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Withdrawal Of Naira Notes: Stakeholders Call For Caution

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has debunked rumours that it is planning to withdraw naira notes from circulation and replace it with its digital currency, the eNaira, which was launched  last October by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Recall that stakeholders had warned the apex bank to desist from such move.
Director, Corporate Communications Department of the CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, at the weekend, noted that, the statement purportedly to have been made during a stakeholders’ engagement on eNaira adoption in Asaba, Delta State, was misconstrued.
He, therefore called on the public to disregard such information in its entirety.
The eNaira is a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) that was rolled out to improve financial inclusion in the country, reduce the cost of transactions, and boost security in the financial system.
According to Nwanisobi, the digital version of the Naira is meant to complement the existing currency notes and, therefore, will circulate simultaneously as a means of exchange and store of value.
On the benefits of adopting the eNaira, he said the digital legal tender, aside from the safety and speedy features, will also ensure greater access to financial services by the underbanked and unbanked populace, thereby enhancing financial inclusion.
Nwanisobi, therefore, urged members of the public and business owners to embrace the digital currency, the eNaira, saying it offers more possibilities.
Meanwhile, the eNaira speed wallet is expected to have another update which will allow users to pay bills and conumate online shopping payments directly from their wallets.
Stakeholders have, however, queried the decision of the government over planned removal of Naira notes from circulation.
They noted that in civilised societies, physical money exists side by side with other forms of financial transactions.
Speaking in an interview the The Tide’s source, the President of National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees of Nigeria (NUBIFIE), Comrade Anthony  Abakpa, expressed wonder how such a policy could be brought out without enough preparation and enough awareness.
“The CBN ought to give enough time to enable Nigerians prepare for it. CBN should know that not every Nigerian is having bank account, talkless of e-money. Most of them who cannot write would not be carried along.

“What CBN needs most is ability to educate everyone on it and save people from demoralisation, because it will demoralise and be cumbersome to many people and they will lose confidence in government.

“CBN should run both physical and e-money together, not total removal of physical notes from circulation”, Abakpa said.

On his part, the General Secretary of Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSAN), Comrade Lucky Odigie, urged Federal Government to desist from policy summersaults.

He said, “Federal Government should not start what it will not be able to sustain. In fact, this policy has already failed before birth.

“How can Government just wake up with policy that would add more burdens to the masses that have already been pushed to the wall?”

Odigie also advised FG to always put the interest of the masses first in all their planning in order to reduce harsh economic situations that are pushing some into vices.

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Firms Want Solar Integration In Renewable Energy

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Non-renewable energy firms, such as Chint Global, have proposed solar integration to solve energy challenges in Nigeria.
In an interview with The Tide’s source at the “Power & Water Nigeria Exhibition and Conference, 2022” in Lagos, the Country Manager of Chint Global for Nigeria,  Michael Chen, said Nigeria had been a major target for solar power distribution.
“Egypt has about 100 million people, but Nigeria has 200 million people. However, the power generation capacity of Egypt is about 60 gigawatts while Nigeria has 13 gb watts.
“So, the capacity of power generation in Egypt is about five times that of Nigeria. Nigeria has a 200 million population, and one of the biggest GDPs in Africa.
“This will make Nigeria a bigger market for electrical equipment. This is a good opportunity for marketing and a means to contribute to Nigeria with our professional equipment and services to make this country a better place,” he said.
Chen noted that Chint Global, which is into the four industry chains of power generation, storage, transmission, distribution, and utilisation, had contributed solar power to crucial parts of the country.
“As a priority in Nigeria, our 132 kV transformer is working in TC and grid power systems. From Lagos to Ibadan, all the people are using the Chint distribution”, he said.
In his part, the Director of Solar Centric Technologies and Vice President, Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria, Adetunji Iromini, stressed the urgency of solar power integration in Nigeria, stated that at “although we have pushed for some intervention programmes to fast track integration, the government is yet to come to the table.”
He also talked on the escalating costs of products like diesel, saying the government now knew that it needed to onboard distributed renewable energy into solving Nigeria’s energy problem.
“So RIAN as a body is at the forefront of engaging with the government on strategies to solve the power problems in the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Com

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Fake Products Controversy: SON’s DG Lied – Customs

