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CBN urges Nigerians to take Economic Diversification seriously, share its vision

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CBN urges Nigerians to take Economic Diversification seriously, share its vision

By Friday Idachaba

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has appealed to Nigerians to take seriously and share in its vision of diversification of national economy from oil to Agriculture and Manufacturing sectors.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor, CBN, disclosed this at a one-day interactive session with stakeholders from the Organised Labour and Media on the 5-year policy Trust of Central Bank of Nigeria (2019-2024) on Saturday in Lokoja.

Emefiele, represented by Osita Nwanisobi, Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, who spoke on “Understanding the CBN Vision, Mission, Mandate and its Recent Policies” as well as the “Five-Year Policy Thrust of CBN Governor (2019-2024) said the oil sector was too fragile to depend on.

He said that the CBN, saddled with the responsibility of managing the nation’s resources, the value of the Naira and ensuring financial stability among others had evolved various intervention strategies to diversify the economy.

The acting Director of Corporate Communications said the apex bank envisioned a non-sectional, apolitical and people-centred Central Bank in its quest to build a strong economy and create jobs on massive scale.

As part of the bank’s policy thrust, he said, it desired the economy to grow by double digits, reduce inflation to single digit, address youth unemployment, build a rubust payment system and increases flow of resources into critical sectors.

Against this backdrop, Nwanisobi held that there was the dire need for diversification saying it was not too late adding that CBN had adopted value chain financing to finance Agriculture.

He said that as part of lessons learnt from the #EndSARS Protests, there was need to enhance access to finance by small-holder farmers through the National Collateral Register where jewels and vehicle particulars could be used as collateral for loans.

Emefiele stressed the CBN was intervening in 37 areas before the global financial crisis saying, “We need to work now, it is about time. Though seemingly late but we can start now. Oil will never ever get us to sustainable growth.

Speaking in same vein, Mr Issa Aremu, General Secretary, National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NVTGTWN) commended the 11th Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele for his policy thrust culminating in the interventions.

“We must know where we are coming from, our present position and where we are going”, he said and urged other agencies like SMEDAN, PENCOM and SMEs to take a cue from CBN and bring their visions and missions to public domain for evaluation.

He said that the nation should as much as possible “produce what we consume and consume what we produce. Even the oil sector we talk about, Oil is not a curse it could be a blessing if we diversify from exporting crude to refining crude.

There was also in Nigeria petrochemicals and they were about 114 derivatives from crude oil. Not just petrol. As it is now, we are the only OPEC country without a functional refinery”, he said.

Also speakibg, Mr Onu Edoka, chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in the state charged the CBN to increase its monitoring of commercial banks operations alleging that fraudulent activities were rampant in them.

Edoka who lost about N1.7 million to fraudsters who tampered with his bank details recently in Lokoja urged the CBN to wield the big stick against commercial banks who collude with fraudsters to defraud their customers.

Mr Ahmed Sule, Branch Controller of CBN in the state in his opening address gave a brief history of Lokoja and assured that the state was safe in view of the huge investment in security by the state government. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Economy

Prophet predicts collapse of Nigeria economy in 6 months

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The Nigeria economy which experts say has been in the intensive care unit may finally pack up if urgent steps are not taken to right the wrongs, the Leader of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Primate Elijah Ayodele in a statement on Saturday warned President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, NNPC, salaries of workers will be affected
This was according to a statement on Saturday where the prophet revealed that Nigeria will continue to rely on loans, except the federal government brings back oil subsidy, Nigeria economy will not grow.

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Economy

Lawmaker worries 42.74b metric tonnes of Bitumen reserve wastes away

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The Senator representing Ondo South in the Senate, Nicholas Tofowomo, on Wednesday, drew attention of every stakeholder in the Nigerian project to the untapped 42.74 billion metric tonnes of Bitumen reserve wasting away in the midst of unemployment.

The lawmaker gave the indication in his lead debate on the establishment of Bitumen Training institute, Ode Aye, Ondo State (Establishment Bill 2021 (SB 663)

The lawmaker said in his Ondo South Senatorial district, the amount of bitumen available for extraction is about 16 billion barrels.

“Our bitumen is wasting. There is environmental degradation caused by spiling of bitumen and people are crying that there is no job,” Senator Tofowomo told newsmen at a briefing after his bill seeking to establish Bitumen Training Institute in Ondo State passed second reading on the floor of the Senate.

He said despite the fact that Nigeria has the second largest deposit of bitumen in the world, the country is spending its scarce foreign exchange earnings to import bitumen.

“Nigeria has the second largest deposit of bitumen in the world, coming after Venezuela. The Latin American is doing well with the bitumen. Nigeria also needs to explore the resources. We should look at how much we spend in importing bitumen.

“Let us have an institute so that whatever we are doing on the bitumen will not just be talk show, but exploration and all the forex we spend on importation will be saved,” he said.

The lawmaker said many past administrations of Federal government have played different roles in exploring Bitumen, but it is not a continuous process because of different difficulties in its exploration.

Senator Tofowomo said the establishment of Bitumen Institute would harmonise all the past stride and research made on Bitumen exploration since 1905 and come up with a Solid foundation for economic exploration of Bitumen in Nigeria.

“The enactment of this Bill will help transforming the Bitumen potentials as well as fortunes in Nigeria in producing the desired Manpower and expertise to drive the Bitumen Industry just like the Petroleum Training Institute is doing with the petroleum Industry,” he added.
The bill eventually scaled second reading 

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Malami assures, £4.2m seized from Ibori, associates will soon be returned

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Malami assures, £4.2m seized from Ibori, associates will soon be returned

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has indicated that the Federal Government of Nigeria is working tirelessly to ensure the return of looted Nigerian assets kept outside the country’s territorial boundaries.

In that vein, Malami said any moment from now, Nigeria should expect the return of £4.2m seized from the associates of convicted fomer Governor of Delta State, James Ibori.

This was according to a statement issued by , Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu which was made available to news men in Abuja on Monday.

The statement noted that the delay in repatriating the fund is due to some documentations.

He said the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and other relevant government agencies will keep the general public informed once the Ibori loot is received  and confirmed.

He said the Federal Government of Nigeria is in  touch with the government of the United Kingdom on the matter.

“Documentations with the banks in different countries often take longer than anticipated. We anticipated two weeks but we are not in control  of the banks,” the statement said.

He maintained that the Federal Government is working assiduously to ensure that the transfer goes through successfully.

“There is neither complacency nor any delay as  efforts are being made to ensure successful transfer of the looted funds,” he said.

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