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Mixed Reactions Greet New Naira Notes Release, Circulation

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The release and circulation of new Naira notes in Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as part of measures to check inflation, counterfeiting, and hoarding of the Naira has attracted various reactions.
The apex bank stuck to its gun and sent the redesigned naira notes into circulation on Thursday, inspite of oppositions from some quarters.
The Tide interacted with some bank customers to get their reactions to the introduction of the new notes, with many of them expressing uncertainty about the impact it would have on them in the long run.
Although not many have received the new naira notes, particularly in Port Harcourt, a Zenith Bank customer, Caleb Chigozie, attested to having gotten the new notes due to the special relationship he has with the bank.
“The naira redesign is not the actual issue, but the monetary policy which the Central Bank of Nigeria has decided to propose and impose at the same time.
“Every country has a similar policy to aid the appreciation of its currency, and you will agree with me that the naira has depreciated so much and something needs to be done to revive it”, he said.
Also, a media consultant, Mr Aderemi Lawrence, while interacting with The Tide at the banking hall of one of the United Bank for Africa, said the decision was a waste of time and resources.
”When you are talking about the creation of new notes, there is no significant impact whatsoever on the economy. It is only a mere renewal of new notes. It is only repackaging. It has no economic effect. It is like buying new clothes and discharging the old ones.
”People say it is going to stop people from keeping large sums of money in their homes, but this is not true. They will continue their act once the new notes are fully in circulation,” he said.
Meanwhile, a poultry farmer, Wilson Ainde, who said he banks with Sterling Bank, noted that the rationale behind the new notes was not well conceived and thought out.
According to him, “the whole thing is going to affect the economy. It is like they want to reduce the money in circulation.
“And why did they have to spend such a large amount of money to print money when those who want to keep money would continue to do so after the old ones have been taken out of circulation? So, it is a waste of effort. Whoever is behind it should be questioned”, he stated.
However, Mr Emmanuel Anoro expressed the belief that the decision was the right one to take, considering the depreciation of the naira.
“The changing of new naira notes is okay. It will help to change the contaminated notes and discourage people who are keeping money inside their houses.
“But the other one, the cash withdrawal limit, is what I don’t seem to understand. The reason behind that has not been properly explained. The new naira is okay.
”It seems CBN just told their designers to add more colour to the old ones while also swapping the colours of N500 and N200 for each other,’’ he said.

“However, I think the approach isn’t bad. To some extent, it would control counterfeiting as implied by the CBN Governor and possibly inflation too. It is apparent that we have too much naira in circulation.

“The rate at which we have people hoarding naira is alarming too. Maybe this will also solve a bit of this problem”, he said.

Another bank customer, Mrs Tolulope,, said she does not trust Nigerian politicians.

“The move would help curtail vote buying in cash and all of that, I still do not trust the current breed of politicians because they always find ways to bypass laws and policies”, she stated.

By: Corlins Walter

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Maritime

Trade Modernisation: Customs’ CG Tours Huawei, Port In China

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The Comptroller-General  of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Adewale Adeniyi, recently led his team to the Headquarters of Huawei, a famous information and communications technology company in Shenzhen, China, where he discussed opportunities embedded in Nigeria Customs Service Trade Modernisation Project.
This was disclosed in a press release made available to our correspondent in Lagos by the National Public Relations Officer (NPRO) of the Service, CSC Maidawa yesterday.
According to the release, the CGC’s visit to Huawei Headquarters was part of his official visit to the People’s Republic of China for the 6th Global AEO Conference that took place in the city of Shenzhen between Wednesday, 8th May, Friday, 10 May, 2024.
Stating the purpose of his visit to the company’s office on behalf of his team, CGC Adeniyi said, “We are also delighted to associate with the Global Leader Technology Services through the Team of Trade Modernisation.”
It would be recalled that the Service had, during the Huawei Connect 2023 held in Shanghai in October, 2023, expressed readiness to deploy some of the company’s latest products for use in its trade modernisation project.
The CGC, who urged Huawei’s company leadership to sustain their digitalisation services to NCS, also sought their support to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service to maintain their transformative journey with the company.
On his part, Xujing Xu, the Huawei Company’s Vice President of Smart Transportation, welcomed the delegation of the NCS led by Adeniyi and the Management Team of the Trade Modernisation Project (TMP) Limited, led by Chairman Saleh Ahmadu.
He expressed confidence that their collaboration will benefit all parties involved, noting that “the foundational work for this transformation is already underway”.
The TMP Chairman, Saleh Ahmadu, during his address, said Huawei is living up to expectations to deliver its mandate under the auspices of Trade Modernisation Project Limited.
He appreciated the support accorded to him by the CGC and his management team towards the success of the NCS Trade Modernisation Project.
In his bid to upscale the level of NCS modernisation, the Comptroller-General of Customs, alongside members of the Trade Modernisation Project led by Chairman Saleh Ahmadu, visited Lantan Port to witness the level of automation and technological solutions provided by Huawei and other tech partners.

