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Umahi Declares Support For FG’s Border Closure

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Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi, has declared support for the Federal Government’s closure of the nation’s borders, commending President Muhammadu Buhari for his courage in taking the action.
Umahi made the declaration last Monday at Onueke, headquarters of Ezza South Local Government Area of the State, while declaring open the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Account Opening Week (AOW).
According to him, the nation will gain tremendously from the closure.
Umahi urged Nigerians to weigh the option of consuming poison from foreign produced-rice and ‘killers’ crossing the borders into the country in the name of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) treaty.
“We should consider the benefits of protecting lives and quote me anywhere, I support the president on the issue of border closure.
“The closure of border means that the illegal smuggling of petroleum products is minimised and so many other benefits,” he said.
The governor queried the pressure from other countries for Nigeria to open the borders, noting that they should not be more ‘Catholic than the Pope’.
“When China closed its economy against the world, it sat and provided a pathway for its survival, bearing in mind, its population.
“When it eventually opened its economy to the world, one can see that it is a super power and so our nation should not be a dumping ground.
“I believe the CBN supports the border closure because it has helped to ‘shore’ up the value of the Naira,” he said.
Umahi said the campaign for the opening of accounts would be intensified in the state during the period, as political officer holders, especially the new appointed ones will be expected to open accounts if they have not.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman should stop paying party executives by cash and when one includes the market women of over 10, 000 who are expected to open accounts, we will have about 15, 000.
“We will support each rural farmer who has not opened account from the 64 LGA development centres with N1, 000 to open accounts.
“The CBN must therefore, lobby the development centre coordinators to ensure that the beneficiaries do not have to come to Abakaliki to do this,” he said.
CBN Abakaliki Branch Controller, Mr Chris Adayi, said that the event which started from December 2 to December 7, was going on across five other states of the country namely: Bayelsa, Ondo, Kano, Nasarawa and Gombe.

“The AOW is an initiative of the Bankers Committee, Financial Service Providers and all financial inclusion stakeholders in the state.
“We are expecting to open 47, 000 to 50, 000 new accounts and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) in 2019 and 2020 respectively, and this means a lot of work for us.
“The activity is part of the initiatives aimed at driving collective action and achieving the intended targets, while targeting the grassroots,” he said.
Adayi said that during the event, deposit money banks, micro finance banks, pension, insurance and capital market operators would mobilise to open accounts for the citizens.

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CBN Warns FG Against Rising Debt, Recession …As MPC Increases Cash Ratio To 27.5%

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cautioned the Federal Government on its borrowing.
Addressing journalists at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in Abuja last Friday, CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, cautioned that “public debt was rising faster than both domestic and external revenues.”
Members of the MPC advised the Federal Government “to tread consciously in interpreting the debt to GDP ratio.”
According to the CBN governor, “the MPC looked at the debt to revenue and felt that there is always a tendency for us to say that our debt level is not high particularly when you begin to compare it to GDP. But we have to begin to look at other ways through which we can raise revenues to be able to fund fiscal operations and that is what the MPC is saying.”
The committee, Emefiele noted, is concerned about “the rising burden of debt services and urged the fiscal authorities to strongly consider building buffers by not sharing all proceeds from the Federation Account at the monthly FAAC meetings to avert the macroeconomic downturn in the event of an oil price shock.”
Also at the meeting, Emefiele announced that the decision has been taken to increase Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) from 22.5% to 27.5%.
Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) is a specified minimum fraction of the total deposits of customers, which commercial banks have to hold as reserves either in cash or as deposits with the Central Bank.
The committee, he said “is confident that increasing the CRR at this time is fortuitous as it will help address monetary induced inflation whilst retaining the benefit from the bank’s loan to Deposit Ratio policy, which has been successful significantly, increasing credit to private sector as well as pursuing market interest rate downwards.”
The committee encouraged the management of the banks “to be more vigorous in its drive, improve access to credit through its pursuit of the LDR policy as doing this would help not only in creating job opportunities but also help in boosting output growth and in moderating prices.”
The CBN governor lamented that the “committee felt that there will be a lot of liquidity in the market and there was a need for the bank to do something to mop the excess liquidity to level that it considers optimal to be able to run the economy in a way that the level of excess liquidity does not become injurious to the economy.”

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Elder Statesman Supports NDDC’s Forensic Audit …Wants Immediate Payment Of Genuine Contractors

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An elder statesman and one of the founding fathers of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Jasper Jumbo, has called on the management of the commission to use the period of forensic auditing to pay genuine contractors who are being owed a backlog of money.
The elder statesman also called on the NDDC to ensure that forensic auditors engaged to audit the accounts of the commission are paid at the end of the exercise without delay.
Chief Jumbo, who is the head of the Jumbo major house in Grand Bonny, made the call while speaking to aviation correspondents last Friday, in Port Harcourt.
He noted that a lot of genuine contractors who did good jobs for the commission were suffering because they are not yet paid.
According to him, paying them would help reduce their suffering.
He said that the forensic auditing is one of the steps being taken to put the NDDC back on track, and as well restore accountability in the commission.
“I am one of the protagonists asking for the setting up of forensic audit because the place was stinking. NDDC is no longer the commission we set up.
“I wrote the blueprint for NDDC and the then OMPADEC. What we as founding fathers saw was no longer what we originated.
“So I went to the National Assembly, and I called on Mr President to set up an investigation into the activities of the commission, which he commendably did, and God will bless him because we do not have another major source that touches the lives of our people.
“A lot of money have come into the commission without much being seen. No legacy project is seen, but trillions of naira have gone down the drain.
“ By the time they finish the forensic auditing, there will be a lot of sanity because people will know that government can bite”, Jumbo said.
The elder statesman, however, expressed reservation on the payment of those that will be engaged in the forensic auditing, pointing out that it is not just to engage the forensic auditors, but that they should be paid at the end of the exercise.
He also urged the commission to look for a way to engage the youths, so as to engender peace in the region.

 

Corlins Walter

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Investors Forum To Promote Mechanised Farming In Rivers

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As part of effort to boost agricultural development in Rivers State, the President, Rivers Investors Forum, Ibifiri Bob-Manuel, has re-affirmed the investors’ commitment towards promoting mechanised farming through value chain manufacturing, with a view to tackling unemployment among the youths.
Bob- Manuel stated this in an interview with newsmen in Port Harcourt during the 2020 Rivers Entrepreneurs and Investors Trustee Forum.
He noted that most countries economy now depends on agriculture, saying that it is only achievable through mechanised agriculture, as subsistent farming with mundane implements was no longer attractive.
He advised Nigerians to drop the idea of subsistent farming and embrace mechanized farming, for easy farming and bumper harvest
According to him, “we are trying to bring farmers into clusters, the people that are already in clusters, we are going to be working with them to ensure that we link them up with the manufacturers to be able to improve upon what they are doing because if we keep doing the same type of subsistent farming, they have always been known for, they will end up suffering and being poor”.
He said further that “the narrative today should be mechanized agriculture and we are working towards that in 2020. We are going to bring investors from around the world into Rivers State to showcase the potentials on agriculture”.
Bob-Manuel disclosed that the investors forum was working with the Rivers State Government to ensure that investors in the state enjoy adequate security and incentives on their investments.
“We have a better security in the state today. Nine years ago we were hammering on issue concerning multiple taxation, as at then some of our members cannot even drive in their official cars without being hounded, but today it is not as bad as what it used to be. There is a lot of improvement. The investors forum set the ball in motion and today we are where we are,” he said.

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