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Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has described the allegation against it by the Director General of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), as a fabrication.
Reacting to the allegation that customs was responsible for the influx of fake and substandard products into Nigerian markets, the Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Deputy Comptroller Timi Bomodi, said it was diversionary tactics.
In a press statement issued on Friday, Mr Bomodi said the statement by the SON DG, Mallam Farouk Salim, was a lie.
Bomodi stated that there is an existing open channel of communication between officials of SON and Customs Area Commands should the need arise for clarifications or interventions and that its officials usually partake in examinations.
“We want to state that the allegations are untrue. The Nigeria Customs Service is fully cognizant that strategic cooperation among security and regulatory agencies lies at the heart of national security, and willfully works in tandem with other security and regulatory agencies, including SON, to achieve national goals.
“Under the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS II), SON and other regulatory agencies of government are linked directly and frequently make inputs in reference to items of significance to their operations.
“At no time has NCS refused to oblige them with any request. Indeed the Nigeria Customs Service even without intervention from SON on its own directs suspicious items bordering on brand and intellectual property rights infringements to them.
“SON has access to our systems, are informed and fully participates in examinations and even go as far as collecting product samples, where necessary, during examinations for their investigations.
“Even the field inspection process chart on the SON official website shows the involvement of SON at the ports and borders during examinations.
“Therefore, this statement ascribed to the DG creates a totally false narrative and is viewed as an attempt to portray the NCS in a negative light.
“It is questionable, raises serious concerns and calls for scrutiny by discerning members of the public. It is also self-condemning, regrettable and exposes SON as being incapable of living up to its mandate.
“If after issuing certificates, participating in examinations, taking samples for further investigations and authorizing release to the NCS, substandard goods find their way into the open market the DG SON should look inwards.
“While success is said to breed opposition, the success of the NCS is not achieved by tarnishing the image of another agency just to look good or score cheap points. Our nation at this time needs every security and regulatory agency to trust and work as a team for our socio-economic wellbeing.
“We urge the DG SON and his agency not to be self-seeking, leave the path of rivalry and collaborate towards achieving national interest”, Bomodi said
While fielding questions from journalists in Lagos, the SON DG was asked how fake and substandard products find their way into Nigerian markets despite his men partaking in joint cargo examinations with the customs.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Nigeria Loses N500.6bn Over Crude Oil Sale

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Findings from various oil and gas and statistical reports have indicated that Nigeria lost about N500.6 billion from the sale of crude oil between January and May, 2022.
The Tide’s source gathered that the crash in revenue was due to the slump in the country’s oil production, which slided by 11.63 million barrels during the period under review.
The source stated that data obtained from different reports of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) showed that Nigeria produced 1.399 million barrels of crude oil daily in January, which translates to 43.369 million barrels in the entire month.
Production, however, slumped to 1.024 million barrels per day in May, according to crude oil production figures, based on direct communication, indicating a total production of 31.744 million barrels in May 2022, according to OPEC’s reports.
The difference between January and May figures implies that Nigeria’s oil production crashed by 11.63 million barrels within the five-month period.
Data from Statistica, a globally renowned statistical firm, on the monetary value of the lost oil volumes, also showed that Nigeria had been losing billions of naira monthly due to the persistent plunge in its oil production.
Also, industry figures obtained from Statistica showed that in January, February, March, April and May 2022, the average prices of Brent, the global benchmark for crude, were $86.51/barrel, $97.13/barrel, $117.25/barrel, $104.58/barrel and $113.34/barrel respectively.
This gives an overall average of $103.76/barrel for crude oil during the five-month period.
With an overall average of $103.76/barrel and 11.63 million barrels of crude lost between January and May, it implies that Nigeria’s oil revenue crashed by $1.21bn (N500.6bn at the official exchange rate of N415/$) during the period under review.
The source further revealed an indication that Nigeria’s oil production kept moving southwards since January, 2022.
This is  according to figures from OPEC reports, which showed that while the country produced 1.399 million barrels per day in January, production crashed to 1.258 million barrels per day in February.
The oil production plunge continued in March, as it dropped 1.238 million barrels per day and further went down to 1.219 million barrels per day in April, with the worst plunge being recorded in May, as the country’s oil production slumped to 1.024 million barrels per day, based on crude oil production figures obtained through direct communication by OPEC.

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