In a related development, a training programme on Trends and Digital Solutions for Customs officials and the TMP team was organised by Huawei the same day, which focused on equipping officials with the necessary skills to navigate the digital landscape of modern trade.

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NERC Declares Most Discos Insolvent 

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Most of the lectricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in Nigeria have been said to be technically insolvent and unable to not only pay for invoices sent to them from the electricity market, but also invest in network expansion projects.
Speaking at the 8th Africa Energy Market Place 2024 in Abuja, Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Engr. Sanusi Garba, said the poor financial state of the DisCos makes it difficult for them to raise the needed capital to invest.
Garba noted that the challenges facing the sector were a culmination of past inactions and missteps by those saddled with the responsibilities of managing the sector, both at policy and operational levels.
According to him, “Today when you look at distribution companies, they are clearly and technically insolvent, and you also want them to raise capital in terms of debt or equity. It’s a herculean task.
“I also want to mention that implementing the power sector reform requires powerful political will to implement decisions that impact the wider public”.
On his part, the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, said the government was working to get the distribution companies solvent and effective by unbundling their operations along state boundaries.
Adelabu insisted that the areas covered by the current DisCos are too large for them to deliver effective services to consumers.

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PH To Get Two CNG Refuelling Stations, Vehicle Conversion Parks

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Rivers State Capital, Port Harcourt, is set to have two Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling stations as well as two Vehicle Conversion Parks.
The Chief Executive Officer, FEMADEC Energy Limited, Fola Akinola, revealed this at the South-South/South-East Stakeholders Engagement Meeting on Presidential Initiative on CNG held in Port Harcourt, Weekend
Akinola, who stated that modalities have been concluded on the project, stressed the need for investment by stakeholders as a way of driving home the initiative of the Federal Government to ease the gas plight of its citizens.
Akinola said, “CNG is an old technology. We want to tell you that you have the opportunity to convert your vehicle from fuel to CNG. The stations will be launched in Port Harcourt and we are launching a refueling unit alongside. Rivers State is going to have a micro refuelling unit at Stadium Road and in GRA.
“For those that want to invest in CNG refuelling units, it is available. Even those who have fuel station facilities can as well invest in this”.
Earlier, the Programme Director, Presidential Initiative on Compressed Natural Gas, Michael Oluwagbemi, noted that Rivers State was the heart of oil and gas Region, insisting that the initiative was for the good of the nation as a whole.
“The initiative of the government is critical to our national development and to the well-being of the people. Rivers State is the heart of the oil and gas region”, he stated.
Oluwagbemi, however, expressed regret that over the last five to six decades, these resources have continued to waste.
“Nigeria is the second largest waste of oil and gas. We exploit it and waste it, then continue to suffer poverty. The President has set us on natural gas features and set up the nation on the path of growth. The use of gas ensures we have energy savings. Mind you, the price of Natural gas is controlled by the government.
“What the President is asking is to do more with the blessings God has given us. If we are able to move three million vehicles in the next three years, we are going to end the era of environmental degradation”, he said.
The Programme Director further said, “We will stop subsidising poverty, importing unemployment and exporting jobs.

By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu

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