyone to flow in your direction.”
As part of CBN’s intervention for the industry, Emefiele said the bank would support the importation of cotton lint for use in textile factories, with a caveat that such importers shall begin sourcing all their cotton needs locally beginning from 2020.
He added that as part of its Anchor Borrowers Programme, the CBN would support local growers of cotton to enable them to meet the needs of the textile industry in Nigeria.
He also said that the bank would support efforts to source high yield cotton seedlings to ensure the yields from Nigeria’s cotton farmers met global benchmarks.
Emefiele also assured the stakeholders that the bank would provide financial support to textile manufacturers with the provision of funds at single digit rate to refit, retool and upgrade their factories.
This, he said, was for them to be able to produce high quality textile materials for local and export market.
The governor also assured the stakeholders that regarding provision of stable electricity, the CBN would support the creation of textile production centres in certain designated areas where access to electricity would be guaranteed.
“In 2016, the CBN began discussions with the Kano and Kaduna States government to establish textile industrial areas in a bid to guarantee stable electricity in those industrial areas.
“We would intensify efforts with these governments and others that may show keen interest to see to the quick actualisation of such programmes.
“We believe that these measures will discourage smuggling, resuscitate this critical industry, and support your efforts at creating jobs for Nigerians.”
Emefiele decried the moribund Nigerian textile industry, adding that in the 1970s and early 1980s, Nigeria was home to Africa’s largest textile industry, with over 180 textile mills in operation, which employed close to over 450,000 people.

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Eco Currency: Finance Ministers, C’Bank Govs Oppose Buhari, Others

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Nigeria and some other West African countries have kicked against the adoption of Eco as regional currency by President Muhammadu Buhari and others.
This is contained in a communiqué read by the Minister for Economy and Finance of the Republic of Guinea, Mr Mamadi Camara, in Abuja, yesterday.
The communiqué was issued after an Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the Ministers of Finance and Governors of the Central Banks of the Member States of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ).
Camara said the meeting noted with concern, the declaration by the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Alasane Outtarra on December 21, 2019 to unilaterally rename the CFA Franc as “Eco” by 2020.
He said: “WAMZ Convergence Council wishes to emphasise that this action is not in line with the decisions of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for the adoption of the “Eco” as the name of an independent ECOWAS Single Currency.
“WAMZ Convergence Council re-iterates the importance for all ECOWAS member countries to adhere to the decisions of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government toward the implementation of the revised roadmap of the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme.
“The WAMZ Convergence Council recommends that an Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the WAMZ Member States be convened soon to discuss this matter and other related issues.”
According to him, those at the meeting are, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Gambia, Mambury Njie and Minister of Finance of Ghana, Ken Ofori Atta.
Others were Minister of Finance and Development Planning Liberia, Samuel Tweah Jr, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Nigeria, Zainab Ahmed and the Minister of Finance, Sierra Leone, Jacob Shaffa.
Also in attendance were Central Bank governors of Gambia, Mr Buah Saidy, Gambia; Ernest Addison of Ghana; Louncenry Nabe of Guinea; Aloysius Tarlue of Liberia; Godwin Emefiele, Nigeria and Kelfala Kallon of Sierra Leone.
The Tide reports that eight West African countries had agreed to change the name of their common currency to Eco, thereby effectively severing the CFA franc’s links to former colonial ruler, France.
The countries include Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

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RSG Dispels Rumours Of Unapproved Structures Demolitions

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The Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Engr Austin Ben-Chioma, has dispelled rumours making the rounds that the state government demolished structures that were not originally marked by the construction company handling the Rumuogba flyover project for demolition.
Ben-Chioma, who cleared the air on the rumours, on Tuesday in a chat with newsmen while supervising the demolition exercise, noted that the ministry only demolished structures that the construction company, Julius Berger had marked as being in the Right of Way (RoW) of the flyover, and for which compensation was paid.
He said that there was enough evidence to show that the ministry had not exceeded the demolition instruction given by Julius Berger Plc.
According to him, “I am on site and evidences are shown as you can see that we did not exceed the red line marked by Berger” adding that the property owners, “are not telling the truth because the evidences are visible and verifiable”.
The commissioner pointed out that, of the three flyovers under construction, the Rumuogba flyover was the longest with about 517.5 metres length.
He, however, noted that there was the challenge of high-rise buildings along the path, which must be cut to maintain the RoW of the flyover, having given the property owners till Thursday, January, 16 (yesterday) to do the reduction themselves to avoid using the ministry’s tractors which could negatively impact the buildings.
On the payment of compensations to those affected by the demolition, the works commissioner said 95 per cent of the compensation had been paid already to affected landlords.
“Government has paid 95 per cent of compensation to property owners and they are complying with the process,” he said.
Corroborating the claims, the consultant in charge of compensation for demolished structures, Mr Emma Wike, said all affected landlords would be paid what is due them by the end of the week.
According to him, most of the claimants, we sent them letters and those that gave power of attorney to consultants, estate surveyors and valuers or lawyers, we also wrote to them and informed them this is where the payment is being held. They’ve been coming to collect their money; within the week, we are going to pay more and if we do that, it will be remaining less than 10 percent of those that have not collected their money.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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CBN Gets New Deputy Gov

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President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated Dr. Kingsley Obiora as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
If confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Obiora will replace Dr. Joseph Nnanna, who retires on February 2, 2020.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, said the President has already forwarded a letter nominating Dr. Obiora to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has sent the name of Dr. Kingsley Isitua Obiora to the Senate for confirmation as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“In a letter to President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, President Buhari said the nomination was in accordance with the provision of Section 8(1) (2) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act 2007.
“Dr. Obiora, upon confirmation by the Senate, replaces Dr. Joseph Nnanna, who retires on February 2, 2020.
“Dr. Obiora holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin, a Masters in Economics from the University of Ibadan, and a Doctorate in Monetary and International Economics, also from the University of Ibadan.
“He is currently an Alternate Executive Director in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, United States of America”, the statement said.
Since joining IMF as an Economist in 2007, Dr. Obiora has worked in various countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
While on leave from the IMF, he worked with the Nigerian government as Special Assistant to the President’s Chief Economic Adviser and Technical Adviser to the National Economic Management Team.

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