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Economy

House Of Reps Has Ordered CBN To Suspend Latest Cash Policy

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On Thursday, the House of Representatives requested that the Central Bank of Nigeria suspend its most recent policy, which among other things places restrictions on the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from deposit money banks and other financial institutions.

Fidel Info reports that the House summoned the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, to appear and explain the policy before the parliament.

This is based on a motion of urgent public significance made at the House’s plenary on Thursday by Aliyu Magaji.

The legislation, according to several senators, would harm businesses and Nigerians without access to the banking system and have catastrophic repercussions.

Ndudi Elumelu, the minority leader, asserted that the proposal would reduce crime because money would now be monitored through the banking system. Although the timing could be off, the country would gain more from it, he claimed.

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Economy

Emefiele Finally Honours House Of Reps’ Summons

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The Governor of the central bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, is today testifying before the House of Representatives’ special committee on cashless transactions.

Fidel Info reports that the House invited Emefiele and the heads of the nation’s commercial banks last week.

Emefiele, however, was unable to attend due to his overseas travel to Dakar, Senegal, with President Muhammadu Buhari.

The House vowed to utilize the appropriate legal provisions last Thursday at plenary to issue a warrant for the governor’s arrest in response to the CBN’s refusal to prolong the usage of the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes by six months.

However, Emefiele declared on Sunday that the deadline would now be extended to February 10, 2023.

On Tuesday, the governor finally complied with the committee’s summons.

The interface is underway everyone is now seated.

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Economy

CBN Blames Banks For Lack Of New Notes Circulation

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The new N200, N500, and N1,000 notes are available for banks to pick up, according to a statement from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, made yesterday.

Fidel Info reports that the apex bank also revealed that withdrawals had been halted to prevent fraud and that the only places where the new naira notes could be distributed were ATMs, to ensure that all bank customers could benefit from them.

This was revealed at a sensitization workshop at Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos, by Mr. Kofo Salam-Alada, Director of the Legal Services Department, CBN.

Speaking in light of the limited supply of new naira notes and the ongoing distribution of old notes via bank ATMs, Salam-Alada stated that the apex bank will sanction banks for failing to collect the new notes as well as for failing to distribute them via their ATMs.

While urging the people to go deposit their old notes, he asserted that there is no plan to postpone the deadline for doing so past January 31st.

He said: “I can tell you today the CBN daily gives out the new notes. As we speak now banks are with the CBN taking money.

“I am reliably told that we are begging commercial banks to come and take money (the new notes)  from the CBN. We have these new naira notes in our vaults and we are waiting for banks to come and collect them.”

“To also let you know the seriousness of CBN for these new naira notes to permeate everywhere, we have found out that a lot of things are happening, and we stopped the across-the-counter withdrawal of new naira notes to ensure that you, you, you can have access to it.”

“Not a situation where, one chief, who is known to the Manager or everyone will cart away all the new naira notes from a particular branch.”

“And that is why we said if you want the new naira notes to walk to the ATM where there is no distinction between myself and the hawker over there.”

“Part of what we are doing is that we have monitors going around banks. I have been to some ATMs this morning and I have logged reports, I have spoken to the management of various banks. When I am in any bank, I speak with the Head Office, I ask them, where are the new naira notes we gave you, you will start hearing an explanation.”

“What you have been experiencing will ease off very soon because the banks now know there will be a penalty for failure to come and pick the new naira notes from the CBN and for failure to load the notes into their branches.”

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Economy

Reverse Electricity Tariff Hike Now- SERAP To FG

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President Muhammadu Buhari has been requested to quickly reverse the allegedly illegal, unfair, and arbitrary increase in the price of electricity that took place in December 2022 by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP).

Fidel Info reports that In order to reverse the tarrif with immediate effect, SERAP requested that Buhari instruct the Minister of Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, and the Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Professor James Momoh.

“You should ensure the investigation of the spending of public funds as investments and bailouts by successive governments to electricity distribution companies (DisCos) and generating companies (GenCos) since 2005, and prosecution of cases of corruption and mismanagement,” the organization urged.

The proposal came after the Nigerian Energy Regulatory Commission (NERC) reportedly approved an increase in electricity rates for all DisCos in the nation in December 2022.

According to reports, a number of prepaid consumers have confirmed the rise. The rise has not been confirmed or denied by either the NERC or the Minister of Power.

The organization claimed in the letter published over the weekend by SERAP Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare that the rise in electricity prices would make the country’s terrible poverty worse and make it harder for millions of Nigerians to meet their most basic necessities.

SERAP said, “the increase in electricity tariff failed to follow due process. It is entirely inconsistent and incompatible with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended], the Electric Power Sector Reform Act and the country’s international human rights obligations.

According to SERAP, “Millions of Nigerians continue to live in darkness despite the spending by successive governments of trillions of naira as investments and bailouts to electricity companies.

The letter, read in part: “The increase is unjustified, especially given the unreliable, inefficient and poor quality of electricity in the country. Rather than providing electricity discounts to poor Nigerians, successive governments continue to give bailouts to electricity companies.”

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”

“Your government should have used the report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which shows damning revelations that some 133 million Nigerians are poor as a basis to improve access to regular electricity supply, and extend electricity to remote rural households.”

“The latest increase in electricity tariff is coming on the heels of the NBC report which shows that over half of the population of Nigeria are multidimensionally poor and cook with dung, wood or charcoal, rather than clean energy. High deprivations also apparent nationally in sanitation, time to healthcare, food insecurity, and housing.”

“The hike in tariff would increase financial burdens for socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians and further marginalize and disproportionately affect them, and exacerbate their vulnerability to discrimination.”

“The failure of successive governments and high-ranking government officials to prevent widespread and systematic corruption in the electricity sector and to bring suspected perpetrators to justice is the primary cause of the exploitation of electricity consumers.”

“Investigating the spending of investments and bailouts by successive governments in DISCOS and prosecuting anyone suspected of corruption and mismanagement of public funds, and recovering any proceeds of crime would end a culture of impunity in the power sector, and improve access to and affordability of electricity in Nigeria.”

“Successive governments have failed to increase power generation and provide Nigerians with regular and uninterrupted electricity supply, with many electricity contracts shrouded in secrecy, and trillions of Naira going down the drain.”

“Your government also has legal obligations to ensure that socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians including the 133 million the NBC documents as poor enjoy non-discriminatory access to basic household services including electricity.”

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