Naira Swap: CBN Insists On February 10 Deadline … Threatens To Arrest, Jail PoS Agents Charging Above N200 For Cash Swap
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (BN), Godwin Emefiele, has said that there was no need to shift the February 10, 2023 deadline set for the swap of the old N200, N500 and N1,000 Naira notes.
He said this yesterday during a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to discuss the monetary and currency redesign policy of the bank.
He said, “The situation is substantially calming down since the commencement of over-the-counter payments to complement ATM disbursements and the use of super-agents.
“There is, therefore, no need to consider any shift from the deadline of February 10.”
This comes as the Supreme Court had earlier restrained the Federal Government from implementing the February 10 deadline for the currency swap.
A seven-man panel of the apex court led by Justice John Okoro, in a unanimous ruling, had granted an interim injunction restraining the Federal Government, the Central Bank of Nigeria and commercial banks from implementing last Friday terminal date for the old naira notes.
Also, The International Monetary Fund, last week, counselled the CBN to extend the February 10 deadline for swapping old naira notes with the redesigned ones.
The IMF gave the counsel in the wake of the challenges faced by Nigerians across the country over the banknote swap process.
The IMF said in a statement, “In light of hardships caused by disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new banknotes available to the public, in spite of measures introduced by the CBN to mitigate the challenges in the banknote swap process, the IMF encourages the CBN to consider extending the deadline, should problems persist in the next few days leading up to the February 10, 2023 deadline.”
However, the CBN governor insisted that there was no need to shift the deadline.
He also threatened that Point of Sale (PoS) agents who charge above N200 for the CBN cash swap programme would be arrested and jailed.
Emefiele further said that the PoS operators can come to the CBN to be compensated for any extra cost incurred in getting the new notes rather than charging a higher fee on customers.
Rivers Guber: INEC Declares Results In 17 LGAs
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won all 17 local government areas which results of the governorship election that took place last Saturday have been declared so far by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Rivers State.
The main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has maintained a distant second, while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) is in third position followed by the Labour Party (LP).
The State Returning Officer for the election and Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Petroleum, Effurum, Delta State, Prof Akpofura Rim-rukeh, received the 17 LGA collated results from the various LGA Collation and Electoral Officers.
Rim-rukeh, at exactly 6pm yesterday adjourned collation of results till today since no results were available from any of the remaining six local government areas.
“If there are no other results ready from the other local governments, I will close collation for today.
“Collation of results will resume on Monday”, he announced.
The LGAs whose results have so far been collated are: Tai, Opobo/Nkoro, Gokana, Ogu/Bolo, Eleme, Ikwerre, Oyigbo, Etche, Khana, Andoni, Bonny, Ahoada East and Okrika, Abua-Odual, Emuoha and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni.
By: Opaka Dokubo
Naval Officers Storm PHED, Kidnap 15 Staff, Loot Offices Over N762m Debt
Officers of the Nigerian Navy – NNS Victory, in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, have allegedly kidnapped over 15 staff of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution (PHED) Plc in their regional office in Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State.
The incident was said to have occurred in the afternoon of March 11, 2023, when 10 men identified to be Naval officials stormed the company’s premises, fully armed and whisked away staff who were on duty.
The Naval officials, it was gathered, carried out the illegal operations at the command of Commodore Vincent Gbaranwi of the NNS Victory Command and Chief of Staff to the Flag Officer in the Command, Rear Admiral Mike Oamen.
The invading officers were said to have stormed the business premises of the electricity distribution company and kidnapped the staff, in protest over the disconnection of Akim Navy Barracks and Atimbo Barracks.
The Naval Command is alleged to be owing the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution (PHED) Plc over N740million in unpaid electricity bills accumulated over the years, and an additional current monthly electricity bill charge of N22million.
Although, the command is said to have countered the allegation of kidnapping, eye witnesses who saw the incident, noted that no warrant of arrest was presented before the action, and no charge has been brought against the over 15 staff of the company whom the officers claim they did not kidnap but arrested, yet they are still incommunicado as at the time of this report.
However, while the officers executed the alleged kidnap, customers present and other members of staff scampered for safety, abandoning their duty posts, work tools and millions of naira they had collected from responsible customers who came to pay their bills.
Unfortunately, a female staff of the company and a nursing mother, Mrs Abigail Omori, collapsed in the process, and was secretly rushed by the officers to the Reference Hospital, a Naval medical facility in Calabar for treatment.
As at the time of this report, the company has not been allowed access to Mrs Omori and nobody is able to tell her condition.
Following this incident, all PHED sub-stations in Cross River State have been shut down, and the state plunged into darkness, out of palpable fear of arrest or kidnap of its workers by officers of the Naval Command, who had announced that they had orders to shoot any PHED staff found around any electricity infrastructure supplying power to the Naval Command.
Meanwhile, the Regional Manager of PHED, Dr. Gabriel Modupe, confirmed the report and insisted that millions of naira collected by staff before the attack were currently missing.
He explained that efforts had been made to engage the command to pay their electricity bills without success.
The matter has been reported to the Nigerian Police and the Directorate of State Security (DSS), respectively, whose attempts to intervene have proved abortive.
Rivers Guber Results From 17 LGAs
1. Tai LGA:
Total Valid Votes – 10,227
Total Votes Cast: 10,314
2. Opobo Nkoro LGA:
Registered Voters: 59,047
TVV – 13,189
Total Votes Cast: 13,331
3. Gokana LGA:
Registered Voters: 145,566
Total Votes Cast: 40,702
4. Ogu Bolo LGA:
Registered Voters: 61,705
Total Valid Votes: 9,155
Total Votes Cast: 9,295
5. Eleme LGA:
Registered Voters: 126,111
Total Valid Votes- 14,247
Total Votes Cast: 14,629
6. Ikwerre LGA:
Registered Voters- 166,079
Total Valid Votes: 24,090
Total Votes Cast: 24,674
7. Oyigbo LGA:
Registered Voters: 121,815
Total Valid Votes: 16,561
Total Votes Cast: 16,883
8. Etche LGA:
Reg Voters: 130,757
Accredited Voters:: 26,933
Total Valid Votes- 26,320
Rejected Votes- 591
Total Votes Cast- 26,911
9: Khana LGA:
Total Registered Voters 183,626
Accredited Voters: 16,836
Total Valid Votes- 16,535
Total Votes Cast- 16,836.
10. Bonny LGA:
Registered Voters: 183,094
Total Votes Cast: 13,447
Total Votes Cast: 13,815
11. Ahoada East LGA:
Registered Voters 90,694
Total Valid Votes -20,038
Total Votes Cast -20,561
12: Omuma LGA:
Total Registered Voters: 65,289
Total Valid Votes- 11,925
Total Votes Cast- 12,058
13. Okrika LGA:
Registered Voters: 86095
Total Valid Votes -15,093
Total Votes Cast -15,426
14. Andoni LGA:
Total Valid Votes -13,271
Total Votes Cast-13,697
15. Abua-Odual LGA:
Total Valid Votes -16,676
Total Votes Cast -17,132
16: Emuoha LGA:
Total Valid Votes -28,591
Total Votes Cast – 29,253
17. Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA:
Accredited Voters:- 32,809
Total Valid Votes- -31,381
Rejected Votes – 978
Total votes cast – 32,359
The six remaining LGAs where results are being awaited are Ahoada West, Asari-Toru, Akuku-Toru, Degema, Port Harcourt City and Obio-Akpor.
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