The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has blamed the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele’s poor economic management policies for the recent free-fall of the Naira.
The Naira had within last week depreciated to an all-time low of N730 to a U.S dollar at the parallel market.
Emefiele had alleged that the current free-fall of the Naira against other major currencies was as a result of the non-remittances of dollars to the foreign reserve by the NNPC Ltd, without highlighting the reality of the causative oil and non-oil related factors, including a drop in Nigeria’s crude oil production, growing petrol subsidy, an unsustainable dual exchange rate system, and reduction in foreign direct investments.
Reacting, President of the NYCN, Comrade Solomon Adodo, said that the CBN Governor’s explanation for the free-fall of the Naira was disingenuous and unpatriotic.
The group accused Eme?ele of completely failing to concentrate on his core mandate of price stability as the apex bank’s governor.
It pointed out that with inflation at about 19 percent and the exchange rate nearing N800 to a dollar, the CBN Governor should be held responsible for deepening poverty in the country, accusing him of working at cross-purposes with President Muhammadu Buhari’s objective of reducing poverty and growing the economy.
The statement reads: “We are all witness to the fact that from August 2020 to July 2022, the o?cial exchange rate has moved from N381 to N415/$, representing only a nine percent increase. However, the parallel market has moved from N470 to N710 within the same period representing a 51 percent increase and a record 71 percent arbitrage with the o?cial exchange rate creating a huge incentive for round-tripping, price gouging, sharp market practices, and in?ation.
“The NYCN is therefore shocked by the comment of the Governor associating the free-fall of the parallel market rates to NNPC, even though it is purely a monetary policy issue and outside the purview of the NNPC.
“As a youth group, we have noted that the inability of the CBN to promptly release Joint Venture (JV) cash call funding from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) even when the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd had adequate cash cover, leading to the loss of JV Partners’ con?dence to restore production and reap the bene?ts of today’s improved oil prices.
“We are in the know that for over three months now, dollar-denominated cash call payments amounting to over $400 million, properly processed, are yet to be paid by the CBN under Mr. Eme?ele.
“The combined impact of CBN’s inability to promptly release JV cash call to restore production, the increasing losses due to crude oil theft, and production deferments has culminated in signi?cant crude oil output losses of over 600, 000 barrels per day.
“We ?nd it curious that the apex governor seems to be unaware of the insecurity and huge oil theft in the Niger Delta which have continued to challenge the country’s oil production and the oil industry and gas industry in general. At present, there are massive losses and declaration of force majeure across the country’s major onshore production export facilities of Bonny, Brass, and Forcados.
“At the current year-to-date average crude oil price of $107 per barrel, Nigeria is counting opportunity losses translating to over $64 million per day, and a monumental impact of about $2 billion per month.
“We are taken aback that Mr. Governor is feigning ignorance that the country’s rising petrol subsidy cost, as well as the rising cost of external debt servicing, are all obligations a?ecting the economy. These a?ect the NNPC’s remittances to the Federation Account.
“From January to June 2022, the cost of PMS subsidy has reached N2.2 trillion and it is estimated that the full-year subsidy bill may hit N5 trillion and N6 trillion in 2023.
“Apart from government decision to defer the implementation of PMS deregulation, the subsidy pro?le is signi?cantly in?uenced by CBN foreign exchange management.
“It is, however, worth noting that the NNPC has recorded signi?cant gains on production ramp-up including attaining ‘?rst oil’ production from the Anyala – Madu Fields and most recently Ikike ?elds which cumulatively boost national oil production by almost 80, 000 barrels per day.
“Furthermore, NNPC’s e?orts towards attaining additional combined production of over 100, 000 barrels from ?elds like Obodo, Utapate etc has never abated despite the global setback recorded as a result of the e?ects of COVID-19 pandemic.
“History shows that Mr. Eme?ele is at sea on addressing monetary policy issues. We recall that in 2021, the CBN governor blamed Aboki FX for the depreciation of the Naira. He would later blame members of the Association Bureau De Change, which led to the stoppage of dollar sales to the group. At another time, he blamed the Naira’s depreciation on activities of money laundering, terrorism ?nancing as well as politicians.
“Furthermore, Nigerians are bearing the brunt of the inaction of the CBN Governor as the Emirates Airlines, the ?ag carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has reduced its ?ight operations to Nigeria over the inability of the CBN to repatriate about $85 million in revenue”.
Calling for the CBN Governor’s sack, the group added that Emefiele is clearly a bad workman who blames every other person for his inability to deliver.
“From all indications since his failed presidential bid as well as his rejection by the All Progressives Congress, a partisan Eme?ele has been doing all to rubbish the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari and this should no longer be permitted.
“As Nigerians concerned about the future of this country and before Mr. President heeds our clarion call to send Mr. Eeme?ele packing from the CBN, we advise that the CBN considers among other options the World Bank’s recommendation of adopting a single market-responsive sustainable exchange rate, improving access to forex through well-de?ned periodic forex auctions, and signaling a renewed commitment to price stability as a primary goal of the apex bank,” it said.
NYCN further expressed optimism that the NNPC’s transitioning into a limited liability entity, in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), and its regulation now in line with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) would help resolve cash call payments delays, as the company is now exempted from TSA, among others.
RSHA: Amaewhule-Led Lawmakers Defy Court Order, Elect New Leaders
The crisis rocking the Rivers State House of Assembly took a new twist on Wednesday as lawmakers loyal to the former Speaker, Martin Amaewhule, sat under tight security in the complex.
This is contrary to the court order asking the two factions of the State House of Assembly to maintain the status quo pending the determination of a suit filed by the Edison Ehie faction.
Recall that Ehie faction had obtained a court order that parties should maintain the status quo pending the determination of a suit seeking to sack Amaewhule as the House Speaker.
The Rivers Assembly had become factionalised following an unsuccessful move to impeach Governor Siminialayi Fubara.
The Amaewhule-led lawmakers are believed to be loyal to Fubara’s predecessor and political godfather, Nyesom Wike.
It was learnt that ahead of Wednesday’s sitting, cleaners had on Tuesday been deployed to clean up the Assembly complex, which had been under locks, since October 29, following an explosion in the complex the night before.
One of the cleaners said they were instructed to tidy up the complex ahead of a sitting on Wednesday.
It was gathered that the Wednesday sitting was held for about two hours as a team of riot policemen and security vans were stationed in front of the House to prevent any breaches.
It was gathered that the lawmakers elected a former Chief Whip as the new Majority Leader of the Assembly.
The member, representing Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Constituency 1, Frankline Nwabochi, was named the new Chief Whip.
An unsigned statement sent to the Assembly Press Corps obtained by The Tide said the two new principal officers accordingly took their oath of office.
Amaewhule congratulated them, charging them to be committed to their new responsibilities.
According to the statement, the lawmakers also passed the first reading of a Bill seeking to amend the Rivers State Local Government Law, No. 5 of 2018.
They also debated on the Rivers State House of Assembly Funds Management (Financial Autonomy) Bill, 2023, which passed second reading on Wednesday.
Amaewhule who described the Bill as important, expressed his conviction that Governor Fubara would assent to it after the lawmakers finally pass it.
He hinted that the governor had withheld funds meant for the Assembly for the month of November.
He said the lawmakers were determined to perform their constitutional duties despite the distractions.
He thereafter referred the Bill to the House Committee on Public Accounts for public hearing and further legislative scrutiny.
The other faction of the Assembly led by Ehie, and loyal to Fubara, had yet to react to the Wednesday development as of the time of filing this report.
Ogoni Group Mulls Recall Of Lawmakers Over Foiled Fubara’s Impeachment
An Advocacy group in Rivers State, Ogoni Development Drive (ODD), says it has begun the process to recall four Ogoni lawmakers from the Rivers House of Assembly over their alleged roles in the botched impeachment of Governor Similanayi Fubara.
The lawmakers are Dumle Maol (PDP, Gokana constituency), Barile Nwakoh (PDP, Khana), Aforji Igwe (PDP, Eleme) and Bernard Ngba (PDP, Tai).
The group’s Convener, Comrade Solomon Lenu, made this known at a news conference in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Recall that Fubara survived an alleged impeachment plot on October 30.
ODD said it had on November 10 issued a seven-day ultimatum to the four Ogoni lawmakers who partook in the plot that attempted to serve an impeachment notice to Governor Fubara.
The four lawmakers, now suspended, were asked to apologise to the Ogoni people whom they represent and to Gov. Fubara for denigrating his exalted office or risk being recalled.
“Instead of heeding this advice and embracing the olive branch extended to them, they rather embarked on an egocentric escapade,” the group said.
Lenu further said the lawmakers rather than heed to the advice by ODD, engaged in various meetings that purportedly plotted to unseat the governor.
“Governor Fubara was collectively voted for by the entire Rivers people, and as such, the action by the lawmakers has not gone well with all men and women of conscience.
“It is illogical for the erring assembly members to think it is right to impeach an innocent governor for no just cause but wrong to recall them for erring against their constituents.
“The suspended lawmakers called a bluff of ODD ultimatum, and so, we have decided to carry out this recall process in earnest, to put our democracy aright,” he said.
Lenu said the group had already reached an advanced level in sensitising and mobilising the lawmaker’s constituents to recall them.
He said that ODD had also obtained the comprehensive voters’ register of all voters in the four local government areas and constituencies.
According to him, an electronic capture form has also been created to make the petition process easier for students at various tertiary school campuses and those on holiday to sign the petition.
“So far, the response from the aggrieved constituents has been very impressive, and we shall in a few weeks’ time complete the compilation of the required signatures.
“The signatures are required for INEC to call for a referendum, which shall be carried out in branches with strict security guidance, to abort any sinister counterplot against democracy.
“We know this process is not going to be easy, but we are ready to go all the way, to create a sense of responsibility in our elected leaders,” he said.
Lenu said instilling a sense of responsibility in politicians and elected leaders would further entrench democratic tenets in the country.
The ODD convener called on the people of Ogoni to come forward and sign the petition, to end political “jamboree and illicit godfatherism” in the state.
The Tide reports that 26 lawmakers on Oct. 30 proceeded to impeach Fubara but were stopped by four pro-Fubara lawmakers led by Ehie Edison (PDP-Ahoada East II).
Mr Martins Amaewhule (Obio Akpor constituency), a close ally of a former governor, was later ousted as Speaker and Ehie sworn in as the new Speaker.
However, Amaewhule insists that he is still the Speaker of the House of Assembly, resulting in some form of confusion over the office of the Speaker.
FRSC Commander Faces Sanction Over Unauthorised Comments
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), yesterday, disowned the Unit Commander, Central Business District Unit Command, Assistant Corps Commander IL Ibrahim, over his recent statement on Vehicle Inspection Officers, otherwise known as Directorate of Road Traffic Services.
Ibrahim was quoted to have said that VIO officials did not have the right to arrest road traffic violators, including overloaded vehicles and motorists caught using phones while driving.
But Deputy Corps Marshal, Bisi Kazeem, in a statement, yesterday, said Ibrahim’s comment was not the position of the Corps.
Kazeem added that the concerned official had been recalled to the national headquarters for necessary disciplinary action.
The statement read, “The Federal Road Safety Corps wishes to make a pertinent clarification regarding the pronouncement by the Unit Commander, Central Business District Unit Command, Assistant Corps Commander IL Ibrahim, that Vehicle Inspection Officers, otherwise known as Directorate of Road Traffic Services, do not have the right to arrest road traffic violators, including overloaded vehicles and motorists caught using phones while driving.
“The general public is advised to disregard the statement as it had no approval of the Corps Marshal, Dauda Ali Biu, and does not in anyway reflect the corporate or general position of the Corps.
“It is important for the public know that the laws establishing VIOs/State Traffic Management Agencies give them the statutory mandate to make arrests on different offences depending on the state within which they operate. As such, the agencies should be given the maximum cooperation for the enhancement of safety on our roads.
“On this note and in line with sustaining the Corps’ resolve that road safety is a collective responsibility, and in acknowledgement of the roles the State Traffic Management Agencies like the Vehicle Inspection Officers play in complementing the statutory responsibilities of the FRSC through enforcement of traffic laws, the Corps Marshal has ordered the immediate withdrawal of the Unit Commander to the national headquarters for necessary administrative and disciplinary actions.
“The public is admonished to always comply with all established traffic regulations and cooperate with security agencies deployed to maintain law and order on the highways, irrespective of their corporate mandate.”
Nation2 hours ago
EFCC Boss Vows To Fight Corruption
News1 hour ago
S’Court: 11 Justices Scale NJC Hurdle, Await Tinubu’s Nod
Social/Kiddies2 hours ago
Eze Ndi Igbo Savours Honour
Featured38 mins ago
No Level Of Sabotage Can Make Me Surrender Our Mandate -Fubara …Promises To Prioritise Development In Education, Entrepreneurship, Agriculture …Asks For Sustainable Peace Across The State
Niger Delta2 hours ago
Gov’s Wife Pledges Collaboration Against GBV
News2 hours ago
NCSU Begs Fubara To Pay N35, 000 Salary Award, Christmas Bonus
Nation2 hours ago
Association Lauds Gov Over E-Ticket Revenue Collection
News1 hour ago
PDP,NNPP, Five Others Form Coalition